Sea Buckthorn Emerges as MVP for Organic and Antiaging Products

Sea buckthorn (INCI: Hippophae rhamnoides) saw a good year in 2006 but an even better year in 2007, emerging in both the antiaging and organic markets as a key ingredient.

Sea buckthorn is a superfruit that is enriching food and beauty products alike.  In fact, its use in functional beverages and supplements has increased steadily over the last three years and in 2007, it saw rapid growth in the beauty sector, according to the Mintel Global New Product Database. The plant grows in Northern Europe and Asia and has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. Sea buckthorn fruit contains carotenoids, vitamin E, amino acids, minerals, plant sterols and polyphenolic acids.  The oil, extracted from the seeds and berries, is a natural remedy for treating certain types of ulcers and skin conditions since it has healing and emollient properties.  In skin care, it is used in antiaging formulas and for treating scars and stretch marks.

The beauty from within trend has seen the launch of several nutritional supplements with sea buckthorn. Finland's Lumene Premium Beauty Arctic Sea Buckthorn Oil Capsules are described as a "regenerative product that supplements the antiaging effects" of the brand's Premium Beauty skin creams.

In the United States, EMK launched Renascence Beauty Supplement. It is formulated with pure sea buckthorn fruit oil and other nutrients essential to skin health and regeneration. The product claims to rehydrate the skin and, with continuous daily use, protect it from sun damage.

Sea buckthorn is featured in a variety of face and body care products as well. One of the newest is Valmont L'Elixir des Glaciers Swiss Poly-Active Cream. This premium skin care product offers a combination of noble raw ingredients drawn mostly from Switzerland's preserved natural resources. These include glacial spring water, HP DNA, RNA and plant-based actives such as shea butter, rose seed oil and sea buckthorn fruit extract. This global antiaging product is said to firm, tone, smooth and improve radiance. 

Another premium antiaging product with sea buckthorn is Anise Day Serum from Fresh. This "advanced age-defy treatment" is said to relax the fine lines in the face and firm, brighten and plump the complexion. It is fortified with anise fruit extract along with black currant, grape seed and sunflower oils.

Sea buckthorn's superfruit status readily lends itself to formulating natural and organic skin care products with ethical claims. Weleda Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream is an all-natural nourishing cream with sesame and sea buckthorn oil, and vitamins A and E. It claims to hydrate and protect the skin without leaving it greasy. This product has been dermatologically tested and is BDIH-certified.

In the UK, Neal's Yard Remedies introduced Orange Flower Nourishing Décolleté Gel, an intensive nourishing concentrate designed to restore elasticity and help reduce the signs of aging such as uneven pigmentation, lack of tone and wrinkles.  It is made with 90% organic ingredients including sea buckthorn fruit oil, a rich source of omega-7 palmitoleic acid, that helps to maintain youthful skin by encouraging microcirculation and regeneration. The gel also contains pomegranate seed oil, mandarin oil and macadamia seed oil.

Another organic ethical product to feature sea buckthorn berry is Éminence Organic Skin Care Raspberry Eye Mask. This mask is said to increase the elasticity and smoothness of the eye contour area while targeting crow's feet.  It also contains raspberry as an antioxidant, vitamin K to reduce dark under eye circles, and moisturizing shea butter and co-enzyme Q10 to combat free radicals.

Other natural brands are drawing on sea buckthorn's heritage of treating skin disorders.  MyChelle X-Zema Balm with Mangosteen is designed to treat symptoms of eczema and dry, irritated skin. In addition to sea buckthorn extract, it contains beeswax, grape seed oil infused with organic rose hips, St. John's Wort, chamomile, calendula and mangosteen.

Erbaviva is a range of mother and baby care with organic ingredients. Last year, the brand reformulated its Stretch Mark Cream to contain shea butter, sea buckthorn and feverfew extracts combined with essential oils. 

 —Nica Lewis, Mintel

The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. The Mintel Cosmetic Research Database tracks mass market and luxury cosmetic innovations in France and the United States. For additional information regarding either Mintel GNPD or Mintel Cosmetic Research, visit or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600. Preview Mintel's Trendscape to get on the fast track to productive ideation.

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