Natural ingredients, specifically from botanical sources, are powerful plant extracts and oils derived from flowers, herbs, nuts, seeds, roots, and berries. High-quality, results-oriented botanical skin care today has advanced technology and the latest, most-innovative ingredients. Botanical skin care today helps maintain youthful looking skin, working to prevent future damage. Skin care professionals can address the needs of the skin by using natural ingredient-based skin care products. Botanicals, herbal extracts, and natural vitamins provide exceptional results, improving skin health and appearance by revitalizing and regenerating skin.
Powerful free radical exchangers enhance the skin’s moisture level and encourage proliferation of new, healthy cells.
IN SKIN CARE
When incorporated into topical skin care products, pure natural ingredients are powerhouses. They help maintain skin health and target skin indications, such as inflammation, aging, pigment, and excessive oiliness. Skin is the body’s natural barrier and environmental damage and external stressors can be devastating to its cellular health. Just as natural ingredients in food fuel the body on the inside, natural ingredients in topical products fuel the skin from the outside. They help fight external stressors, even reversing damaging effects.
Natural ingredients are only as powerful as the purity of the extraction and the way active ingredients are combined. When properly derived, the pure extract of a botanical is a highly powerful ingredient for feeding and changing the skin. These nourishing extracts have the ability to reverse, maintain, and prevent skin concerns and are used liberally in topical skin care products. An example of one of these powerful natural ingredients is the ginkgo biloba plant. Ginkgo biloba is used for its anti-aging and rejuvenating powers, as well as its antioxidant effects. It protects the skin against damage by stabilizing cell membranes. Flavonoids within ginkgo biloba strengthen capillaries and connective tissue structures. When it is used in a
botanical-based skin care products, it is powerful. Likewise, it is critical that when combined with other natural ingredients, the extract is combined effectively and synergistically with each and every other ingredient in the product.
Effective natural ingredients combined synergistically provide a plethora of truly botanical ingredients, ready and active for targeting multiple indications. These ingredients are sourced from the seed as well as the leaf, root, pollen, and whole plant. CO2 extraction is a preferable method of extraction. Non-toxic by nature, CO2 gas is desirable because no additional distillation is needed since it naturally separates from the extracted substance. This method of botanical ingredient extraction does not require heat to be effective, therefore, botanical oil extractions can be done at temperatures that will not degrade the natural material. This ability to control temperature with the CO2 extraction method ensures higher levels of purity of the plant material and the extracted oil.
Different parts of plants offer benefits focused towards a variety of indications. What the seed offers is a concentrated nucleus of antioxidants and vitamins, which is the complete fuel a botanical source needs to grow. These rich benefits are then passed on to increase skin health, resiliency, appearance, and texture as active ingredients in properly-manufactured products. Rosehip and grapeseed oils are age-old and ever-popular botanical ingredients, often used in cleansing and hydrating topical treatments. Rosehip oil contains high levels of tocopherol, carotenoids, flavonoids, and fruit acids, which help to moisturize, heal damage, and improve skin texture. Grapeseed oil contains the highest percentage of pycnogenol, which is known to be the most active substance in the battle against damage caused by free radicals. Black cumin seed oil also holds a plethora of antioxidants to regenerate and repair aging skin and is often found in naturally-based masks, serums, and moisturizers. These examples are just a few of the seed-derived botanical powerhouses available to the cosmeceutical industry.
PLANT STEM CELLS
Plant stem cells are another specific group of natural ingredients in skin care. Plant stem cells protect skin stem cells due to their innate nature. In contrast to human stem cells, plant cells are totipotent, meaning every plant stem cell can regenerate any other cell. In cosmetics, and in my opinion, plant stem cells have the capacity to boost human stem cells, therefore, they can help renew and regenerate cells so as to slow the aging process.
Grape stem cells and apple stem cells are the most-commonly utilized natural stem cell ingredients in today’s botanical marketplace. Plants truly have healing properties.
A stem cell has the unique ability to regenerate tissue by making a colony of cells consisting of themselves, transient amplifying cells, and differentiated cells, which is referred to as colony forming efficiency. The speed colonies form is a measure of their efficiency. Quicker cell regeneration and renewal translates to younger and healthier looking skin. Human stem cells have been treated with different concentrations of grape stem cells. Results from these studies have shown that increasing the concentration of the grape stem cells strongly increases the colony-forming efficiency by up to 80 percent when compared to the control used in the study. Such study opportunities have afforded the skin care industry the secure confidence in stem cell technology. Plant stem cells counteract the negative effects of the environment and help ameliorate intrinsic and extrinsic negative influences, therefore, helping humans to age gracefully with strong, supple, healthier skin.
Plant stem cell technology is one of the latest scientific advancements for addressing indications within specific cell areas. With age, the number of adult stem cells and their ability to repair skin decreases, making their preservation vital to maintaining youthful-looking skin. The benefits of plant-derived stem cells are far-reaching; they can improve the skin’s ability to fight photoaging, protect against ultraviolet radiation and stress, control skin irritation, and renew, strengthen, and repair itself. Plant stem cells from fruits have been shown to increase the success of cellular growth factors within the human body. When properly extracted from quality sources, apple stem cells have been shown to delay skin aging and decrease the depth of wrinkles, while grape stem cells help protect the body from ultraviolet aging with their high levels of powerful antioxidants.
Grape stem cells protect skin stem cells against the harmful effects of ultraviolet stress, which is responsible for 80 percent of skin aging. Epigenetic factors and metabolites help delay the senescence of essential cells, as well as fight photoaging. In testing, grape stem cells have been shown to improve skin cell regeneration efficiency, as well as counteract the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation. They are haracterized by their red flesh and juice, due to the extremely high anthocyanin connect. This connect is high in powerful antioxidants and has free radical scavenging capabilities.
Apple stem cells fortify and give tenacity to the skin cells, helping cells to be healthier and longer living. The rejuvenating effects of apple stem cells can be seen in robust and delicate areas of the body. Eye tenacity and wrinkle reduction are some areas where the benefits of apple stem cells are commonly seen. The reduction of the depth of fine lines and wrinkles are some of many benefits of age-defying products with apple stem cells. Delicate skin around the eyes can be dramatically enhanced with apple stem cells and synergistically combined with other powerful botanicals such as vitamin K, antioxidants, green tea, and peptides.
POPULAR NATURAL INGREDIENTS
Skin hydration is another aspect of skin health that can be dramatically improved with the use of natural ingredients. Sodium hyaluronate, which is extracted from botanical sources such as the olive leaf, is the most-effective natural humectant available. Known as the water magnet, this tiny molecule attracts up to 1,000 times its own molecular weight of water to the skin and locks it in for 24 hours. Sodium hyaluronate is the botanical form of hyaluronic acid and, while it is equally effective as a potent hydrator, it often causes less irritation to the skin. Used in serums, moisturizers, and masks, sodium hyaluronate significantly enhances the moisture-holding capacity of the skin, providing necessary hydration for proper skin function.
Some other popular and effective organic ingredients used in skin care products include shea butter, chamomile, sunflower seed oil, green tea extract, and cucumber extract. Shea butter is an incredible emollient that helps to soothe and heal both intrinsic and extrinsic dehydration and skin barrier situations. Shea butter works to improve the texture and softness of the skin and addresses indications from fissures in the skin to weather-related dryness and allergic reactions seen in rashes and related problems. Chamomile is calming, soothing, repairing, refreshing, and hypoallergenic. Such botanical and herbal extracts play a beautiful role in natural ingredients in skin care product lines, whether used as a topical treatment or as an aromatherapeutic inhalation application. Lavender is a natural antioxidant. Evening primrose helps to regenerate the skin. Green tea is an antioxidant full of vitamins that protects against free radicals. Sage is a natural astringent and is antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. Sage is also used in a soothing, sanitizing, stimulating, softening, and invigorating role within the skin care industry.
The ocean is also a source of highly-effective natural ingredients for skin health. Algae, commonly known as seaweed, hydrates, conditions, softens, and soothes. Seaweed extract not only has antioxidant and free radical-scavenging properties, it oxygenates tissues, stimulates cellular metabolism, and strengthens capillary walls. Furthermore, it decongests and detoxifies the body, which is vital for healthy cell function. Algae extract is rich in alguronic acid, a compound that increases cell regeneration and elastin synthesis. Elastin fibers break down as the human body ages. This degradation of elastin protein in the skin’s underlying layers becomes visibly apparent with the formation of wrinkles, texture changes, and sagging skin. Sea enzymes that are present in algae, rich in chlorophyll, amino acids, fatty acids, DHA, and nucleic acids, when combined with softening and soothing botanicals like kukui nut oil and aloe, are shown to revitalize and hydrate deteriorated, dry skin, as well as reduce irritation. These benefits help to strengthen the skin’s structure, leaving it stronger and less susceptible to tears. When incorporated into topical skin care products, ocean-derived natural ingredients help remove impurities, strengthen, and balance the skin.
The efficacy of a skin care product containing natural ingredients is contingent upon several important factors beyond botanical extracts themselves. The purity of the extraction methods used, the ability of the manufacturer to create synergistic combinations of active ingredients, and the integrity of the manufacturer are all directly related to the success of a natural product. Not all botanicals are created equal; some extraction methods use chemical additives and can result in extracts that have solvent residues. High quality, gentle extraction methods like CO2 extraction use no chemical additives and result in essential oils, antioxidants, and fatty acids that are of the highest purity and effectiveness. The product’s formulation is also a crucial factor since the concentration of natural extracts and how they are combined with other specific ingredients affects the amount of cellular change that can be achieved. The manufacturer’s ingredient sourcing, expertise in research and development, and manufacturing practices should also be considered in determining whether a natural product is truly results-oriented.
The health and appearance of the skin, its texture, tone, hydration, vascularity, and clarity, can all be enhanced by proper use of natural ingredients in both professional and homecare products. Whether the goal is maintaining healthy skin or addressing a specific concern, natural ingredients have demonstrated the ability to significantly affect cellular change for a balanced and radiant complexion. Using purely-sourced and scientifically-designed natural-ingredient-based products on a regular basis provides the professional and client with effective and long-lasting balance for the skin.
A native San Diegan and UCLA alumna, Tami Rumbaugh gained experience from the medical laser industry and is currently an aesthetician for clinics in La Jolla, Calif. and Palm Desert, Calif. She also consults for a variety of projects within the aesthetic industry. As an educator for CA Botana, Rumbaugh shares her love for skin care techniques and the science behind getting great results with fellow skin care professionals, as well as students in the industry.