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THE DIFFERENT PLANT EXTRACTS

A guide to learn about the different types of natural plant extracts , how they are obtained, the type of active ingredients they contain and how they are used.

Plant assets and their solubility

Soluble or not soluble, that is the question ...

It is said that a substance (solid, liquid or gas) is soluble in a liquid (which will then be called the solvent ) when a certain amount of this substance dissolves in the liquid to form a homogeneous solution .

An oil soluble compound is said to be fat soluble and a water soluble compound is said to be water soluble .

A compound is generally soluble in a solvent with which it has chemical affinities : thus aromatic compounds, such as terpenes are said to be lipophilic (they have an affinity for oil), and they are liposoluble . Sugars, on the other hand, are hydrophilic compounds (have an affinity for water) and are water soluble .

With rare exceptions, a plant active ingredient is soluble in oil OR in water but cannot be soluble in oil AND in water . Many active ingredients are soluble in alcohol (ethanol) which is a very good solvent. The solubility of an active ingredient or an extract has an important role in:

  • The extraction of the assets of the plant : to extract an active of a plant with a solvent (water, oil, alcohol, glycerin ... or hexane, propylene glycol ...), it is necessary that this asset is soluble in the chosen solvent . When preparing a plant extract, the choice of solvent is therefore essential and must depend on the solubility of the active agents that are to be extracted.
  • The use of plant extracts : during the cosmetic formulation of an extract , it must be dissolved in a support in which it is soluble . Otherwise, it will have to be dispersed effectively. For example, in the case of essential oils, not soluble in water, it will be necessary to use a dispersant to incorporate them into an aqueous formula (lotion, gel).

 

 

Plant assets

When we talk about plants, the word "active" comes up very often, but what do we mean by "plant active" and what are the benefits of these active ingredients in cosmetics?

A plant active ingredient is a chemical compound naturally present in the plant , and which may have a certain “activity”, that is to say a certain effect on the skin , and therefore of interest in cosmetics.

Not all plants contain the same type of active ingredient, which is why we do not produce the same type of extract from all plants . So while it is easy to extract a Macadamia vegetable oil, there is no such thing as Macadamia essential oil.

The table below details, in a non-exhaustive way of course, the most common plant active ingredients , the type of plant in which they are found, their cosmetic properties, and the type of solvent in which they are soluble, which is decisive. both in the choice of their method of extraction and in their mode of use .

Assets Solubility Plants containing them Cosmetic properties
Aromatic compounds, for example: linalool, 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene ...


Oil


alcohol

Aromatic plants (Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, citrus fruits, conifers ...), flowers (Orange blossom, Rose, Ylang-ylang ...) According to the compounds: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, stimulant
Triglycerides of fatty acids:
-saturated (stearic, palmitic ...)
-mono-unsaturated (oleic acid)
-poly-unsaturated (omega-3: alpha-linolenic acid and omega-6: linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids)


Oil

Oil fruits and seeds : Olive, Almond, Hazelnut, Sesame, fruit seeds (Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Kiwi, Passion fruit ...), Shea nut, Cocoa bean ... - Nourishing, protective, emollient
- Softeners, softeners
- Help to reconstitute the skin hydrolipidic film, participate in the constitution of cell membranes
Phytosterols (beta-sitosterol, campestrol, stigmasterol)


Oil


Alcohol

Oleaginous fruits and seeds (rice bran, olive, avocado ...) Soothing, anti-inflammatory, repairing, anti-dehydration protectors, emollients
Sugars and polysaccharides (mucilages, glucosides, heterosides ...)


Water

Leaves, fruits, flowers and bulbs of all types of plants (Mallow, Orchid, Water lily, Banana, Apple ...), algae (Laminaria, red algae ...), legumes (Guar) Moisturizers, softeners, non-greasy film-forming, tightening and smoothing effect on fine lines and wrinkles, thickening or even gelling effect for certain polysaccharides
Saponosides


Water


Alcohol

Shikakaï and Panama wood (cleansers), Petit-Houx (venous protector), Ivy (draining), Ginseng, Centella asiatica, Tepezcohuite (soothing, repairing), Licorice ... According to the compounds:
- Surfactant, cleansing properties
- Venous protectors, anti-edema, draining
- Repairing, soothing, regenerating
Phenolic compounds (tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols ...)


Water


Alcohol

All kinds of plants, flowers and fruits (Kigélia, Burdock, Raspberry, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Green tea ...) According to the compounds: antioxidants, anti-aging, astringents, venotonics ...
Amino acids and proteins


Water


Alcohol

Seeds (wheat, rice ...), algae ( Spirulina , Chlorella) Moisturizers, softeners, volumizers and hair protectors
Fruit acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, citric acid ...)
 


Water

Fruits (Apple, Pineapple, citrus, Blueberry ...) "Peeling" effect, exfoliating, regenerating, moisturizing
Vitamin E (tocopherols)


Oil

Seeds and oleaginous fruits (Olive, Avocado, Hazelnut, Sunflower, Wheat germs ...) Antioxidant, protects lipid membranes of cells, helps maintain skin elasticity
Vitamin A (retinoids) and provitamin A (carotenoids)


Oil

Urucum, certain fruits and vegetables (Carrot), certain seeds (Sea buckthorn, Rosehip, Raspberry ...) Antioxidant, regenerating, anti-wrinkle
Vitamin C


Water


Alcohol

Fruits and vegetables (Acerola, Blueberry, Apple, Cucumber ...), flowers (Water lily), leaves (Nettle) Antioxidant, stimulator of collagen synthesis, anti-aging, skin lightening
B vitamins (thiamine, biotin, nicotinamide, panthothenic acid ...)


Water


Alcohol

Fruits and vegetables (Cucumber, Banana, Apple ...) Intervene in different physiological mechanisms, revitalizing, fortifying (hair in particular)
Mineral salts and trace elements (Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Sulfur ...)


Water

All kinds of plants, fruits and flowers (Nettle, Banana, Cucumber, Orchid ...), algae (Lithothame, Chlorella) Intervene in cell metabolism, firming, stimulating