The formulation of products for the personal care market is in the process of changing the “rules of formulation”. Historically little attention was paid to the sources of the raw materials that are used to formulate products. The driving forces were delivery of the claimed benefits and cost. More recently, naturally derived products earned a place as one of the drivers in formulations. Extracts of cosmetically active (i.e. non-drug) are of more and more attractive to formulators. Generally, botanical products and extracts are a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants, essential oils and oils, hydrocolloids, proteins, terpenoids and other bioactive compounds (1).
Throughout the centuries, a variety of techniques have been employed to extract active ingredients from botanicals. Solvent-based extraction is one such methodology. After segregating the plant material into its constituent parts (e.g., leaves, stems, fruits, branches, roots, etc.), the part with the desired active(s) is chosen, macerated (or similarly processed) and placed into the solvent. Plant materials that are soluble in the solvent are dissolved, leaving insoluble materials behind. The great interest in developing natural ingredients that deliver a cosmetically active natural ingredient continues to drive research in the personal care industry. New methodologies are being developed. This article will present a general review of extraction technology and how it might be expanded to new applications.
SOLVENTS AND NATURAL DEFINITIONS
Water, alcohol, vinegar, and various oils/fats are the main natural solvents used historically for extrac ... ...