Advanced research used to refine TCM ingredients in beauty products

Li Fei
With highly advanced research and development, skincare products are refining traditional Chinese medicine, extracting unique ingredients with staggering effects.
Li Fei

Traditional Chinese medicine has been popular for years, ever since TCM-inspired beauty products began emerging. Whether it's the face-sculpting guasha (scraping the neck, chest or back to relieve pains) tool that's been incorporated into many celebrities' self-care routine, or the wellness drinks and supplements that claim to help you glow from the inside out, TCM already has a large following across the world.

Now, Chinese beauty brands have taken it one step further, by combining refined technical skills and research with TCM, extracting highly effective ingredients. The resulting products can be easily used in our daily routines. Natural, but powerful, is what we can expect from the new generation of Chinese beauty products.

New version of camellia oil

Chinese beauty brand Forest Cabin (Linqingxuan) has launched the fourth generation of its Camellia Repair Essence Oil. As a signature product of the brand, the camellia oil was first launched in 2012 and garnered much attention for its unique scent and skincare effects.

Advanced research used to refine TCM ingredients in beauty products
Ti Gong

Sun Laichun, founder of Forest Cabin, introduces the new Camellia Repair Essence Oil.

As a traditional beauty ingredient, camellia oil has been used in skincare for over 1,000 years. It is said that early in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), Emperor Xuanzong's concubine Yang Guifei used camellia oil to stay young.

Sun Laichun, founder of the brand, had the idea to develop the traditional ingredient in 2012, when he met a 75-year-old Hakka woman on a trip.

"There were no visible wrinkles on her skin. She told me that she had used camellia oil every day since she got married in her 20s, and it was a tradition in the mountainous area where the camellia flower originated," Sun said.

The brand has been buying camellia petals from the villagers and extracting the essential oil ever since.

In 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, young people in the village couldn't leave for work, so they all helped pick the camellia petals.

"To help the villagers, we decided to purchase all the petals they picked. There were far more petals than we would be able to use in three years, but the petals had to be used while they were still fresh. So we set up a plant extraction group to do research and development on the camellia," said Sun.

There is a record in the "Compendium of Materia Medica" (Bencao Gangmu 本草纲目), crushed camellia petals mixed with sesame oil can treat burns and help grow new skin.

"So we focused our research on anti-aging," Sun added.

According to the research of Forest Cabin, the new ingredient they extracted, "Qingxuan Extract 4.0" from camellia can increase the expression of autophagy protein by two times, promote autophagy and wake up cell activity. The discovery of the mechanisms of autophagy won the Nobel Prize in 2016, and is a mechanism of anti-aging as well.

With a refined oil texture, and a measurable anti-aging effect, it's also become a new trend in TCM skin care.

Chinese "super yeast"

Chinese cosmetic group Jala's new ingredient, a "super yeast" named HiMurchaSin, is extracted from one of the ancient yeast species originated in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Jala started the research of natural ingredients in Tibet 10 years ago, and has collected thousands of bacteria, fungi and archaea in the Himalayas. By sequencing the genes of the natural environment of the Himalayas, 558 unique strains have been isolated, and a bank of strains with specifically Himalayan characteristic has been established.

Advanced research used to refine TCM ingredients in beauty products
Ti Gong

The lab of the super yeast at Jala's R&D center

The HiMurchaSin is the most effective. There are 601 kinds of small molecule components that can be identified in the yeast, including 18 kinds of amino acids, eight kinds of minerals, a variety of vitamins and other beneficial ingredients for skin.

"Through research, we found that the yeast extract can reduce the amount of oxidative stress on the skin, has a calming effect that helps soothe skin, and can help improve overall skin hydration. Meanwhile, the super yeast can help cellular regeneration, as a result, it helps with anti-aging, sun damage and pigmentation," said Zou Yue, general manager of Jala's R&D center.

It can also help brighten your overall complexion, he added.

This year, the new ingredient has already been used in the fifth generation of their beauty brand Chando's Time Frozen Essence launched in June, as well as the new Scalp Essence launched in July.

"In the future, we expect to apply super yeast into all of our brands," Zou said.

In June 2013, the Jala Group carried out its first biological skincare research project in space with the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, and set up the Space Skincare Joint Laboratory in 2015. This year, the new super yeast has taken the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft into the Tianhe core module.

Exploring advanced research and application, Chinese super yeast and refined TCM ingredients are paving the way for exciting new discoveries in skin care and health.

Special Reports