How to select the best botanicals for skincare

Mon, 07 Nov 2022


In beauty formulations today, botanicals and other natural ingredients provide sought-after and effective results for the skin. Botanicals in skincare prove a popular choice for people who are looking to achieve healthy-looking skin, a natural-based regime or a simple skincare routine.
Shoppers increasingly value skincare with natural ingredients as well as brands that have a clear ingredient philosophy. As such, we believe botanicals marry nature and transparency to provide appealing and effective formulations for skincare consumers. 
Highlighting the provenance of ingredients and their properties is vital to give consumers clear and comprehensive information on the botanical ingredients contained within a product. Here at Skinfood, we understand the importance of being transparent about the botanicals we select, source and use in our skincare.

What is a botanical extract? 

Botanicals are ingredients that originate from plants, including herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, leaves or seeds. In skincare, a botanical extract is an ingredient that comes from botanical sources. It contains non-volatile molecules derived from plants or other botanicals used in topical formulations.
The botanical extract market has grown exponentially over the past few years, with botanicals representing a fast-growing sector of the cosmetic industry. This growth is driven by consumers interested in natural products and seeking out skincare brands offering innovative beauty items that contain safe botanical extracts.
Some common botanicals are arnica, chamomile, calendula, rosemary and aloe vera. Consumers often like to use them because of their therapeutic benefits. For example, botanical extracts are useful in beauty products because they act as antioxidants and offer other skin/body benefits.

Botanicals in skincare

Botanical ingredients resonate strongly with consumers who seek natural and organic products that are often considered synonymous with being good for the skin and the planet. 
When it comes to botanical ingredients, the possibilities for brands to include them in their products are nearly infinite. Skincare brands can use botanicals to boost the efficacy of other skincare actives and formulate around botanicals with their impressive properties. 
Detailing what botanicals are used, along with their properties and their benefits on the users’ skin, is valued by skincare consumers. Information on why a brand has selected these particular botanicals and how they are sourced is also important.
Many botanical extracts can be used in skincare products to provide anti-inflammatory, soothing, hydrating and antioxidant properties. You can find botanical extracts in almost any skincare product category, including serums and creams, cleansers, toners, facial oils, face masks, eye creams, body lotions, body butters, body oils and lip balms.

What botanicals are good for the skin?

There are many botanical ingredients that can be used for the skin. These botanicals are classified as actives оr functional ingredients.
The botanical active ingredients are very popular in cosmetics because of their benefits for the skin. They can help heal wounds, protect the skin against external harmful factors or restore its normal functioning.
Another group of botanicals is the functional ingredient segment. These ensure the ingredient provides a specific function and can enhance the other botanical actives contained in formulations. 
There are thousands of botanicals that have great benefits for the skin, and overall health and wellbeing. As is the case for most of these botanical ingredients, for them to be “active” ingredients, only a small amount is needed. Less is more. And actually, with some ingredients, if they are used at higher percentages over a long-term period, then they can cause sensitisation and other issues. 
Certain botanical ingredients can be combined to create a complete botanical formula that can help address skincare concerns. 

Why are botanicals good for the skin?

Skinfood’s current range aims to boost skin defences for better long-term skin health and also, to allow customers to feel comfortable and confident in their own, healthier, more robust skin. The fruit extracts we’ve chosen include plum, watermelon seed, passionfruit, papaya, blueberry and apple. All of our fruit extracts contain antioxidants and essential vitamins including A, C, E and more, which aim to offer protection from free-radical damage. 
Other botanicals such as camphor and cedarwood are soothing to irritated skin, aloe is hydrating, and many of the carrier oils such as sunflower and apricot help to improve skin barrier function. 
The essential oils of frankincense and myrrh offer antibacterial, antimicrobial, mood balancing and skin healing properties, and boost the production of collagen and elastin. 
All of these combined botanical ingredients leave our skin radiant, plump, hydrated and balanced, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How do you select the botanicals you use at Skinfood?

We select our botanicals based on the properties we want to incorporate into our products. We use several small UK suppliers with whom we have good working relationships, and therefore, know that the ingredients they supply will be of the highest quality and where possible, organic. 
We aim to be as ethical as possible and source fairtrade and fairwild certified botanicals where we can. We always choose cruelty-free and vegan options that come with the necessary paperwork and certifications.

Botanicals for various skin conditions

Skincare consumers can select products that strive to tackle specific skincare concerns, such as acne, dry or oily skin. Brands can choose certain botanicals depending on the specific skin issue their product is designed to address. 
A number of botanicals have well-documented properties that can soothe various skin issues. Skinfood’s current range focuses on acne-prone skin, as this was the problem Skinfood’s founder Sarah Butler was battling with herself when she launched the company. 
Sarah has also formulated the Fabulous Frankincense Serum and Renewal Cream to reduce the appearance of the signs of aging. All of our current products are suitable for most skin types because we aim to provide people with a more natural skincare alternative that boosts skin health and, therefore, confidence for those with skin that makes them self-conscious.