On Fertile Ground

By Imogen Matthews, Consultant to In-Cosmetics | January 5, 2010

Beauty Garden is a new concept by research company Mintel which describes the growing trend for vegetables, fruit and herbs in cosmetics. Imogen Matthews discovers the significance of this trend and provides recent U.S. examples from Mintel's Global New Products Database.

Cosmetics and toiletries industry executives are always on the lookout for new and interesting actives that excite the consumer and meet their beauty needs. The dominant trend for naturals has led to the extensive use of plant-based ingredients in cosmetics, some of which are widely in use in food and beverages as well.

“Mintel has noticed a shift from fruit and floral extracts in beauty launches towards vegetables and herbs,” reports Nica Lewis, head consultant, beauty innovation, Mintel.

The abundance of different plant-based ingredients available to cosmetic companies can, however, be problematic.

“There is a growing awareness of the need to protect the planet and this means managing plants species in a balanced way so we don’t harm the environment or end up eliminating species,” maintains Lewis.

She cites Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership as an important initiative to preserve threatened species. Kew Gardens, based in Surrey, England, is behind this conservation project which focuses on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and aims to conserve seeds outside their native habitat. Its network of more than 500 partners worldwide delivers vital information about the state of plant life and habitats, taking action to save those under threat or at risk.

The Beauty Garden concept is not just about harvesting and processing fresh produce for use in cosmetic formulations, but also about looking at how waste by-products can be used.

“This links into the whole sustainability issue which is about reusing and recycling and not wasting anything,” explains Lewis.

French beauty company Caudalie is a good example; it uses every part of the grapevine in its skin care formulations. These include vine sap to lighten dark spots, vine stalks, which contain the anti-aging molecule resveratrol, grape seeds for their antioxidant polyphenols and moisturizing grape water, extracted after grapes are pressed, but before the liquid is fermented.

In Mintel’s Beauty Garden, Lewis has identified tomatoes, pumpkins, broccoli and sage, which are being harvested for an increasing number of beauty lines.


Lycopene is the natural compound that gives tomatoes their rich red color and has powerful antioxidant properties that have been proven to fight free radical damage as well as preserve healthy skin cells.

Shu Uemura has brought out a new skin care line called Red:Juvenus containing a cocktail of red fruits including pomegranate and tomato (lycopene), which are encapsulated to deliver two times deeper into the skin. Lycopene is used to help reduce the first signs of aging and protect against free radicals.

LiQWd, a professional hair treatment range for colored hair that hails from Santa Barbara, CA, contains tomato ferment extract, a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy cell growth and improves overall cell health. The formulations also contain Nano-Hydraspheres, which are microscopic spheres capable of carrying proprietary blends of hydrating and revitalizing ingredients through the outer hair shaft and into the cortex layer where they control the release of active nutrients.

The company calls these spheres beauty’s new silver bullet.

iQQU is a skin care range developed and formulated by a team of qualified scientists and doctors for people who are unhappy with the products they currently use.Skin Rejuvenator is a light day moisturizer that uses lycopene from tomatoes to help improve the skin’s texture and provide natural SPF.


Pumpkin has been found to have good exfoliating and antioxidant properties and is used in True Cosmetics Active Body Peel, a multi-active, botanical-derived body exfoliator.

Vapour Organic Beauty uses botanicals and harmonized blends of antioxidants found naturally in plant oils and butters. The range includes Stratus Instant Skin Perfector, which contains a certified organic anti-aging complex made of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo seed oil) and papaya, said to firm the skin while providing antioxidant protection.

Broccoli Seed Extract

Broccoli seed oil is a patent-pending, oil-based extract of broccoli sprouts (Brassica oleracea italica). It is one of the vegetable-based ingredients used in the LiQWd range of shampoos and conditioners. Broccoli seed oil is said to create amazing shine and gloss with a combination of fatty acids and is an excellent emollient and moisturizer for dry, damaged and frizzy hair.

Broccoli seed oil is also used in Logona Naturkosmetik’s Bamboo Cream Shampoo, a BDIH-certified organic range formulated only using organically grown herbs and oils. Broccoli seed oil is included to give hair extra shine.


Sage has a large number of cosmetics benefits, including astringent, tonic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-seborrhoeic, cleansing, astringent, deodorant, masking, moisturizing, skin conditioning, skin protecting and soothing, and has been used in new cosmetic products for more than 10 years. Sage extract (Salvia officinalis extract), clary sage extract (Salvia sclarea extract) and Spanish sage leaf oil (Salvia lavandulaefolia leaf oil) are all ingredients to look out for in cosmetic launches, according to Mintel.

Serum Against Imperfections by Pranarom Cosmétique Adaptarom Pranalixir is an eco-friendly product that claims to reduce the appearance of spots and blemishes, cleanse problem skin, regulate sebum, and reduce pigment spots and the appearance of pores. The Ecocert- and Cosmebio-certified formulation, devised by Dominique Baudoux a Belgian pharmacist and founder of the Pranarom Laboratory, contains wild sage, clary sage, rosemary verbenone, wild carrot, rosewood and red lingonberry.

Another serum called Seve de Rose Ultra-Glow Double Serum Face & Eyes By Terry, is formulated with vasoconstricting phyto-ingredients, including sage leaf extract, and flavonoids to counteract oxidative stress on delicate areas for optimized age-defying protection. The serum is described as a global skin-detox and said to revitalize clogged skin and smooth away tiredness.

What's Ahead at In-Cosmetics 2010
Mintel will present more findings on The Beauty Garden concept at In-Cosmetics’ trends presentations. The event takes place April 13-15 in Paris. Mintel Beauty Innovation will also showcase cutting-edge finished products from around the world in the Innovation Zone. More info: www.in-cosmetics.com