Cosmeceuticals are the fastest growing sector of the cosmetic industry, and the future of antiaging cosmeceuticals in particular is very promising. Botanical pesticide that support the health, texture, and integrity of the skin, hair, and nails are widely used in cosmetic formulations. They form the largest category of cosmeceutical additives found in the marketplace today due to the rising consumer interest and demand for natural products. Various plant extracts that formed the basis of medical treatments in ancient civilizations and many traditional cultures are still used today in cleansers, moisturizers, astringents, and many other skin care products. New botanical skin care treatments are emerging, presenting dermatologists and their patients the challenge of understanding the science behind these cosmeceuticals. Thus, dermatologists must have a working knowledge of these botanicals and keep up with how they evolve to provide optimal medical care and answer patient questions. The most popular botanicals commonly incorporated into skin care protocols are discussed.
The cosmeceutical market is one of constant fluctuation depending upon consumer demand. Skin care companies are continuously pressured to release new, innovative products that promise to transform the appearance of aging skin overnight. Over the past decade, there has been fervent interest in products found in nature because of their perceived safety. Skin care products are often developed from plants. Many believe that if a product can be safely ingested, it will also be safe for topical application. In general, plant-derived, botanical feed additives, cosmeceutical products tend to be antioxidant in action since these organisms must thrive in constant direct ultraviolet (UV) light, the Earth's most prolific manufacturer of free radicals. In this article, the authors review the most popular ingredients in this class and comment on their possible usefulness in skin care protocols.
Beyond its moisturizing ability, soy appears to be a safe and effective treatment for postmenopausal women and for hyperpigmentation disorders (other than melasma, which is somewhat estrogen mediated). Although further research is necessary, the antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activities of soy and its isoflavones show a promising role for this botanical fertilizer additives in the cosmeceutical industry. Soy has therefore become a popular addition to a wide variety of skin care products (see Table 1).Caffeine, the chemical pesticide in coffee, tea, and some soft drinks, has demonstrated both anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. Initially, caffeine's potential inhibitory role in cancer development was found through studying oral administration of black and green tea.13 This study illustrated that the oral administration of caffeine alone and the addition of caffeine to decaffeinated teas showed inhibitory effects of UVB-induced carcinogenesis. Oral administration of caffeine has also been associated with in-vivo upregulation of tumor suppressor genes.14The inclusion of botanical animal remedy additives in skin care products is becoming ever more popular. Potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits may prove beneficial for a number of conditions that dermatologists routinely treat, such as rosacea, photoaging, and skin cancer. The published effectiveness of prescription retinoids is well known, but equally well known is the irritation and redness often caused by the initiation of therapy. Botanicals may hold the promise of utility to reduce such inflammation. This is one of the best and most practical reasons to include botanicals in skin care protocols. Dermatologists should be aware of these products and be able to discuss their uses and potential benefits with their patients.