Takeaways from paper on natural antioxidant research compellation

A research team out of South Korea, Hoang et al, published a synthesis in Cosmetics​ of existing research into plant-based antioxidants to determine what the personal care industry does and does not know about the ingredients and their topical application.

While the use of antioxidants in cosmetics is fairly ubiquitous, Hoang et al said recent research has called into question the safety of synthetic antioxidants, which needs more investigation.

At the same time, consumer interest in non-synthetic, sustainable and biodegradable products leads to plant-extract based antioxidants, and opens an avenue for use of upcycled ingredients, largely from food production waste.

“The use of plant extracts in skincare products is demanded by consumers, who are becoming increasingly concerned with purchasing ecofriendly products,”​ Hoang et al said. “However, consumers, are frequently unaware that natural products are complex mixtures of many chemical compounds that can cause adverse reactions.”

To solve that issue and make plant extract antioxidants more usable, Hoang et al said chemists should chemically characterize the composition of their extracts.

Below are three takeaways from Hoang et al’s findings.

There are a number of viable plant sources of antioxidants

Hoang et al listed dozens of sources of plant-based antioxidants, antioxidant minerals and vitamins, some of which are already being topically tested or used. Many of the extracts offer antioxidant properties like ROS neutralization, photoprotective effects, anti-inflammation and lipid stabilization, along with others.

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