Swertia Japonica (Semburi) Extract for Skin – What Is It?

Swertia Japonica Flower

This ingredient name is fun to say but it’s also fun to look at. It comes from a flower. You may have heard of this previously as an old Japanese remedy for nausea or an upset stomach. Or maybe not. Either way, this is a fun, natural skincare ingredient with notable benefits.

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Semburi extract is not a super common skincare ingredient (at least in the U.S) but will find it in select specialty products.

Swertia Japonica extract is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and metal chelators. This unique ingredient profile can help reduce melanin synthesis in the skin caused by too much sun. In other words, this ingredient may help prevent the darkening of skin, uneven tone, and age spots.

Swertia Japonica for skin - what is it?

What Is Swertia Japonica Extract?

Swertia japonica is a flowering plant part of the gentian family and is also known as “felworts.” The Swertia japonica flower is native to East Asia and Japan. It’s also known as Japanese felwort, Japanese star swertia, and semburi.

Swertia japonica was used in ancient medicine and for folk cures in India, Japan, China, and Tibet for centuries. It has bluish-purple flowers and is often used to help cure stomach troubles, and it was often used to help treat and reduce the intensity of fevers, and it has also been used to treat hair loss. It can be found in liquid form for ingestion.

You’ll generally find Swertia japonica in skincare as an extract. This is a concentrated version of the plant that intensifies its benefits with less volume.

It’s in serums, creams, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, and more.

Swertia Japonica Benefits for Skin

This plant extract is useful as a skincare ingredient for its ability to even brighten and lighten skin, calm, soothe, and help defy aging. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help calm and protect the skin.

Even skin tone

Swertia japonica has been shown to help inhibit the synthesis of melanin, which is the pigment that causes the skin to tan on exposure to sunlight and helps lighten and brighten the skin. This benefit may help reduce the appearance of age spots, hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone.

Soothe skin

Swertia japonica extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits which can help soothe and calm skin.

Fights Free Radicals

Thanks to high levels of antioxidant compounds, Swertia japonica can help neutralize free radicals. This helps protect the skin against daily stressors, premature skin aging, and sun damage.

This is why you’ll find Swertia japonica in anti-aging creams, serums, and moisturizers.

Swertia Japonica Extract benefits for skin

Is Swertia Japonica Vegan?

Swertia japonica is completely vegan and safe to use if you live a vegan & cruelty-free lifestyle. It comes straight from the flower so there is no need to worry about this ingredient.

As always, though, consult the ingredients list and manufacturer information to make sure the products you use are free of other non-vegan ingredients and are not tested on animals.

Is Swertia Japonica Safe To Use In Skincare?

While the research is limited, Swertia Japonica is considered safe to use in skincare. This ingredient can be taken orally (obviously for other uses) without safety or toxicity concerns.

Will It Clog Pores?

Swertia Japonica (Semburi) is non comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores. Those will acne and blemish-prone skin will want to use products that are formulated to be non comedogenic.

In terms of blemishes and acne, this ingredient isn’t a concern. It’s safe for all skin types, even those with blemish-prone skin.

Also Known As

You may also see Swertia japonica called Frasera Walter, Lomatogoniopsis, angallidum griseb, Gentianaceae, or Semburi. You may find any of these names on skincare products, but Swertia japonica is the most common by far.

Key Takeaways

This natural extract isn’t common in North American skincare products but we see it in Japanese brands and those inspired by eastern roots. While it’s harder to find, Semburi extract is great natural ingredient for the skin and hair.

Swertia japonica is safe for all skin types, won’t clog your pores, is vegan, plant-based, and it provides direct benefits to the skin. That’s a win in our book!

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