It’s been long known that the best skin and hair care products are the ones originated from Mother Nature. Fruit, vegetables and minerals supply our organism with a massive dose of vitamins. Similar action is delivered by herbs that more and more frequently become the most desired ingredients used for cosmetic production. What is their action and what can they provide your hair and skin with? Find it out!
Plant extracts are obtained in maceration process of minced plant raw material with the use of solvents (e.g. water, ethanol, alcohol, glycerol). In cosmetic production there are two substances used; it’s either a plant extract or a specific chemical substance obtained from a plant. During the production process, the concentration of the main ingredients must reach the appropriate level. If it’s too low, the cosmetics won’t work as they are supposed to. Moreover, the way a plant extracts work depends on the action delivered by all the ingredients a particular product is made from. In most cases these are the well-known and the most popular plant extracts used for cosmetic production. There are also new and exotic extracts obtained continuously.
Application of Herbal Extracts
Some herbal extracts’ role is to provide natural protection against solar radiation. This kind of action is delivered, for example, by: dwarf everlast, chamomile inflorescence, Baikal skullcap roots, green tea leaves, aloe leaves, Peruvian rhatany. Sadly, in most products the concentration of herbal extracts is too low for the sunscreen to ensure even the minimal protection.
What Properties Do Plant Extracts Display?
Plant extracts display many conditioning and healing properties working for the benefit of hair and skin. Despite their positive impact, the natural substances frequently trigger allergic reactions. Therefore, if your skin is sensitive or allergy-prone, you should be cautious while applying new cosmetics with the plant extract content. A typical cosmetic might include:
- aloe – relieves skin irritations and moisturises deeply,
- arnica – strengthens and improves elasticity of capillary vessels walls, prevents their rupture,
- lavender – regenerates skin, relieves irritations, counteracts acne,
- burdock – relieves psoriasis skin lesions, reduces seborrhoea and acne,
- marigold – delivers anti-inflammatory action, makes skin more soft,
- nettle – regenerates skin, prevents dandruff, slows down hair loss,
- rosemary – relieves skin lesions, stimulates hair bulbs,
- chamomile – delivers anti-inflammatory action, relieves irritations and takes care of sensitive and allergic skin types,
- horsetail – seals blood vessels, accelerates wound healing processes, reinforces hair,
- sage – works anti-septic, prevents hair loss, deals with dandruff.
What Do Plant Extracts Contain?
In plant extracts, including herbal extracts, we can find substances that deliver healing and conditioning action. They are: flavonoids, saponins, tannins, locks, balms, resins, essential oils, enzymes and organic acids. Due to their presence in a particular plant, we can name the exact action it delivers to hair and skin. Plant extracts have the following qualities: anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, sebostatic, keratolytic, cleansing, protective, antioxidative, whitening and moisturising; they soothe, make skin taut, stimulate blood circulation, stimulate immune system and revitalize.
Application of Plant Extracts
Plant extracts and herbs are used in many fields of life. Due to their priceless qualities, plants find their application in:
- naturopathy and conventional medicine (health promoting properties),
- pharmaceutics in the form of tincture, liquid extracts, dense and dry herbal, fruit and vegetable raw material,
- food industry as concentrates to boost nourishing and taste factors.
Apart from this, plant extracts and herbs find their application in production of preparations destined for:
- sensitive, dry or oily skin type care,
- oily, dry and dandruff-prone hair care,
- tooth cleaning such as toothpastes or mouthwashes,
- foot care,
- sun protection,
- colouring of other products.