- April 13, 2021
- 8 mins of read time
Food-inspired cosmetics: What's on your skin's menu today? - Part 2
In Part 1, we looked at the trend of food-inspired cosmetics and already presented various raw materials. In part 2, the focus is on vegetable plants from the sea and why they are special.
THE VEGETABLES OF THE FUTURE
In the late 20th century, an observation was made: our food was becoming less diverse and less healthy than that of our ancestors. The loss of the diversity of grains and vegetables available to consumers was identified as the cause of the impoverishment of our food and considered by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to be one of the greatest environmental problems of our time. A search for the rediscovery of old vegetable varieties that had fallen out of favour was then initiated and led to the reintroduction of forgotten species into cultivation.
At the same time, there was growing concern about the resilience of crops exposed to increasingly difficult climatic conditions such as drought in hot areas or flooding in coastal areas.
One category of plants then emerged and seemed to be the ideal candidate to diversify our diet and be more resilient to stressful cultural conditions: halophytic plants. "Halophytic" is a category of plants that can survive in a saline environment, such as coastal areas exposed to seawater. This category of plants was considered at the time to be the vegetables of the future.
WHO ARE THEY? AND WHERE CAN YOU GET THEM?
Not all halophytic plants are edible. However, if we look at historical sources, we can identify several plants known for their traditional (sometimes forgotten) use as food. We find several plants with high potential such as fenugreek, sea fennel, sea thistle, prickly chicory, pepperweed, etc. Many of these plants are Eurasian plants, widely distributed in Europe (both Western and Eastern and Southern Europe) and in the Mediterranean region.
In France, Brittany is an important area for agriculture and is even the leading region for the production of vegetables. With its numerous coastal areas exposed to seawater, it is an ideal incubator for growing halophytic plants and diversifying crops. Thanks to the potential of this area, our Breton subsidiary Biotech Marine has been able to unlock the power of these "sea vegetables of the future" for cosmetic applications. Five vegetable varieties are now part of our range of exceptional food-inspired cosmetics.
1. SEA KALE, THE HIGH VALUED DELICACY
The Sea Kale (Crambe maritima) can be the most familiar of our portfolio, as his cousin is the cabbage or the kaleThis plant was already cultivated in ancient Rome and Greece and mentioned by Pliny the Elder. He mentioned the plant as a remedy for scurvy in sailors. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries it was highly prized in Europe and considered a delicacy. Its cultivation in the gardens of the upper social classes was fashionable. The sea kale was cultivated in the gardens of Versailles, for example. In England, sea kale was a vegetable "in very general use", according to the popular cookery book "Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management ", in which it is described as a kind of asparagus. Unfortunately, wild stocks in Britain were greatly reduced by forcing on the spot and collecting for food until this practice was banned in the early 20th century. The sea kale fell out of favour. In France, it became a protected species. Considered a vegetable with high potential, true sea kale was promoted and reintroduced into cultivation in Britain and northern France in the late 20th century. At the beginning of the 21st century, chefs brought it back into fashion.
DISCOVER OUR GENUINE SEA KALE EXTRACTS
Two extracts of true sea kale are available for skin & hair benefits. BLUE SEAKALE SC is an antioxidant, oil-soluble extract that has soothing properties (-43% skin reactivity according to a 28-day study), cell protection benefits to slow down ageing processes (protection against cell renewal and youthfulness) and effects to strengthen the skin barrier (ceramide II booster). The second extract, BLUE SEAKALE HC is an antioxidant, water-soluble extract that has benefits for the hair such as shine and smoothness as well as skin protection properties.
2. SEA BEET, THE ANCESTOR AND GUARDIAN OF THE BEET FAMILY
The Sea Beet (Beta maritima), also called the Wild Spinach, also has very ancient references. The leaves of the sea beet have been eaten as a vegetable since prehistoric times, as Neolithic finds prove. Cultivation probably began as early as the second millennium BC in the Near and Middle East. Several cultivated forms appeared and produced new species with new genetic characteristics over the centuries. Within this large family of descendants we find the sugar beet, the field beet, the beetroot, the chard and many more. Nowadays, the genetic resource of the sea beet is considered valuable as it contains more resistance genes (to stressful conditions such as challenging climates or biological stress) and is used for breeding sugar beet or other cultivars to make their crops less susceptible to aggression.
DISCOVER OUR SEA BEET EXTRACT
SEA SATIN™ is an antioxidant, oil-soluble extract that shows a natural conditioning effect for the hair (+22% satisfaction with shine, +14% satisfaction with volume, 28-day study). It can also be used to soothe the skin and protect it from oxidative stress.
3. GOLDEN SAMPHIRE, THE TONIC REMEDY
The Golden Samphire (Inula crithmoides) is a plant about which less information is available. Native to Western Europe and the Mediterranean, the young shoots, leaves and flower buds of this plant are edible (the so-called 'ħażura'). Throughout Europe, it used to be pickled or cooked, mostly as a condiment. The roots of this plant were also used as a tonic by the Lebanese people. In this country, where the plant is widespread, it was identified quite early as a good candidate for salt culture.
DISCOVER OUR GOLDEN SAMPHIRE EXTRACT
INULA HC is an oil-soluble extract that has strong antioxidant properties. Its other properties make it suitable for dry hair and skin conditions observed in seniors. The main features are replenishment of hair lipids (+73% total lipids and + 87% polar lipids, tested on keratinocyte cell cultures), energising properties for a better renewal balance and prevention of metabolic slowdown. It also shows benefits for the hair fibres: Shine, softness and improvement of colour absorption (tested in a dye shampoo) were observed on the hair strands.
4. SEA FENNEL, THE FLAVORING “REFRESHING” PLANT
Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum) is a very aromatic vegetable described with a slightly salty taste and some notes of celery, followed by light notes of common fennel and peel of green citrus fruits with a sharp aftertaste. Sea fennel has an existing culinary use in many European countries. The leaves are washed, cut into small pieces and prepared for salads served with a dressing of mixed juice and olive oil. A new format of sea fennel powder, used as a seasoning colourant, has been studied by Italian researchers to enhance the sensory appeal of some traditional dishes and support the creation of new recipes.
DISCOVER OUR SEA FENNEL EXTRACTS
NATIVE ESSENCE™ , an oil-soluble extract from sea fennel, gives the skin radiance and protects it from air pollution. The skin barrier is strengthened (ceramide booster).
We also offer another type of extract, CELTOSOME™ CRITHMUM MARITIMUM, which comes from our sustainable CELTOSOME™ technology. This product is a pure, concentrated powder of sea fennel stem cells. It is a complete anti-ageing ingredient that offers properties such as anti-wrinkle, firmness, brightening and radiance.
5. SEA HOLLY, A FORBIDDEN FRUIT
Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum) has a long tradition of consumption. The fleshy roots were eaten boiled or candied. The roots have a sweet taste and aroma comparable to that of carrots, and after heat treatment with parsnips and chestnuts. They were particularly popular in England. Sea thistle has been grown in gardens since the Middle Ages, e.g. in the gardens of Westminster Abbey, in private gardens since at least 1525 and in botanical gardens, since about 1683 in the Physic Garden of Edinburgh. In Elizabethan times it was even believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. It is mentioned in a speech by Falstaff by Shakespeare:
"Let the sky rain potatoes;
let it thunder to the tune of Green-sleeves,
hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes [sea-holly],
let there come a tempest of provocation...
In many coastal regions, however, the sea holly is one of the rarest and most threatened plant species and is therefore listed in Red Books (e.g. in Lithuania, Estonia, Norway, Israel, along the Russian Black Sea). Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has been threatened with local extinction in some European countries and is under legal protection.
DISCOVER OUR SEA HOLLY EXTRACT
Our sustainable CELTOSOME™ technology makes it possible to offer an extract of this plant that is protected in so many areas. CELTOSOME™ ERYNGIUM MARITIMUM, is a pure concentrated powder of sea thistle stem cells. It provides firmness and tightening of the skin.
THE IDEAL SOLUTION FOR EXCEPTIONAL NEW FOOD-INSPIRED COSMETICS
Concern for crop diversity and sustainability has come to the fore among consumers. "Old" or even "forgotten" vegetables have reappeared on tables. Driven by health concerns, consumers started to rediscover old local, traditional, healthy and considered authentic vegetables. Chefs and consumers are making them respectable again and more and more websites show how to use them.
Our quintet of sea garden vegetables: Sea Kale, Sea Beet, Golden Samphire, Sea Fennel and Sea Holly will balance consumer expectations for health, sustainability and cosmetic benefits.
The various source references can be found here: https://www.seppic.com/en/technical-insight/food-inspired-cosmetics-our-seaside-garden-vegetable-cosmetics