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Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract: What Is It, Cosmetic Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

This article was last updated on: July 9, 2024

Understanding cosmetics can be confusing, especially with the many scientific names listed on product labels. One ingredient that’s sometimes found within cosmetic products is Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract. In this article, we’ll be looking in-depth into this ingredient and why it’s used within cosmetic products.

What is Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract?

In a cosmetic context, Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is an ingredient derived from the bark of the Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides tree, which belongs to the Rutaceae family. You might also hear it referred to as African Pepper Bark or Fagara. This extract is primarily used for its skin conditioning properties.

The extract is typically made by harvesting the bark of the Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides tree, which is then dried and processed to extract its beneficial compounds. In skincare products, its main purpose is to condition the skin, helping to improve its texture and overall appearance. It works by providing essential nutrients and antioxidants that support skin health, making it a popular choice in various cosmetic formulations.

Who Can Use Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract?

Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, oily, dry, and combination skin. Its gentle nature makes it a versatile ingredient that can benefit a wide range of skin concerns.

This ingredient is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Since it is derived from the bark of a tree, it does not involve the use of any animal products or by-products, aligning with vegan and vegetarian principles.

As for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is generally considered safe. However, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before using any new skincare products during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, just to be on the safe side.

Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract’s Cosmetic Benefits/Uses

The benefits and uses listed in this section are strictly based on the cosmetic benefits and uses of Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract, as officially defined by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

  • Moisturizing Effect: Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is known for its skin conditioning properties, which include the ability to enhance skin hydration. This occurs because the extract contains bioactive compounds that help to improve the skin’s natural barrier function. By strengthening the barrier, it reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL), thereby maintaining optimal moisture levels in the skin.
  • Soothing Properties: The extract has anti-inflammatory components that help to soothe irritated skin. These components work by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are responsible for skin irritation and redness. As a result, the skin feels calmer and more comfortable.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals can damage skin cells, leading to premature aging and dullness. The antioxidants in the extract neutralize these free radicals, thereby preserving the skin’s youthful appearance and vitality.
  • Improvement in Skin Texture: Regular use of products containing this extract can lead to smoother and more refined skin texture. The bioactive compounds in the extract promote cell turnover and collagen production, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture.
  • Enhanced Skin Elasticity: The extract supports the skin’s structural integrity by promoting the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibers. This leads to improved skin elasticity and firmness, making the skin appear more youthful and resilient.

Potential Side Effects/Adverse Reactions

Side effects and reactions to the topical application of Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract can vary from person to person.

  • Skin Irritation: Some individuals may experience redness, itching, or a burning sensation.
  • Allergic Reactions: Symptoms may include swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing.
  • Dryness: The extract may cause excessive dryness or flakiness in some users.
  • Rash: A rash may develop in sensitive individuals.

If you experience any of these side effects while using Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract or a product containing it, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Adverse reactions to Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract are generally rare, but they can occur, especially in individuals with sensitive skin or allergies.

Patch testing is crucial when using cosmetic products to ensure that you do not have an adverse reaction to any of the ingredients. Apply a small amount of the product to a discreet area of skin and wait 24-48 hours to check for any signs of irritation or allergic reaction.

Comedogenic Rating

Comedogenicity refers to the potential of a cosmetic ingredient to cause comedones, which are skin-colored, small bumps frequently found on the forehead and chin of those with acne. Comedogenic ingredients can clog pores, leading to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne breakouts.

Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract has a comedogenic rating of 1. This low rating indicates that it is unlikely to clog pores or cause acne. The extract is primarily used for its skin conditioning properties and does not contain heavy oils or waxes that are typically associated with higher comedogenic ratings.

Given its low comedogenic rating, Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is suitable for individuals who are prone to acne or breakouts.

Conclusion

Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is primarily used for its skin conditioning properties. It helps to soothe and improve the overall texture of the skin.

While Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is not widely known or used in mainstream cosmetic formulations, it shares similarities with other botanical extracts that offer skin conditioning benefits. Its unique properties make it a valuable ingredient in niche skincare products.

Overall, Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Bark Extract is considered safe to use. Its low comedogenic rating and skin conditioning benefits make it a suitable choice for a variety of skin types, including those prone to acne and breakouts.

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