Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Marsh cudweed: What's in it?

There's been an ongoing debate about the everlasting flower absolute in the Lush Afterlife moisturizer. It's not helichrysum but this wonderful plant, the marsh cudweed. After quite a bit of research, I found some reasons why this plant might be found in a moisturizer.

It contains caffeic acid, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, a great anti-inflammatory, and it might help protect our skin after sun exposure. We can find it in horsetail, comfrey, honeysuckle, rosemary, and cucumber extracts as well as in coconut oil (which we're including in the duplicate recipe), pumpkin seed oil, and mango butter. So add 0.5% of those extracts or use those oils and you've got yourself some caffeic acid in the product! (And my husband has just found a breakdown of the phenolic components in the marsh cudweed, so I should have more information shortly!)

It contains chlorogenic acid, which is acts as anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory as well as a low-level anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. You can find it in honeysuckle extract.

It contains coumarins, which can behave as an anti-inflammatory that reduces redness and oedema, as well as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. You can find these in liquorice extract.

And it contains tannins, which can make our products feel a little drier, and they can behave as very effective anti-oxidants and have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. They are often used as astringents, and you can tannins in many of our oils and extracts, including witch hazel, grapeseed oil, and green tea extract.

I'm starting to think that this might be part of the preservative system as well as an ingredient that can behave as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. If you want to include this in your Lush Afterlife moisturizer duplicate, I would include 0.5% green tea extract or honeysuckle extract in the cool down phase. You'll get the feeling of a drier lotion from using evening primrose oil, and if you want it to feel drier still, increase that oil and decrease the others (or use BTMS-50 as your emulsifier).

So there are my thoughts on this ingredient!

1 comment:

madpiano said...

the question is, how does cudweed compare to japanese honeysuckle in price and environmental availability? Considering it is a weed, I think it is neat idea that we can make it useful. Japanese Honeysuckle sounds like an ornamental plant, possibly harder to grow and location limited? Cudweed grows pretty much anywhere, so could be had locally, which means one less item to ship across the globe?
By the way, the plant isn't really that ugly? ;-)