A natural thickener and texture enhancer derived from the roots of the Manihot esculenta (Cassava) shrub. It consists primarily of amylose and amylopectin, both components of starch and what gives tapioca its thickening properties.
In cosmetics, tapioca starch can also serve to stabilize emulsions, create gel textures, and aid in the delivery of key ingredients to skin.References for this information:
http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/polysaccharide_gums.pdf
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, June 2003, pages 113-125