Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract: What Is It, Skin Benefits & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: November 6, 2023
Table of Contents

Navigating the world of cosmetics can often feel like deciphering an intricate tapestry of scientific lexicons and botanical nomenclature.

One such ingredient that may have caught your perceptive eye on the back of a serum bottle or within the fine print of an eye cream jar is Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract.

In this article, we will peel back the layers of Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, decoding its place in the pantheon of cosmetic ingredients; we’ll explore the unique properties that make it a cherished component by formulators and a beloved secret by those who swear by its benefits.

What is Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract?

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, often found gracing ingredient lists under its layman’s moniker, Cornflower Extract, is a botanical additive extracted from the vibrant blue petals of the Centaurea cyanus plant.

In cosmetics, this extract is used for its dual role: acting as a gentle astringent and as a skin conditioner.

When we talk about astringents, we’re referring to substances that can tighten and tone the skin, which can be particularly beneficial for refining the appearance of pores. Conversely, as a skin conditioner, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract maintains the skin’s look and feel, imparting a smoothness and a subtle enhancement of the skin’s surface.

The general purpose of Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract within products is to leverage these two principal functions. It operates by providing a temporary tightening effect on the skin while simultaneously offering surface conditioning benefits. The concentrations of this extract in formulations can vary widely, depending on the product’s intended use and desired potency, though it’s commonly deployed in the 0.1%-5% range.

This extract is commonly found as part of a broader formulation in skincare concoctions, ranging from toners to creams, where it works synergistically with other ingredients rather than being available as a stand-alone ingredient.

Who Can Use Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract?

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract is well-suited for all skin types. It’s ideal for people with combination to oily skin because of its astringent qualities that don’t strip the skin of moisture. Those with normal to dry skin can also benefit from its hydrating and softening effects.

This extract is plant-based, making it a good option for vegans and vegetarians, but it’s important to check the other ingredients in the product to ensure they align with these dietary choices.

Finally, pregnant or breastfeeding women typically can use Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract safely, however, research on this exact topic is somewhat limited, which is why we always recommend you consult a healthcare provider before adding this ingredient to your skincare routine, just to be safe.

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract Skin Benefits

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract bestows a bouquet of benefits upon the skin, with each benefit rooted in its inherent functions as an astringent and skin conditioner:

  • Tightening of Pores: The astringent quality of the extract means it can cause a temporary contraction of skin cells and tissues. This effect is particularly beneficial for those with enlarged pores, as it helps to reduce their appearance, leading to a smoother skin texture. The tightening sensation is due to the tannins present in the extract, which, when applied topically, work to “draw together” skin cells.
  • Enhanced Skin Texture: As a skin conditioner, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract imparts a softness to the skin by providing a layer of moisture that helps to keep the skin’s surface flexible and elastic. This conditioning action is partly due to the presence of flavonoids, known for their ability to maintain the skin’s moisture levels and improve the overall texture.
  • Soothing Effect: The extract is known for its soothing properties, likely attributed to the anti-inflammatory compounds found within the flower. This can be particularly calming for skin that is irritated or inflamed, making it a choice ingredient in products aimed at soothing sensitive skin.
  • Antioxidant Benefits: While not its primary function per the official CosIng description, the compounds in Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract may also have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by environmental aggressors like pollution and UV radiation.

It’s important to acknowledge that while Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract can offer these delightful benefits, they are not permanent, and maintaining them requires consistent application.

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract Potential Side Effects

Side effects and reactions to Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, as with any cosmetic ingredient, can be as individual as the person using it. The variability in reactions stems from factors such as genetic skin type, existing skin conditions, allergies, and even environmental factors. Understanding your skin type is an important factor in predicting how your skin might react to new ingredients.

When it comes to Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, the list of potential side effects is relatively short, but it’s important to be aware of them:

  • Allergic Reactions: As with many botanical ingredients, there’s a possibility of an allergic reaction, which could manifest as redness, itching, or swelling.
  • Contact Dermatitis: Some individuals may experience contact dermatitis, a type of eczema that occurs in response to contact with an irritant or allergen, resulting in inflamed skin.
  • Sensitivity to Sunlight: There is a potential, though minimal, for increased sensitivity to sunlight, as some compounds in plant extracts can react to UV exposure.

If you experience any of these side effects while using a product with Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract, it’s recommended to discontinue use immediately and consult with a dermatologist, especially if the reaction is severe. In many cases, simply ceasing to use the product can alleviate the symptoms.

While adverse reactions to Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract are rare, it’s recognized as safe and effective for most users. The extract has a longstanding history in skincare formulations and is generally tolerated by all skin types. Before using a product containing this ingredient, we recommend you conduct a patch test.

Comedogenic Rating

Assigning a comedogenic rating to Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract would place it towards the lower end of the scale, around 0-1/5.

The extract itself is not known to clog pores, which is what a comedogenic substance would do. In fact, due to its astringent properties, it may actually help to reduce the appearance of pores and potentially prevent the clogging that leads to acne.

This is good news for those with a propensity for breakouts, as Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract can typically be incorporated into an acne-prone skincare regimen without worry of exacerbating such conditions.


Navigating the skincare world requires a willingness to explore and find what works best for your unique needs. Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract is valued for its soothing and skin-refining properties and might be a beneficial addition for those looking to enhance their skincare routine.

This ingredient, while not as well-known as some skincare staples, offers astringent and conditioning benefits that make it a worthwhile consideration, particularly for people seeking mild and non-irritating skin improvements. It’s commonly found in products formulated to calm and improve skin texture, sharing similar properties with ingredients like chamomile and cucumber extracts.

Patience is critical when incorporating Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract into your regimen; results are not immediate and can typically be seen over a period of several weeks with consistent use.

For those hesitant about trying this extract, it’s supported by a favorable safety profile and is generally well-regarded for its efficacy in skincare. However, always remember that every skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s all about finding the right balance and products that align with your skin’s needs.

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