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Hibiscus, rich in AHAs and amino acids, is demonstrating its versatility in cosmetic product launches. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) Cosmetic Research, hibiscus is prevalent in new organic brands as well as established cosmetic and "doctor" brands. Whether derived from the flowers or seeds of this tropical plant, the extract has antioxidant and exfoliating powers. It is also used to complement hydrating, antiaging and oil-control actions in a variety of products ranging from face and eye care to anti-cellulite and self-tanning products.
Nude Skincare, launched in the UK’s first Whole Foods Market in London in June 2007, is a range of face and body products free from parabens, sulphates, PEGs or mineral oil. It was created by Bryan Meehan, the founder of Fresh and Wild, the first organic grocer in London. After selling his organic food business in 2004, Meehan reportedly decided to turn his attention to organic skin care; his goal was to create a "credible natural alternative for women that looks beautiful but most importantly works."
The range’s Miracle Mask is an AHA-based exfoliating and stimulating mask that contains Hibiscus esculentus extract and mandarin extract, as well as red ginseng. The oligopeptides from the hibiscus seed pods (okra) have been shown to have wrinkle-smoothing and radiance-inducing properties.
Green People Organic Fruitful Nights Skin Repair is another organic face care product that uses hibiscus. This night cream contains Hibiscus sabdariffa (from the flower), jojoba and rose hip. It is free from perfume, alcohol and parabens, and claims to be suitable for vegans.
Two recent anti-aging eye care launches in the United Sstates also feature hibiscus. Liftfusion M-Tox Soin Liftant Contour des Yeux promises smooth, bright, wrinkle-free eyes. The patented M-Tox formula contains peptides from hibiscus esculentus extract, as well as ginseng root and centella asiatica and other plant extracts. Together they are said to relax wrinkles, tighten skin and reduce dark circles and puffiness.