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Commercial plant extracts may act as antioxidants or pro-oxidants in cosmetic emulsions based on argan oil

Journal of Cosmetic Science | Vol. 68 No. 2
Authored by Paulina Malinowska , Anna Gliszczy\ńska-Świg\ło , Henryk Szymusiak


Cosmetic emulsions containing plant extracts should be tested in a range of temperatures from 5°C to 40°C to be sure that they will be stable during general use by consumers and that plant extracts used as antioxidants do not accelerate oxidative degradation of their oil base. The oxidative stability of argan oil-in-water emulsions containing 1% and 5% commercial acerola, willow, and rose extracts [or 0.01% butylhydroxytoluene (BHT)], stored at 5°C and 20°C for 6 months and at 40°C for 4 weeks, was monitored by the determination of peroxide content. The antioxidant or pro-oxidant activities of extracts or BHT in emulsions were expressed as the protection factor (PF) and inhibition of peroxide formation (Ip). At the end of storage, 5% willow, 0.01% BHT, 1% willow, and 5% acerola were the most protective for emulsions stored at 5°C. At 20°C, the most effective was 0.01% BHT, 5% rose, and 5% acerola. At 40°C, inhibition of peroxide formation calculated for 1% rose, 5% acerola, and 0.01 % BHT was similar. Altogether, the results show that some plant extracts, depending on storage conditions, may act as pro-oxidants, whereas the others can be applied as natural antioxidants instead of synthetic BHT.

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