Vanilla planifolia fruit extract

Vanilla planifolia fruit extract is a natural ingredient used in skin care primarily for its antioxidant benefits. The vanilla plant’s seed, commonly referred to as vanilla bean, is a source of catechins (also known as polyphenols), which have antioxidant activity and serve as skin-soothing agents.

This edible ingredient is also used as a flavouring agent in many foods, and is also sometimes added to lip balms, glosses, and lipsticks to create a pleasant taste.

The aromatic component of vanilla is known as vanillin, and it’s a significant source of antioxidant compounds that help stop the oxidation of proteins and lipids in skin. Despite vanilla’s unique, familiar scent, it’s one of the few such plants considered non-sensitising, with the extract form being very mild, the oil form being stronger yet still well tolerated, even on skin prone to eczema.

A safety assessment of different types of vanilla by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review board revealed that while Vanilla planifolia was non-irritating and non-sensitising, another form known as Vanilla tahitensis triggered irritation and sensitisation when tested on human skin at a relatively low level (0.8%). Therefore, it’s important to avoid this form of vanilla in skin care.

References for this information:

Scientific Reports, March 2019, ePublication
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, December 2016, ePublication
Molecules, November 2014, pages 17,943–17,956
Journal of Separation Science, January 2007, pages 15-20

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