The skin is the largest organ in the body, providing essential internal protection from the hostile outside environment. Through perspiration, it keeps you cool in the heat and eliminates internal toxins. In the cold it helps you stay warm with its insulating layer and hair growth. It keeps out dirt and harmful infection from viruses and bacteria. It is puncture resistant and has the remarkable ability to fix itself when it is wounded. From homeostasis and excretion to immunity, your skin has literally got you covered.
The skin is also beautiful to us, a source of attraction and desirability around which our culture has a big obsession. The $160 Billion worldwide cosmetics and personal care industry is a testament to how important the beauty of the skin is to human beings. Most cosmetics products are designed to augment the beauty of the skin from the outside, by application of moisturizers and creams, and adornment of color, texture and fragrance.
But truly beautiful skin is a result of healthy skin, skin that is cared for not only on the surface, but from within, with proper care of the health of the whole body. Skin wrinkles and sags as the body ages due to a combination of factors, including stress, poor nutrition, excess alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and exposure to cigarette smoke, sunlight, and pollution. Ultimately, a beauty system that treats the skin from both the inside, through supplementation, and from the outside, through topical application, is the best for the beauty and longevity of the skin. This is a concept known in the industry as the “Inside and Out” approach to skin care.
Functional skin care products with this idea in mind are currently being developed by some of the largest cosmetics companies in the world. Just as Nutraceuticals are foods with functional ingredients, the idea that cosmetics can be functional as well has spawned a cosmeceutical industry that is already a $4.1 Billion US market (HAPPI). In fact, cosmeceuticals now account for 17 percent of body care retail sales in the United States (Nutrition Business Journal). The natural personal care market is also the fastest growing segment in the cosmetics industry with over 10% annual growth. Now is an opportune time for manufacturers of skin care products and dietary supplements alike to have success with new products that ride the crest of the wave.
It is well known in the cosmeceuticals world that herbs can be key ingredients in functional skin care products. This is both good news and bad news. It is good news because there is growing recognition among consumers that herbs can be very powerful allies in creating and maintaining healthy skin. Popular antioxidant herbs like Green or White Tea, for example, quench damaging free radicals in the skin caused by pollution or UV radiation. The bad news is that many body care companies “dust” their products with botanicals in insignificant sub-therapeutic amounts for purposes of fragrance, label promotion, or cost savings. In the long run, this practice can erode consumer confidence in herbs as powerful therapeutic agents for skin care. The bottom line is, if the product doesn’t work, repeat purchases are unlikely. Luckily, there is still a lot of room for innovation and a lot of potential for truly functional herbal cosmeceutical products.
Until recently though, there have been few suppliers that offered botanical ingredients specifically for cosmeceuticals products that could really perform and stay within the color and odor constraints of product specifications.
For over a decade, ANC has been committed to bringing dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers the highest quality Full Spectrum herbal extract ingredients available. Our philosophy has always been that what you put in your encapsulated or liquid product should be therapeutically efficacious and provide the consumer with real benefits. To accomplish this, we oversee the minute details of every aspect of production from the seed in the ground to the final extract until we are sure that we can offer you herbal ingredients of uncompromisingly high quality and purity.
We are now bringing the same level of commitment to the cosmetics industry. A couple of months ago, we introduced a new line of ingredient products called Vital Treasures™, botanical extracts for cosmetics and personal care applications. As with our core line of products, the Vital Treasures™ line was developed to provide manufacturers with active, therapeutically efficacious botanical ingredients. This time, however, the ingredients have been specially designed to benefit the skin.
ANC Vital Treasures™ botanical extracts can be used successfully in an Inside Out skin care system depending on the herb and the specific nature of the skin care application. Some herbs work better internally. Others are more suitable for trans-dermal delivery. Most can be used via both modalities. You may call us or email us to request a complete information packet on the Vital Treasures™ line of currently over 50 botanical extracts. In addition to the information packet, we have a complete product formulary with many product formulation templates for serious product development enquiries.
Understanding Vital Treasures™
Scientific research as well as a rich well of wisdom and empirical use from Traditional Chinese Medicine has provided us with a wealth of information about how herbs can help the skin. Primarily, they can be used as anti-aging agents for the skin, but they each add to the longevity of the skin in a particular way:
We have organized our thinking about Vital Treasures™ Botanical Ingredients for Cosmetics and Personal Care Applications around the primary applications themselves. We have designated seven main application groups for the botanicals, based on the primary modes of action of botanicals in skin care ingredients, as well as several additional application categories. To see this mapped out by ingredient, please see our product matrices.
The seven main application groups are:
Microcirculation – Several herbs, likeGinkgo or Tribulus, improve circulation to the peripheral blood vessels in the skin.
Metabolic and Cell Physiology – Ginseng, Mulberry and Astragalus are examples of herbs that have been shown to enhance skin cellular metabolism.
Structural Matrix / Skin Tone – Herbs such as Eucommia, Foti, and Gotu Kola help the skin to maintain the collagen “scaffolding” of the skin that gives the skin its supple firmness.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant – Herbs like White Tea or Calendula are powerful free radical scavengers that help to prevent and repair environmental and age related damage to the skin. Many of the antioxidant herbs are also anti-inflammatory, reducing the redness and swelling of sunburn, for instance.
Immunity – Astragalus, Ligustrum, Green Tea, and Milk Thistle are examples of herbs that ease the skin’s burden of protecting the body from invasion by enhancing the immune response of the body.
Skin Lightening and Wound Healing – Licorice, Ligusticum and Polygonum cuspidatum are used for lightening the skin.
Yin / Yang – Some herbs have a warming effect on the metabolism, others have a cooling effect. These properties can positively affect the skin for various intended applications.
Other Application Categories (also in the Product Matrices):
• Varicose Veins / Acne / Rosasea / Bruises
• Anti-microbial / Warts / Infections / Acne
• Dental Health: Teeth & Gums
• Antihistamine / Allergies / Rashes / Redness
• UV Absorption & Protection
• Anti-aging / Skin Cell Renewal
• Surfactant / Cleansing / Emulsifier
• Muscle Relaxant
• Hair Growth
• Topical Pain Relief