By Jenny Leazer-Ragolia, Licensed Esthetician; for virgabotanicals.com
At Virga, we are forever fascinated by the magical properties of nature-based ingredients. When creating our collection of holistic beauty and wellness products, we look to a number of disciplines and philosophies, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eastern Medicine, and Western Tradition. However, another crucial aspect of our work is extensive research into the most current plant science.
So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few of our essential ingredients and the exciting science that supports their efficacy in skincare. Here’s what you need to know:
Though we’ve known for centuries that drinking green tea has significant health benefits, a plethora of recent research has begun touting the benefits of Camellia sinensis in topical formulas and cosmetics. Owing to a rich concentration of antioxidants and bioactive compounds – including polyphenols, caffeine, polysaccharides, L-theanine, and others – studies show some notable benefits, including the abilities to provide a photoprotective effect, increase microcirculation, minimize UV damage, accelerate wound healing, and reduce skin inflammation.
Licorice root or Glycyrrhiza glabra has long been used as an herbal remedy for various skin conditions. It is well known for its antimicrobial, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties. In topical formulas, we often see it leveraged as a natural brightener, as it is attributed with inhibiting tyrosinase activity and preventing hyperpigmentation. That said, perhaps the most exciting recent discovery comes to us from a 2022 study which measured its ability to address acne by regulating the metabolic balance of amino acids, lipids, and fat in the skin.
Similar to green tea, plants from the Chamomilla family have been widely used in medicinal remedies, such as tinctures, teas, and aromatherapy. Chamomile is associated with calming and soothing effects and, as such, appears in therapies for anxiety, digestive distress, and even chronic pain. Luckily, for our purposes, these same benefits extend to the skin. In topical formulas, chamomile delivers anti-inflammatory effects for conditions ranging from acne, to eczema, sunburns, and skin irritation, while also supporting the body’s innate healing and repair processes.
When we seek to care for the skin holistically, three important aspects will be combatting free radical activity, minimizing inflammation, and supporting the skin barrier by preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Excitingly, research shows that rose-derived ingredients such as rose petal extract, rose water, and rose oil, are helpful in all three capacities. For example, one study found that rose petal extract was able to suppress UV-induced inflammation, while another demonstrated that it was able to improve barrier recovery following TEWL.
Each year, new discoveries emerge – inspiring new approaches to formulation, application, and ingredient sourcing – and these findings have a profound impact on the products we offer on our platform.
Eschewing fast fads and trends, we prefer to comb through established medical journals, and dig into the details that really matter. Be sure to stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates as we continue on our journey to bring you the very best in modern beauty.
References & Citations:
Practical Uses of Botanicals in Skin Care, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2009 Jan; 2(1): 36–40. By Alison F. Stallings, MDa and Mary P. Lupo, MD, FAAD
Green Tea Polyphenols Provide Photoprotection, Increase Microcirculation, and Modulate Skin Properties of Women, The Journal of Nutrition Volume 141, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 1202-1208 By Heinrich Ulrike, Moore Carolyn E., De Spirt Silke, Tronnier Hagen, Stahl Wilhelm
Efficacy and Safety of Oral Green Tea Preparations in Skin Ailments: A Systematic Review of Clinical Studies, Nutrients. 2022 Aug; 14(15): 3149. Published online 2022 Jul 30. By Antonella Di Sotto, Marco Gullì, Ester Percaccio, Annabella Vitalone, Gabriela Mazzanti, and Silvia Di Giacomo
Explore the Anti-Acne Mechanism of Licorice Flavonoids Based on Metabonomics and Microbiome. Front Pharmacol. 2022; 13: 832088. Published online 2022 Feb 8. By Shi-Fa Ruan, Yi Hu, Wen-Feng Wu, Qun-Qun Du, Zhu-Xian Wang, Ting-Ting Chen, Qun Shen, Li Liu, Cui-Ping Jiang, Hui Li, Yankui Yi, Chun-Yan Shen, Hong-Xia Zhu, and Qiang Liu
Glycerolic Licorice Extracts as Active Cosmeceutical Ingredients: Extraction Optimization, Chemical Characterization, and Biological Activity. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Oct; 8(10): 445. Published online 2019 Oct 1. By Petar Ciganović, Katarzyna Jakimiuk, Michał Tomczyk, and Marijana Zovko Končić
A Comprehensive Study of Therapeutic Applications of Chamomile. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Oct; 15(10): 1284. Published online 2022 Oct 19. By Amit Sah, Punnoth Poonkuzhi Naseef, Mohammed S. Kuruniyan, Gaurav K. Jain, Foziyah Zakir, and Geeta Aggarwal
Skin anti‐inflammatory activity of rose petal extract (Rosa gallica) through reduction of MAPK signaling pathway. Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Nov; 6(8): 2560–2567. Published online 2018 Oct 25. By Myung‐hee Lee, Tae Gyu Nam, Inil Lee, Eun Ju Shin, Ah‐ram Han, Pomjoo Lee, Sung‐Young Lee, and Tae‐Gyu Lim
Enhancement of Keratinocyte Differentiation by Rose Absolute Oil. Ann Dermatol. 2010 Aug; 22(3): 255–261.Published online 2010 Aug 5. By Jin-Hwa Kim, Ph.D., Dae-Kyoung Choi, Ph.D., Sang-Sin Lee, M.D., Sun Ja Choi, Ph.D., Chang Deok Kim, Ph.D.,1 Tae-Jin Yoon, M.D., and Jeung-Hoon Lee, M.D.