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Application of natural Chinese herbal medicines and plant extracts in cosmetics

With the rapid development of the world economy, people have put forward higher and higher requirements for the quality and performance of cosmetics. Cosmetic cosmetics based on Chinese herbal medicine are more and more favored by the majority of consumers.

my country has a vast land and abundant resources and is very rich in plant resources. Compared with chemical synthetic products, Chinese herbal medicine has much less side effects on the human body, so its safety is higher. The natural active ingredients contained in it are widely used in modern cosmetics and play various roles, such as whitening and freckle removal, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle, anti-acne, hair growth and black hair, sun protection, moisturizing, anti-dandruff and anti-itching, weight loss and body beauty, etc. Wait. Nowadays, there are many kinds of cosmetics in China, and traditional Chinese medicine cosmetics and skin care products also have high popularity and brand effect. Scientific researchers have carried out a lot of research on the active ingredients in Chinese herbal medicine, their separation and extraction, and their pharmacological mechanisms.



This article starts from the function of Chinese herbal medicine in cosmetics, classifies it, and summarizes its efficacy and application in cosmetics, laying a foundation for the further development and application of Chinese herbal medicine in the field of cosmetics.

1 Whitening and freckle removal

Oriental women have always advocated fair skin. Although Europeans and Americans do not pursue whitening, they are fond of removing all kinds of stains. The factors that determine skin color are pigments such as melanin, melanoid, and lutein, as well as epidermal thickness, subcutaneous blood vessels, and light scattering. And melanin is a key factor in determining skin color. When melanin increases, the skin changes from light brown to black. The production mechanism of melanin: tyrosine in the body is oxidized by tyrosinase to become dopa, and then oxidized to dopaquinone by tyrosine oxidase, and then oxidized to 5,6-diazepine, and finally polymerized into melanin .

At present, natural whitening agents derived from traditional Chinese medicine mainly achieve the effect of whitening and freckle removal by promoting blood circulation to improve skin color, reducing melanin content and directly whitening, antioxidant protection of skin color and inhibiting the proliferation of melanocytes. Chinese herbal medicines commonly used in whitening and freckle-removing cosmetics mainly include the following:

(1) The active ingredients in Angelica Radix, Atractylodes Rhizoma, Rhizoma Atractylodes, and White Aconite have the effect of promoting blood circulation and can be used as additives for whitening facial masks;

(2) Cordyceps sinensis has the effect of effectively improving human facial skin wrinkles;

(3) Aloe vera contains a lot of aloin, vitamins B2, B6, B12 and various amino acids, and its cosmetic effect is good;

(4) Tea polyphenols contained in tea have the effect of inhibiting tyrosinase activity;

(5) Baicalin in Scutellaria baicalensis also has the effect of inhibiting tyrosinase activity;

(6) The active ingredient in sea buckthorn has the effect of treating chloasma;

(7) The pomegranate polyphenols and anthocyanins contained in pomegranate are good tyrosinase inhibitors and can be used in whitening skin creams;

(8) Ganoderma lucidum extract can be made into Ganoderma lucidum cream, which has the effect of whitening and anti-wrinkle;

(9) Wax melon seed extract has a strong inhibitory effect on melanocyte and tyrosinase activity, which can reduce the production of melanin;

(10) The nutrients contained in pearls can promote the metabolism of skin cells, inhibit the growth of lipofuscin, enhance the vitality and elasticity of skin cells, and keep the skin soft and white.



2 Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle

Skin aging is a complex and progressive transformation process, which is mainly divided into two forms: natural aging and photoaging. Natural aging is an endogenous procedural process, determined by internal factors in the body, mainly the influence of genetic factors, it occurs with age, is irresistible, and is characterized by fine wrinkles, loose skin, dryness and roughness . Photoaging is a change in the structure and function of the skin caused by repeated exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays over a long period of time. It is the result of both natural aging and UV radiation. It presents with loss of skin elasticity, deep wrinkles, and a leathery appearance with hyperpigmentation.

At present, the research on the mechanism of skin aging has made great progress, among which the more representative ones are the free radical theory of skin aging, the theory of gene regulation, and the theory of matrix metalloproteinase aging.

(1) The main point of the free radical theory is that the main cause of skin aging is the increase of free radicals generated in the metabolic process. Excessive free radicals will accumulate in the body and attack cell membranes, mitochondrial membranes, and unsaturated fatty acids in the membranes. Reaction to form lipid peroxidation, and lipid peroxidation is decomposed to produce aldehydes, such as malondialdehyde, which attack phospholipids and proteins to form lipofuscin and accumulate in cells, which is a sign of cell aging.

(2) The theory of gene regulation holds that the average and maximum lifespan of an organism is constant and determined by a series of genes that cause and delay aging. With the increase of age, the loss of modifier genes, the reduction of DNA methylation, the shortening of telomeres, the decline of DNA self-repair ability, the abnormal regulation of proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes lead to chromosomal mutations and excessive differentiation of normal cells, resulting in aging.

(3) The aging theory of matrix metalloproteinases believes that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of endopeptidases whose biological activity depends on zinc ions and has the ability to degrade extracellular matrix. Its main role is to degrade collagen and elastin in the dermis. The increased secretion of MMP can increase the degradation of intracellular collagen, resulting in the loss of collagen in the skin, loose skin, decreased elasticity, increased and deepened fine lines, and the skin shows signs of aging. Exogenous environmental factors (ultraviolet radiation, smoking, wind, sun exposure, and exposure to harmful chemicals) can also cause changes in the composition of the dermis of the skin. Among them, ultraviolet radiation is the main factor that causes skin aging.

At present, the role of Chinese herbal medicine in anti-aging cosmetics mainly includes the following aspects:

(1) Enhance the proliferation and metabolism of cells, and promote the synthesis of collagen and elastin;

(2) scavenging free radicals and anti-oxidation;

(3) Moisturizing and repairing the skin barrier;

(4) Absorb ultraviolet rays or shield ultraviolet rays.

The most commonly used Chinese herbal medicines are as follows:

(1) The ginsenosides contained in ginseng have significant cell growth activity and can be used as an epidermal growth factor, and at the same time, it is antioxidant by activating the activity of oxidoreductase in the human body, which can prevent skin aging;

(2) Pueraria root extract puerarin can delay skin aging and reduce fine lines;

(3) Grape seed extract contains proanthocyanidins, which is a new type of high-efficiency antioxidant. Its antioxidant activity is 50 times that of vitamin E and 20 times that of vitamin C. It can effectively remove excess free radicals in the human body and has the ability to delay aging. and enhance immunity;

(4) Tea polyphenols, which are extracted from tea leaves, can inhibit the peroxidation of skin lipids, scavenge free radicals, and can enter human cells to clear or reduce secondary pigmentation, chloasma, age spots, wrinkles, etc. The role of skin aging;

(5) Flavonoids in Ginkgo biloba extract

Such substances also have anti-aging and promote the role of human microcirculation;

(6) Salvia miltiorrhiza extract has a good promoting effect on collagen proliferation, can enhance the metabolism of the dermis of the skin, and has antioxidant properties, which can be used in revitalizing anti-wrinkle cosmetics.



3 Anti-acne category

Acne, commonly known as acne, acne, wine thorn, etc., is the most common skin disease on the face of teenagers. It is a chronic inflammation of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Generally, most of them recover naturally after the age of 25 to 30. It is caused by the blockage of sebaceous gland ducts and pores caused by various reasons, resulting in poor sebum outflow. There are three reasons for clogged pores:

(1) The skin itself is oily, and this kind of person secretes oil vigorously, which is easy to block the pores;

(2) The secretion of male hormones in puberty increases, which promotes the increase of sebum secretion, hyperkeratosis of hair follicles and sebaceous gland ducts, and the shedding of cuticle cells accumulates in the infundibulum of hair follicles. .

(3) There are some parasitic bacteria in the human skin, which generally do not cause disease. When the skin sebum increases, these bacteria will release lipase to decompose the sebum into fatty acids. These acidic products will cause hair follicle inflammation and cause acne.

At present, the main mechanism of anti-acne traditional Chinese medicine cosmetics is to dissolve sebum, accelerate sebum excretion, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-androgen activity. Among the commonly used Chinese medicines are the following:

(1) The extracts of wormwood and artemisia annua have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities and can be used for anti-acne treatment;

(2) Shikonin contained in Lithospermum has a promoting effect on the proliferation of granulation tissue, can significantly accelerate the healing of wounds, and has a good curative effect on acne;

(3) Scutellaria baicalensis extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, and has a broad antibacterial spectrum. Cosmetics made from its extract have a good effect on treating inflammatory skin diseases. Benzoic acid can prevent keratinocytes from adhering to each other, making closed comedones into open comedones, and is more effective for mixed-infected comedones;

(4) Tanshinone in Salvia miltiorrhiza has anti-androgenic activity, is highly sensitive to Bacillus acnes, and can be anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory, suitable for various acne;

(5) Atractylodes Rhizoma extract has obvious inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and it is used in acne dew, especially for the treatment of infectious acne;

(6) Burnet extract has strong antibacterial effect, especially has obvious inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and has the effect of antibacterial and anti-acne.

4 Moisturizers

Healthy skin has a lot to do with its own moisturizing properties. The function of the skin moisturizing system is to maintain a certain water content of the skin. Under normal circumstances, when the water content of the stratum corneum is 10% to 20%, the skin is tight and elastic, which is the most ideal state; when the water content is below 10% , the skin is dry and rough; if the moisture is less, cracks will occur. Therefore, when the skin's own moisturizing system cannot keep the skin's normal moisture, it is necessary to use moisturizing cosmetics to keep the skin in an ideal state. It is generally believed that there are three main mechanisms of action of moisturizing cosmetics:

(1) Cosmetics form a closed oil film protective layer on the skin surface, thereby reducing the evaporation of water, thereby achieving the purpose of moisturizing;

(2) The moisturizing agent added in cosmetics can absorb moisture in the air to moisturise the skin;

(3) Supplement lipid components, provide nutrition to skin keratinocytes, and repair their barrier function.

At present, the main ingredients of Chinese herbal medicine added in moisturizing cosmetics are as follows:

(1) Bletilla striata is rich in Bletilla striata gum, the main component of which is Bletilla striata polysaccharide, which can effectively prevent skin frostbite and chapped, and has the effects of promoting blood circulation and improving skin nutritional status. Improve the effect of chapped skin and frostbite;

(2) Bamboo ru is the outer epidermis of bamboo, which is a commonly used traditional Chinese medicine in clinic. The bamboo essence EZR2005 extracted from it has significant moisturizing properties, and the effect is slightly inferior to that of hyaluronic acid;

(3) Aloe vera polysaccharide in aloe vera extract has good moisturizing effect;

(4) In addition, β-glucan, Ophiopogon japonicus polysaccharide and Lycium barbarum polysaccharide in oat extract have good moisturizing effect, and can be directly added to moisturizing cream formula as moisturizing agent to increase its moisturizing effect.

5 sunscreens

The so-called ultraviolet rays refer to rays with a wavelength of 200-400 nm, which are the shortest wavelengths of sunlight. UV rays can be divided into three segments:

(1) 200-280 nm is the UVC segment, also known as the sterilization segment, which can only reach the stratum corneum of the skin, most of which are blocked by the atmosphere and will not cause harm to human skin;

(2) 290-320 nm is the UVB band, and the projection ability can reach the epidermis, also known as the sunburn segment, which can cause erythema and is the main band for sun protection;

(3) 320-400 nm is the UVA segment, also known as the tanning segment. The projection ability can reach the dermis, but it will not tan. Its effect on human skin is relatively slow and accumulated, which will lead to skin aging, DNA damage, etc. even skin cancer.

Sunscreen cosmetics can effectively protect the human body from ultraviolet rays, and their market prospects are broad, and they have attracted widespread attention, especially natural sunscreen ingredients derived from Chinese herbal medicines. Its main mechanism of action in cosmetics is to absorb and shield UV rays. The Chinese herbal medicines currently used in sunscreen cosmetics in my country mainly include the following:

(1) Rutin in Sophora japonica has dilated capillaries, anti-lipid peroxidation and strong ultraviolet light absorption properties, and can be used as an excellent natural sunscreen whitening agent;

(2) The aloin contained in aloe vera can strongly absorb ultraviolet rays, and has the effect of moisturizing and conditioning the skin. If it is used with silicone oil, the sunscreen effect is better;

(3) Scutellaria baicalensis contains a wide range of bioactive components baicalin and baicalein. Baicalin can absorb ultraviolet rays, inhibit melanin, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and antioxidant, and is a good scavenger for the skin. The content in sunscreen lotion reaches 0.8g/mL, and the sun protection index can reach SPF35;

(4) The chlorogenic acid and flavonoids contained in the honeysuckle have the effect of absorbing ultraviolet rays, and can be prepared into sunscreen lotion and sunscreen water;

(5) The flavonoids contained in Angelica sinensis have the effect of absorbing ultraviolet rays, and the extract can be made into sunscreen;

(6) The licorice flavonoids and triterpenoids contained in licorice have a strong absorption effect on ultraviolet light, and are the most widely used plant sunscreens. Compared with synthetic sunscreens, their extracts do not need to be added as sunscreens. Oxygen, does not irritate the skin, strong absorption capacity;

(7) The tangerine peel is the peel of the Rutaceae plant orange, which contains ketone compounds such as volatile oil and orange peel.

At present, the research of Chinese herbal medicine cosmetics is a hot topic all over the world. China is a vast country with abundant resources and abundant plant resources. At present, there is an urgent need to solve the problems such as the extraction process of Chinese herbal medicine additives needs to be optimized, the standard specification of Chinese herbal medicine cosmetics industry is not strict, and the product quality is unstable. It is believed that with the gradual solution of these problems, TCM cosmetics market will be a great prospect.

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