There is a vast array of botanical and natural extracts found in skincare products. As the interest in more natural and organic skincare products increases, more and more products are being formulated with these beneficial extracts. They include essential oils extracted from various parts of the plant, such as lavender, rose, sandalwood, chamomile and geranium, or from fruit extracts like lemon, mango and black currant. There is also a wide range of ‘carrier oils’ that are used for lubricating and moisturizing elements in the product – these include coconut, evening primrose, grapeseed, jojoba, soy bean, avocado and borage oils.
Aloe Vera – this extract (taken from the leaves) acts as a humectant, providing moisture replacement. It is also works as an anti-inflammatory, aids in healing wounds and is an effective emollient.
Ginkgo Biloba – the leaves of this plant are used to create an extract that is considered to be an effective anti-aging ingredient due to its antioxidant properties and the fact that it is said to aid fibroblast cells (deep connective tissue) in the skin with the production of collagen and elastin. This extract also acts as an antioxidant, ant-inflammatory, and increases blood circulation.
Ginseng – the extract from the roots of this natural plant is associated most with skin rejuvenation. The active components of this extract are responsible for revitalizing surface skin cells. It is also known for its antioxidant and wound healing qualities.
Licorice – this plant extract (from the roots) is considered to be an anti-irritant and may be used in facial products for sensitive skin. It is also effective in reducing pigmentation.
Spirulina (blue algae) – this is a blue algae extract taken from the fronds. The extract is added to anti-aging products and is said to have a hydrating effect on the surface layers of the skin. It is also associated with tissue regeneration and with improving the appearance of prematurely aged skin, lines and wrinkles. Spirulina is also known as a superfood due to its high nutritional values.
When selecting skincare products with natural extracts (or for those professionals qualified to create their own blends), it helps to know what the ultimate goal is. Are you looking for a product with anti-inflammatory qualities, or are you trying to improve the texture of the surface skin, etc? Understanding how the extract works and reading the active ingredients of the product will help determine what results you can expect.
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