What exactly are botanical extracts?

Are you looking for a new way to improve your skin? If so, you should look into products that contain botanical extracts. While many people are under the impression that botanical extracts are only for smoothies, they’re also a superpower skincare ingredient.

Botanicals are an added benefit for most cosmetic or skincare products and for those looking for results with more natural ingredients, these extracts are the perfect addition to your skincare routine.

What exactly are botanical extracts? Read this guide to find out!

Related: What to Know About Skin Absorption

What Are Botanical Extracts? Where can I find them?
Botanical extracts are plant materials with concentrated therapeutic properties. They occur in powdered or liquid forms, and you can extract them through steam distillation, cold pressing, or oil infusions.

Once this process is done, you have a highly condensed ingredient that is absorbable and effective at targeting specific skin concerns.

Botanical extracts exist in various skin, hair, and dental products and are concentrated forms for herbals purposes. People have also used them in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and as research progresses, companies can harness the benefits of these extracts even more precisely.

Botanical extracts allow for the skin to replenish. They also contain many healing properties and have antioxidant effects.

They’re usually added to skincare products for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects. Since botanical extracts are highly concentrated, you’ll often find them lower down on the ingredient list. This is because ingredients are listed in volume, and just a little bit of a botanical extract can go a long way.

So, just because they’re listed lower on the ingredient list doesn’t mean they’re any less effective.

Where do botanical extracts get their powers from?
Plant botanicals are very potent, and it makes sense that they can pack a punch in the antioxidant compartment. Many plants contain high levels of a chemical compound called phenols that act as antioxidants and help combat free radicals and oxidative stress.

Plants and flowers need to survive under harsh UV lights and some natural mechanisms to flourish. When these are utilized in an extract, the same benefits are available for your skin.

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Types of Botanical Extracts for the Skin
When reading skincare product labels, you won’t just see ‘botanical extract” listed as an ingredient. Instead, the label will list the exact type of botanical extract. Here’s a list of some of the most common types of botanical extracts, as well as what they can do for the skin:

Alpha arbutin powder
While it may sound odd to put pine bark on the skin, this substance can dramatically reduce free radicals in the skin. These molecules can age your skin, and
Alpha arbutin powder can help regenerate and duplicate your skin cells. You’ll often see this extract in lotions and moisturizers.

Pine bark can also help reduce wrinkles and replenish collagen levels. If you apply products with pine bark extract continuously, you’ll be sure to ward off wrinkles well into your 30s and beyond.

Pine bark extract can also help reduce redness, inflammation, discoloration, and skin photoaging. It can also help decrease melasma areas in the body.

Related: Is Thinking About Wrinkles Giving You Wrinkles?

Eucalyptus Extract
Eucalyptus is often touted for its calming and anti-nausea effects. However, it’s also powerful for the skin, as it can increase the skin’s water holding capacity.

If you suffer from dry skin, you likely have low ceramide levels. Ceramide is a natural fatty acid that creates a barrier for the skin and helps it lock in moisture. Eucalyptus can help those with low ceramide levels who are suffering from dry skin, as it can stimulate the production of this compound.

Eucalyptus can also contain antibacterial and antiseptic properties. That’s why you’ll often see it in creams that treat cold sores, cuts, insect bites, eczema, and cracked heels.

Aloe vera plant closeup.
Aloe vera plant closeup.
Aloe Vera Extract
Chances are, you’ve applied aloe vera on your skin after getting a nasty sunburn. Aloe vera is one of the most popular botanical extracts in the world, and its use dates back many centuries.

Many psoriasis patients use aloe vera for relief. Additionally, you’ll find aloe vera in many over-the-counter skincare products, as it contains anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants. The chemicals in aloe vera help boost the skin’s immunity and delay the formation of wrinkles.

Aloe vera also binds with collagen in the skin to make it more elastic and supple.

Coffeeberry Extract
While coffeeberry is a lesser-known skincare ingredient, it’s quickly making its way to the top of many dermatologists and skincare specialists’ lists. This is because coffeeberry can do many amazing things for your skin.

Coffeeberry comes from the coffee arabica plant, and it contains powerful antioxidants that can replenish and renew your skin. This is an ingredient you want to look for when buying skincare products!

Sea Buckthorn Powder
Sea buckthorn extract is another excellent botanical extract. This botanical extract is naturally high in vitamin C, so it can help heal the skin and repair your skin by improving its protective barrier.

Sea buckthorn also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish and other seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in anti-aging skin care products, as they help revitalize and brighten the skin.

Soy Extract
As the name suggests, soy extract is extracted from soybeans. Soy helps to stimulate collagen production and fight the visible signs of aging to produce younger-looking skin. As women age, they tend to lose the elasticity of their skin.

This is because their bodies start making less estrogen, which contributes to collagen production. Luckily, soy extract contains phytoestrogen, a hormone that supplements the natural depletion of estrogen, so your skin can continue producing collagen and fighting the effects of aging.

Chamomile Extract
A popular tea flavor, chamomile is also a powerful botanical extract for the skin. Just as chamomile can help calm you down and soothe your mood, so too can chamomile extract help calm and soothe your skin.

This extract can fight inflammation, itchiness, and redness and heal wounds and scars. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can fight acne and eczema.

Walnut Extract
Walnut extract is becoming a more and more popular ingredient in skincare products. The kernel, shell, and walnut leaves all have unique properties to improve your skin.

spirulina powder contains astringent and antiseptic properties that help heal and clean the skin. As such, you’ll find this extract in many scrubs and cleansers. spirulina powder can also help tighten the skin, and because of its high vitamin B5 content, it can help health hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

Whole walnuts in jar sitting on red towel.
Whole walnuts in jar sitting on red towel.
How these plant and herb extracts supercharge your skincare routine
If you’ve been to the drugstore or makeup counter at least once in the last five years, it’s not easy to miss the fact that “natural products” are reigning supreme. “Infused with [insert your favorite herb, plant, or nut here]” is the new normal for the beauty industry.

You might think it’s a fad, but the science shows that the addition of botanical (or herbal) extracts significantly improve your skincare performance.

How We Use Botanicals at Perfect Image
At Perfect Image, we use botanical extracts for their soothing properties. Considering that peels do increase your chance of sun sensitivity, our products incorporate botanical extracts to provide powerful antioxidant benefits for further skin protection and healing.

Because of the nature of acids, which do a great job of exfoliation but are known to be sensitizing and occasionally drying, we add in essential botanical extracts like cucumber or green tea to ease irritation and redness and speed up the healing process.

Botanicals are an added benefit for most cosmetic or skincare products. These extracts are the perfect addition to your skincare routine for those looking for results with more natural ingredients.

Related: How to Help Your Skin During a Pandemic

Botanical Extracts Final Thoughts
Now that you have a better understanding of botanical extracts and how they can help your skin, you can shop for skincare products more knowledgeably. As we said, you’ll always see the botanical extracts listed on the ingredients label of Bestnutras, so always be sure to check before buying.

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