The rise and rise of vegetable and herb extracts

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit

First it was super fruits, then almost any fruit extract, now the cosmetics market is embracing herb and vegetable extracts, according to Mintel’s Nica Lewis.

In recent years the number of cosmetic products containing fruit extracts, particularly in the skin care category, has exploded off the back of huge interest in natural- and organic-based formulations.

Those launches concentrated on the super fruits, with extracts such as blueberry, açai, pomegranate and cranberry – all renowned for their powerful antioxidant and free radical fighting properties – proving to be amongst the most popular.

However, as Lewis pointed out at a presentation entitled Beauty Garden – What’s Rot and What’s Not, given at last week’s in-cosmetics show in Paris – consumers are gradually coming round to the idea of cosmetics containing herb and vegetable extracts.

Carrot, cress or superfruit?

Although carrot or cress do not have quite the same connotations as an exotic super fruit, consumers are slowly being won over to the fact that many naturally-derived herb and vegetable extracts have equally potent beautifying properties.

“One company that has been particularly successful at marketing cosmetic products containing vegetable extracts is French skin care maker Vegetable Garden,”​ said Lewis.

The upscale skin care range is targeted at the nutricosmetics category, underlining the crossover with food-based ingredients in a simple yet stylish way that incorporates extracts such as rosemary, potato, pumpkin and thyme into the formulations.

The wide range of vegetable extracts contained in Vegetable Garden's products underlines the way in which the market it opening up. If fruit exctracts can be used, then why not vegetables and herbs, even though they are more commonly associated with the dinner table?

Green vegetables lead the way

“In particular it is green vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli and asparagus that are increasingly turning up in new cosmetic product launches,”​ Lewis stated during her presentation.

Referring to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), Lewis also pointed to the popularity of green pea extract, citing several new launches on the market in recent months.

Included amongst the launches incorporating green pea extract are Beauté ​de Maman Stretch mark cream, Oriflame’s Time Reversing Cream and Caudelie Vinexpert Radiance Day Cream – the latter of which contains a Pisum Sativum pea extract.

Betacarotene hits the spot

Likewise, orange and red vegetable extracts are also increasingly being incorporated into new product formulations, mainly because they are high in betacarotene, therefore is a rich source of essential antioxidant properties.

Underlining this is the Yes To Carrots range, which has also recently launched separate lines for tomatoes and cucumber, while the Ella Baché​ skin care range uses organic tomato extract.

Ultimately Lewis believes that the strong antioxidant claims associated with vegetable and herb extracts will ensure even greater popularity with consumers in the future, particulary as they become increasingly comfortable with the idea.

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