Home Beauté Herbal Cosmetics: A safe and effective approach

Herbal Cosmetics: A safe and effective approach


The word cosmetic was derived from the Greek word “kosm tikos” meaning having the power, arrange, skill in decorating.The origin of cosmetics forms a continuous narrative throughout the history of man as they developed. The man in prehistoric times 3000BC used colours for decoration to attract the animals that he wished to hunt and also the man survived attack from the enemy by colouring his skin and adorned his body for protection to provoke fear in an enemy (whether man or animal). The origin of cosmetics were associated with hunting, fighting, religion and superstition and later associated with medicine Herbal Cosmetics, here in after referred as Products, are formulated, using various permissible cosmetic ingredients to form the base in which one or more herbal ingredients are used to provide defined cosmetic benefits only, shall be called as “Herbal Cosmetics”.

Beginning 1990’s cosmetic manufacturer adapted a term ‘cosmeceuticals’ to describe the OTC skin care products that claims therapeutic benefit by addition of plant based active ingredient such as alpha- hydroxy acid, retinoic acid, ascorbic acid and coenzyme Q10. These active ingredients serves many purposes viz. increase in skin elasticity, delay in skin aging by reducing the wrinkles, protection against UV radiation by antioxidant property and to check degradation of collagen respectively.
The skin and hair beauty of individuals depends on the health, habits, routine job, climatic conditions and maintenance. The skin due to excessive exposure to heat will dehydrate during summer and causes wrinkle, freckles, blemishes, pigmentation and sunburns. The extreme winter cause damages to the skin in the form of cracks, cuts, maceration and infections. The skin diseases are common among all age groups and can be due to exposure towards microbes, chemical agents, biological toxin present in the environment, and also to some extend due to malnutrition.The only factor they had to rely on was the knowledge of nature compiled in the ayurveda. The science of ayurveda had utilized many herbs and floras to make cosmetics for beautification and protection from external affects. The natural content in the botanicals does not cause any side effects on the human body; instead enrich the body with nutrients and other useful minerals. The cosmetics, according to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act is defined as articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, introduced into or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance. The cosmetic does not come under the preview of drug license. The herbal cosmetics are the preparations containing phytochemical from a variety of botanical sources, which influences the functions of skin and provide nutrients necessary for the healthy skin or hair.The natural herbs and their products when used for their aromatic value in cosmetic preparation are termed as herbal cosmetics. There is common belief that chemical based cosmetics are harmful to the skin and an increased awareness among consumers for herbal products triggered the demand for natural products and natural extracts in cosmetics preparations. The increased demand for the natural product has created new avenues in cosmeceutical market. The Drug and Cosmetics Act specify that herbs and essential oils used in cosmetics must not claim to 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 same as that for other chemical ingredients used in cosmetic formulations.

The requirements for the basic skin care:
a) Cleansing agent: which remove the dust, dead cells and dirt that chokes the pores on the skin. Some of the common cleansers include vegetable oils like coconut, sesame and palm oil
b) Toners: The toners help to tighten the skin and keep it from being exposed to many of the toxins that are floating 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.
c) Moisturizing: The moisturizing helps the skin to become soft and supple. Moisturizing shows a healthy glow and are less prone to aging. Some of the herbal moisturizers include vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, rose water, jojoba oil, aloe vera and iris.

Herbal Cosmetics Can Be Grouped Into Following Major Categories:
1.Cosmetics for enhancing the appearance of facial skin
2.Cosmetics for hair growth and care
3.Cosmetics for skin care, especially in teenager (acne, pimples and sustaining)
4.Shampoos, soaps, powders and perfumery, etc.
5.Miscellaneous products
Indian Extracts for Herbal Cosmetics: Herbs play a significant role, especially in modem imes, when the damaging effects of food processing and over- medication have assumed alarming proportions. They are now being increasingly cosmetics, foods and teas, as well as alternative medicines. The growing interest in herbs is a part of the movement towards change in life- styles. This movement is based on the belief that the plants have a vast potential for their use as a curative medicine.

Amla (Embilica officinalis): Amla is the name given to the fruit of a small leafy tree (Emblica Officinalis), which grows throughout India and bears an edible fruit. This fruit is highly prized both for its high vitamin C content and for the precious oil, which is extracted from its seeds and pulp and used as a treatment for hair and scalp problems. T is used in eye syndromes, hair loss, and children ailments etc.

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): It can be used as a face pack to improve facial complexion. It is used as a hair application to make hair shiny and their beautification. It also removes dandruff and lice in hair. It can also be used to clean jewellery and washing woolen clothes. It is used in Ayurvedic preparations and Herbal Shampoos.


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