The plant is very popular throughout Latin America, particularly Uruguay, Argentina and Paruguay, where it is drunk as a tea because of its caffeine-like qualities. However, its anti-oxidant rich qualities mean it is also an ideal ingredient for skin care and hair care products, underlined by research carried out at the University of Illinois that found the plant to be rich in phenolic constituents, which can fight cancers. Protects agains free radicals In skin care products and, to a lesser extent, hair care products, these phenolic constituents can translate into anti-aging and anti-inflammatory qualities because they protect against the free radical damage that can contribute to cell degradation. The Whole Food Market hair and skin care lines incorporating Yerba Maté are called Save Your Hair, which includes a shampoo and conditioner, and Save Your Skin, which includes exfoliating soaps, shower gels and body lotion, all of which are part of the company's Save Your World concept and brand. Although the growing trend for natural and organic based ingredients has led to a string of unusual ingredients being used in personal care products, Yerba Maté has not yet featured in any major national or international launches of any note. The tea makes its mark Currently there is a Yerba Maté Tea Toner on the market, made by Kiehl, which also contains peppermint and Ivy Stem, but other personal care companies have largely ignored it. Both of the Whole Foods Market lines are said to be handcrafted, paraben-free, and pH-balanced, and are rich in vitamins, including A, C, E, B1, B2, B complex, carotene, riboflavin, panothenic acid, biotin and Vitamin C complex, together with 15 amino acids. As well as the Yerba Maté, both lines also contain Aloe Vera, which is primarily used in skin care products to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation associated with allergies and fatigue. Save Your World The Save Your World brand body lotion was launched nationwide by Whole Food Markets last month, having received the company's Standard Seal of Approval, while the Save Your Skin and Save Your Hair lines are initially being launched in the company's Rocky Mountain Region Stores. The company claims that the Save Your World line is helping preserve 200,000 acres of Guyana rainforest from logging and further destructive development through contributions made from the sale of each product that is bought in the range. Those contributions go towards paying for the annual lease fees required to maintain the agreement with the Guyana Forestry Commission.