Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Extract: Marshmallow and mallow extract
What is marshmallow extract? It's the extract from the marshmallow root that contains a ton of polysaccharides and offers mucilaginous properties to our products. Its INCI is Althea officinalis leaf/root extract.
What the heck does it mean that's mucilaginous? From Wikipedia: "Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants and some microorganisms." This mucilage is what makes marshmallow extract so slippery and makes marshamallows so gooey and lovely. It's a demulcent or "A demulcent is an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane", which is why it's been used as a cough supressant.
So why do we use it in our skin care products? Because of those lovely mucous-y properties. It feels slippery and forms a film, two things we really like in our products.
What is mallow extract? It comes from the Malva sylvestris plant, and the INCI Malva sylvestris flower/leaf/stem extract. The one I have from Brambleberry is oil soluble. It offers anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, it film forms on your skin, and it offers a slippery feeling along with an emollient if you get it in oil soluble form.
I have both of these ingredients and they offer very similar properties. The one I have from the Formulator Sample Shop is marshmallow extract is marshmallow extract (Althea officinalis) and it's water soluble. The suggested usage is at up to 10%, and I tend to put it into the cool down phase as I'm not quite sure about the temperatures it can handle. It has many of the same properties as liquorice extract, so you can substitute them back and forth, being careful about liquorice's skin whitening properties when you decide how much to use.
The oil soluble mallow extract (Malva sylvestris flower/leaf/steam) I bought from Brambleberry. It has a suggested usage rate of 0.5% to 7%, and it's lip safe up to 3%.
anhydrous eye gel with cera bellina as it gave it an almost watery slippery in an oil based product. I used it in this surfactant based facial scrub, but you could use the water soluble version here, too. And try it as one of the oils in a whipped butter!
I like the slippery, almost gel like feeling, of the water soluble marshmallow extract and I've been using it at up to 10% in my body washes, like this one, to get the moisturizing and slippery properties without adding oils. It's a great addition for moisturizing without oils, so normal to oily skin types will love using this in a toner or facial cleanser or other place we want to feel that almost oily film on our skin without actually adding oils.
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at another ingredient!