Best phytochmicals for skin Part 3 - ORLI

Top phytochemicals for skin. Part 3.

Posted on January 23, 2018 by ORLI

plant extracts for skin orli natural and organic skincare and beauty australia


Plant chemicals are essential for plants and offer a wealth of health and beauty benefits to humans. We explained what they are in Part 1 and how they help with slowing down the ageing process in Part 2.

Here, Part 3 touches on a few of our (many) favourite plant extracts for skincare: 

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) 

Aloe vera is composed of mucopolysacharieds, water, enzymes, calcium ,aluminium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, sodium amino acids and carbohydrates. It is hydrating, soothings and heals cuts, grazes,  burns and insect bites.

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) 

Gotu Kola is a rich source of Vitamin C which stimulates collagen production and is a strong antioxidant. This herb has been used traditionally for wound healing. Studies have shown that it increases cell production and collagen synthesis. It also strengthens the cell matrix and has anti-inflammatory properties

Tea extract (Camellia Sinensis)

Camellia Sinensis is the genus of plants that produce black, white and green tea. They contain vitamins, essential oils, polyphenols, caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and potassium. Oral and topical use of tea extracts have been proven to have positive effects on skin and health.

Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil's Vitamin A content makes it a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radical damage to the skin. It also contains omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids as well as Vitamin C. It's has a good ratio of linoleic to oleic acid making it suitable for acne prone skin. Rosehip seed oil is an excellent emollient and skin conditioner. 


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Billberry extract

From the berry family, it has a high content of Vitamin C and anthocyanosides. These plant pigments are high in antioxidant properties. The tannins in bilberry are anti-inflammatory and soothing to the skin.

Calendula extract

Calendula is harvested from the marigold flower. It contains triterpenes, flavanoids, hydroxycoumarins and carotenoids. These compounds have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.


Charcoal is highly absorbent. This makes it useful in face masks for drawing out toxins from the skin.  

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a derivative of citrus fruits which is used in food and personal care products as a natural preservatives. It is also an alpha hydroxy acid that helps slough off dead skin cells.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a nutrient rich emollient which help hydrate and soothe irritated skin. It is also a natural surfactant and is useful in natural SLS free cleansers.


A versatile ingredient that has powerful antibacterial and emollient properties. It's rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. 

Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis)

Jojoba oil is a wax ester as opposed to an oil, very much like the sebum in our skin. The molecular structure of jojoba is almost identical to the human sebum. This enables it to penetrate into the deeper layers of our skin. Jojoba contains essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins. 

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. It is also a strong antioxidant and is a potent skin moisturiser. This makes it a favourite ingredient in skincare and soaps. 


Panthenol; a derivative of Vitamin B5  is a chiral molecule (molecules that contain two different sides that are mirror images of each other similar to your left and right hands). Its structure enables it to attract moisture from the atmosphere. This humectant characteristic helps prevent dehydration and water loss from skin and hair. 

Pomegranate oil

Pomegranate oil is rich in polyphenols and anthocyanidins which are powerful antioxidants. Pomegranate oil contains catechins that protect human keratinocytes in the skin against UV oxidative stress. 

Shea Butter

Apart from it's superior ability to moisturise and soften very dry skin, Shea butter has a high content of antioxidants such as Vitamin A and E. 

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) 

Vitamin E is a group of 8 compounds called tocopherols. Tocopherols are lipid soluble antioxidants. High amounts of tocopherol are available in vegetables, vegetable oils like wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and seeds, corn and soy. Vitamin E helps against collagen loss and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin.

Vitamin E is such a powerful antioxidant that it's widely used in skincare products as a natural preservative. It is also useful to ward of free radical damage and long term use helps reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes. 

Vitamin C

Also named L-Ascorbic acid is a water soluble antioxidant that's not synthesised by the human body and therefore adequate dietary intake or topical application of Vitamin C is essential for skin and health.

The richest natural sources are fresh fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, blackcurrants, chili pepper or parsley. Apart from collagen synthesis and it's free radical scavenging abilities, Vitamin C is also used in cosmetics to lighten the appearance of blemishes and scars (dyspigmentation).

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Witch Hazel extract

It's one of the best natural astringents for skin. The tannins and polyphenols in witch hazel helps remove excess oil from the skin and eradicate bacteria within the pores. 

Glycerin (Plant based) 

Glycerin is a natural humectant which draws moisture from the air to the skin. It is soothing, softening and moisturising.

Xantham gum

Its a natural sugar used to stabilise, bind and thicken ingredients in skincare.


Contains polyphenols such as Chlorogenic acid, Proanthocyanidins, Quinic acid and Ferulic acid that are powerful antioxidants. Coffee also elevates collagen production through its free radical scavenging properties.

Burdock Root (Arctium Lappa)

Artcium lappa is anti-imflammatory and stimulates the connective tissue metabolism by collagen and hyaluronan synthesis which helps regenerate the dermal structure.

Panax Ginseng

The root of panax ginseng helps regenerate and promote skin health by inducing  the synthesis for type 1 collagen.

Pineapple extract

Pineapples contain 18 known phenolic compounds that may be attributed to the anti-browning effect of pineapple juice. This makes it useful for skin whitening applications in cosmetics. It also contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids that are responsible for removing dead skin cells.

Raspberry seed oil

Contains linolenic acid and phytosterols. The high content of linolenic acid as opposed to oleic acid makes it suitable for acne prone skin. It also contains ellagic acid which is an antioxidant that reduces the destruction of collagen and inflammatory responses. The phytoseterol content reduces water loss, making it a good emollient and protects against UV radiation.


Coenzyme Q10 (Q10), also known as ubiquinone, is an important coenzyme that is present in all human cells that diminishes with age. Studies have shown that topical application of CoQ10 can penetrate the skin, is metabolically transformed, exerts antioxidant effects, and can support the maintenance of cellular energy levels. 

We are just beginning to touch on the amazing properties of plant extracts. With now greater understanding of the the ageing process, there is increased scientific focus on plants to work out how phytochemicals help regenerate, soften, soothe, hydrate and heal skin. A diet rich in plant chemicals combined with using the correct formulations of plant extracts might just be the key to healthy, happy cells. 

Shop Orli's range of super nourishing, plant based natural skincare.