Herbal Cosmetics for Skin Care: The skin beauty of an individual depends on the health, habits, routine job, climatic conditions, and maintenance. The skin due to excessive exposure to heat will dehydrate during summer and result in wrinkles, freckles, blemishes, pigmentation, and sunburns. The extreme winter causes damages to the skin in the form of cracks, cuts, maceration, and infections. Skin care is the range of practices that support skin integrity, enhance its appearance, and relieve skin conditions. This can include nutrition, avoidance of excessive sun exposure, and appropriate use of emollients. The herbal cosmetics for the skin are preparations containing phytochemical(s) from a variety of botanical sources, which influence the functions of the skin and provide nutrients necessary for healthy skin. The Drug and Cosmetics Act specifies that herbs and essential oils used in cosmetics must not penetrate beyond the surface layers of the skin nor should have any therapeutic effect. The legal requirement and the regulatory procedures for herbal cosmetics are the same as those for other chemical ingredients used in cosmetic formulations. The requirements for basic skin care include:
Cleansing agent: It removes dust, dead cells, and dirt that clogs the pores on the skin. Some of the common cleansers include vegetable oils like coconut, sesame, and palm oil.
Toners: The toners help to tighten the skin and keep it from being exposed to many of the toxins in the air or other environmental pollutants. Some of the herbs used as toners are witch hazel, geranium, sage, lemon, ivy burdock, and essential oils.
Moisturizer: The moisturizer helps the skin to become soft and supple. Examples of herbal moisturizers include vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, rose water, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and iris.
Table.1: Herbs used for Skin Care
These days several herbal cosmeceutical products have been introduced into the market with enhanced efficacy. Moisturizers, sunscreens, pigment lighteners, and other formulations have been renovated to improvised forms by the addition of herb or herb extract-like ingredients for better results. Herbal cosmeceuticals contribute majorly to the cosmetic industry. Although the effects may be small, these products, however, improve the skin’s feel and appearance with continued use over some time; thus there lies a great opportunity to explore this avenue.
Table.2: Marketed Cosmetic preparations containing Herbs
Aloe vera, a plant belonging to the family Liliaceae is cultivated, with no naturally occurring population, although closely related aloes do have a presence in northern Africa. It is an ingredient in many cosmetics because it heals, moisturizes, and softens skin. A soothing gel may be obtained by cutting the Aloe vera leaf. The extract is the most ingenious mixture of an antibiotic, an astringent coagulating agent, a pain inhibitor, and a growth stimulator (also called a “wound hormone”), whose function is to accelerate the healing of injured surfaces. It is applied externally for sunburn, scratch, and as a cleansing purge for the body or skin. It aids the growth of new tissue and alleviates the advance of skin cancer caused by the sun.
Aloe contains two classes of aloins: (1) nataloins, and (2) barbaloins. The second group may be divided into a-barbaloin, obtained from Barbados aloes, and b-barbaloin, obtained from Socotrine and Zanzibar aloes. Aloe vera also contains amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, saponin glycosides that provide cleansing action, vitamins A, C, E, B, choline, B12, and folic acid that offer antioxidant activity. The antiseptic property of Aloe vera is due to the presence of six antiseptic agents namely lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamonic acid, phenols, and sulfur. These compounds have an inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Though most of these uses are interesting, controlled trials are essential to determine their effectiveness in all diseases.
Aloe vera has been recommended for skin care in several ways:
- Relieves the burned skin caused by the sun.
- Is an outstanding skin moisturizer.
- Smooth and glowing skin can be achieved with the help of Aloe.
- Is beneficial for dry skin when the aim is to get normal, smooth, and shiny skin with the oil extract of the plant.
- Helps in restoring the skin’s natural beauty. It provides oxygen to the cells which strengthen the skin tissues and helps to keep the skin healthy.
- Helps cure blisters, insect bites, and any allergic reactions, eczema, burns, inflammations, wounds, psoriasis.
- Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities, which may help in the treatment of minor skin infections, such as boils and benign skin cysts, and have been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi that cause tinea.
Currently, the plant is widely used in skin care, cosmetics, and as a nutraceutical. Aloe sugars are also used in moisturizing preparations. Mixed with selected essential oils, it makes an excellent skin smoothening moisturizer, sunblock lotion plus a whole range of beauty products including gels. Aloe vera gel has been reported to have a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin. The exact role is not known, but following the administration of Aloe vera gel, an antioxidant protein, metallothionein, is generated in the skin, which scavenges hydroxyl radicals and prevents suppression of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the skin. It reduces the production and release of skin keratinocyte-derived immunosuppressive cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and hence prevents UV-induced suppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity. Research on contact dermatitis and burning skin sensations following topical applications of Aloe vera gel to dermabraded skin. These reactions appeared to be associated with anthraquinone contaminants in this preparation.
A large number of Aloe vera-based cosmetic products are available commercially that claim for natural skincare based on the healing and soothing properties of Aloe vera and also is useful for people with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, and pigmentation. The 100% pure Aloe juice is a prime ingredient in some of the finest cosmetics in the world today. Many companies boast the presence of Aloe-based products in their catalogs and advertising. Though these companies have had products containing Aloe in the past, its presence is more highly valued now and worthy of inclusion on labels, as the effects of this unique plant have become well known and widespread as common knowledge to the greater general public.
It is a deep yellow-to-orange powder that comes from the underground stems of the tropical perennial herb Curcuma longa of the family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric contains a wide range of phytochemicals including, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, zingiberene, curcumol, curcumenol, eugenol, tetrahydrocurcumin, triethylcurcumin, curcumin, turmerin, turmerones, and turmeronols. Curcumin is the phytochemical that gives a yellow color to turmeric and is now recognized as being responsible for most of the therapeutic effects. Uses of turmeric include antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimalarial, insect-repellant, and other activities associated with turmeric.
Turmeric finds its application in skin care for:
- Treatment of acne
- Facial mask for oily skin
- Treatment of wrinkles
- Signs of aging
- Treatment of stretch marks
- Soothes burns
- Reduction of skin pigmentation and skin tanning
- Removal of facial hair
- Treatment of cracked heels
- Night cream
- Treatment of skin conditions
- Removes dead cells
Turmeric is effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties which fight pimples and breakouts to provide a youthful glow to your skin. Turmeric face mask not only helps to clear acne scars and inflammation but also reduces oil secretion by sebaceous glands. Turmeric is beneficial for oily skin as it regulates the production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. Turmeric in combination with other ingredients is effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Being an excellent exfoliating agent, turmeric can help to eliminate signs of aging. Turmeric can help to lighten stretch marks. Turmeric can provide quick relief in case of burns, because of its antiseptic properties. A mixture of turmeric and aloe vera gel on the burns heals the wound. To remove skin tanning and pigmentation, apply a mixture of turmeric powder and lemon or cucumber juice to the affected area. Turmeric is an excellent healing agent.
Turmeric skin cream is an ayurvedic cream that vanishes into the skin, rejuvenates, and revitalizes the skin from within, leaving it soft, supple, and young-looking. Being pure and natural, turmeric cream gives the skin radiance. It also protects the skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun and maintains the original color of pigments of the skin. Turmeric cream is beneficial in fighting acne, pimples, boils, blemishes, and other common disorders of the skin. Due to the proven medicinal properties of its active ingredients, the Government has permitted the manufacturing of turmeric products under the Ayurvedic Drug License.
Turmeric beauty masks have been used across Asia for centuries. They are known in Chinese and Indian traditions and are an element of Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is one of the ingredients in the turmeric face mask recipe, but the mask also contains other important ingredients that are beneficial for the skin. Turmeric mask also works for acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It reduces inflammation and facial redness and promotes skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation. It helps in softening lines and wrinkles, giving the face a more youthful appearance.
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