There are many reasons to love bamboo. Pandas eat it, it grows fast, it’s sustainable, and it makes for beautiful wood flooring and furniture. But did you know it also has a place in skincare?
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Bamboo is a versatile plant with many skin benefits. If you’re interested in adding bamboo extract to your skincare routine, the good news is, you can find bamboo extract powder plus a few skin products containing bamboo extract on the market.
Here’s what you need to know about bamboo extract, its properties, benefits, side effects, uses, skin safety, and effectiveness.
- What is Bamboo Extract?
- Bamboo Extract Composition
- Bamboo Leaf and Stem Extract Skin Benefits
- Are There Side Effects of Bamboo Extract?
- How to Use Bamboo Extract for the Skin
- Best Products with Bamboo Extract
- Is Bamboo a Good Ingredient for the Skin?
What is Bamboo Extract?
INCI Name: Bambusa Arundinacea Stem/Leaf Extract
Bamboo extract is a white powder that consists of a group of compounds extracted from the leaves and stems of the bamboo plant. But keep in mind there are many species of bamboo.
To begin with, bamboo belongs to the grass family Poaceae which has several subfamilies, including Bambusoideae. Bamboo extract commonly comes from Bambusa Arundinacea, a tribe of bamboos, under the Bambusoideae subfamily. This tribe of bamboos is classified as temperate woody bamboos and contains over 30 genera and 590 species of bamboo.
Typically, Bambusa Arundinacea grows in clumps and is usually described as a tall tree-like plant with woody ringed stems.
The stems of bamboo are referred to as culms. It is at the joints of the culms where fine-grained silica is produced. Bamboo leaves are also a good source of organic silica, which has many skin benefits.
Besides silica, bamboo extract has been found to also contain the following skin beneficial compounds:
Bamboo Extract Composition
As mentioned, bamboo extract contains several compounds that are beneficial for the skin. We will now look at each compound and how they benefit the skin.
- Silica/Silicon dioxide. Bamboo extract is rich in natural silica, and bamboo leaves can contain up to 70% silica. Silica is needed by the body to boost collagen production in the body. Collagen is a protein that greatly improves your skin’s elasticity. The presence of collagen in your body helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, helping you achieve a more youthful look. Also, when applied topically, silica helps to gently exfoliate the skin.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E is associated with many skin benefits. Topical Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from the damaging effects of solar radiation.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to have several benefits in dermatology. It acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent while also improving collagen synthesis in skin of all ages.
- B vitamins. Bamboo extract contains several B vitamins, including B6, riboflavin, and niacin. These vitamins provide multiple benefits, including moisturizing and reducing the effects of aging and inflammation.
- Lignin. Lignin is a common ingredient in sunscreen. This is mainly due to the compound’s antioxidant activity, which fights sun damage and aging.
- Phenolic acids and flavonoids. Phenolic acids and flavonoids are some of the most popular antioxidants found in skincare ingredients. It has been shown that plant-derived phenolics have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties, and they help to protect the skin from UV radiation.
Bamboo Leaf and Stem Extract Skin Benefits
Bamboo extract provides several benefits for the skin. It can help soothe and heal, firm, protect from sun damage, exfoliate, and it offers antibacterial properties.
Heals and Soothes the Skin
Bamboo extract has anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal and soothe the skin. Due to these anti-inflammatory properties, bamboo extract could be a suitable skin ingredient for people with sensitive skin.
Firms the Skin
Firm skin is one of the secrets to a youthful look, and bamboo extract is a top skincare ingredient for achieving firm skin. As mentioned, bamboo contains as much as 70% silica. Silica is found naturally in the body and produces collagen, a structural protein that improves skin elasticity while preventing sagging and wrinkles.
As we grow older, the collagen in the skin gets damaged, but bamboo extract can stimulate collagen production due to its high silica content. This helps your skin to remain firmer for longer.
Protects the Skin
When your skin is exposed to harsh elements, it can age first. This is because UV radiation has a damaging effect. It results in the production of free radicals – these are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells, resulting in aging and illness.
Antioxidants can fight the effects of free radicals by neutralizing them so they no longer damage cells. Bamboo extract contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds that have been shown to have strong antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants can help your skin stay youthful and reduce the effect of premature aging. This minimizes the impact of free radicals created by exposure to the environment and stressful situations.
Bamboo extract has antibacterial properties that help to prevent minor skin infections. That’s why it’s sometimes added to skincare products like cleansers. As you go about your day, your skin comes into contact with many substances that can cause bacterial skin infections. Using cleansing products that contain bamboo extract helps to keep your skin healthy and protected.
Purifying and Exfoliating the Skin
Bamboo extract is a mild exfoliating agent. It contains fine grains of silica that can be used as a gentle scrub on the skin. It also has a purifying effect that allows you to get rid of impurities. Using bamboo extract can help you achieve soft, smooth, and polished skin if you have dry skin. On the other hand, those with oily skin can use bamboo extract to achieve a matte look.
Are There Side Effects of Bamboo Extract?
There’s currently very limited data on whether bamboo extract has any side effects. The closest studies related to this topic involved evaluating the oral toxicity of extract from Bambusa Arundinacea. The results showed that this extract might cause a decrease in male fertility and thyroid function.
It’s also important to note that although bamboo extract is not poisonous, bamboo leaves contain significant amounts of cyanide.
If you’re not sure whether bamboo extract is safe for your skin type, it never hurts to consult a dermatologist or other qualified medical professional. Alternatively, you can do a patch test on your skin. If you notice any adverse effects, stop using the product and seek medical advice.
However, you should note that there are very few concerns, if at all, that have been recorded about the side effects of bamboo extract.
How to Use Bamboo Extract for the Skin
Bamboo extract is available on the market as a white, water-soluble powder. If you want to use bamboo powder in its concentrated form, you can purchase organic bamboo extract powder online. The best way to incorporate bamboo extract into your skincare routine is to add it directly to your water-based skincare products.
You can add a pinch of extract to your cleanser or moisturizer. Because bamboo extract is water-soluble, it will blend well with most skincare products. This will help enhance the effectiveness of your skincare routine in many ways since bamboo extract is rich in silica and has astringent and antibacterial properties, plus other benefits.
Therefore, using bamboo extract this way can help you achieve youthful and firm skin. To compound the effect, you can also combine bamboo extract with other skin-beneficial ingredients, such as collagen and vitamin C, to boost the health of your skin.
Best Products with Bamboo Extract
There are many products that contain bamboo extract on the skincare market. These products mainly include exfoliants, scrubs, concealers, facial cleansers, foundation, and facial moisturizers. Let’s look at the top five skincare products (our recommendations) that contain bamboo extract:
Bliss Exfoliator and Cleanser with Bamboo Buffers.
This product is an oil-free gel face cleanser that will help remove dirt from your skin and has a gentle exfoliating effect.
Eminence Bamboo Firming Fluid
Want firmer and tighter skin? This product can help with its bamboo fibers, antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The product was designed to improve the skin’s elasticity and smoothness.
Bamboo Hydrating Serum
DERMAL Bamboo Collagen Essence Facial Mask
This serum promises to hydrate and moisturize the skin with a combination of bamboo water and hyaluronic acid.
This product contains bamboo extract designed to hydrate and make your skin glow.
Black Charcoal Mask Blackhead Remover
This product helps with blackhead removal and deep cleansing.
Is Bamboo a Good Ingredient for the Skin?
In a nutshell, bamboo extract appears to be a good product for the skin. The bamboo plant contains bioactive compounds, and several studies have shown that bamboo extract is good for the skin. For instance, there’s a study that showed that bamboo extract contains anti-oxidative and anti-melanogenic properties.
The anti-melanogenic activity of bamboo extract meant that it was a great ingredient for whitening cosmetics since it appeared to suppress melanin production.
Another study was also carried out to test the efficacy of skincare cream that contained flavonoids from bamboo leaves. The results indicated that the skincare cream had good sun screening abilities and a strong moisturizing effect. A safety test was also carried out on the product, and no irritants or harmful effects were found.
Yet another study showed that bamboo extract shows antibacterial activity because of its ability to inhibit the growth of S. aureus and Escherichia coli. Furthermore, it’s well known that bamboo contains rich amounts of silica, a compound that has been studied for its skincare benefits.
Overall, it’s not surprising that bamboo is a common feature in traditional Asian medicine. While many skin benefits associated with bamboo are still to be verified by science, existing studies indicate that bamboo extract carries a lot of potential as a skincare ingredient.