Natural antioxidants in cosmetics

Idha Kusumawati, Gunawan Indrayanto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Many cosmetics that are marketed nowadays often contain antioxidants as the active ingredients. It is known that oxidation reactions could produce free radicals, which can start chain reactions that will damage skin cells. Increasing the amount of free radicals could initiate the wrinkling, photoaging, elastosis, drying, and pigmentation of the skin. Topical antioxidants could terminate the chain reactions by removing the free radical intermediates and inhibit other oxidation reactions by being oxidized themselves; this could defend the skin against the environmental stress caused by free radicals. It is well known that plants can produce natural antioxidant compounds that could control the oxidative stress caused by sunlight and oxygen. Many patents and commercial cosmetic products have various combinations of plant extracts. The cosmetic formulations usually contain various combinations of many plant extracts, for example, green tea, rosemary, grape seed, basil grape, blueberry, tomato, acerola seed, pine bark, and milk thistle. These plants extracts contain natural antioxidants, that is, polyphenols, flavonoids, flavanols, stilbens, and terpenes (including carotenoids and essential oils). Some commercial products contain pure natural compounds such as quercetin, kojic acid, and resveratrol in their formulation. The choice of the right active plant extracts or compounds, the confirmation of their activity, and their stability and synergistic effects in cosmetic products are the important factors for the formulation of an effective product.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Natural Products Chemistry
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780444596031
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameStudies in Natural Products Chemistry
ISSN (Print)1572-5995


  • Antioxidant assay
  • Cosmeceutical
  • Cosmetics
  • Free radical
  • Natural antioxidant
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Skin defense mechanism


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