Rich in antioxidants, ginseng extract takes care of skin exposed to environmental stress factors. It helps to prevent and reduce wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Before incorporating it into your skincare routine, let's explore together the dangers, contraindications and usage precautions to be observed.
Ginseng extract: Are there any adverse effects, contraindications and precautions for topical use?
- An overview of ginseng extract
- Are there dangers associated with the topical use of red ginseng extract?
- The precautions for use to be adhered to
An overview of ginseng extract.
The ginseng is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Araliaceae family and the Panax genus ("cure-all" in Greek). The term "ginseng" comes from the Chinese "rénshēn" meaning "man root", referring to the unique shape of its rhizome. This resembles a human being with two legs and/or arms.
Standing at a height ranging from 30 to 50 cm, ginseng can grow in the wild in the mountainous regions of China and Korea. In skincare and haircare treatments, this perennial plant is utilised for the bioactive chemical substances contained in its roots. Its composition however, depends on the origin and age of the part used.
In cosmetics, red ginseng extract is utilised for its antioxidant properties that neutralise free radicals and delay skin ageing. It is also believed to have an inhibitory effect on melanogenesis, thereby reducing the appearance of brown spots. As for its anti-inflammatory properties, they help to soothe and calm the skin from skin irritations.
Are there dangers associated with the topical use of red ginseng extract?
As a general rule, ginseng extract poses no danger when applied topically. It is even suitable for sensitive skin. Moreover, this botanical extract contains, among other things, ginsenosides, molecules that reduce itching, inflammation, redness, and irritation. However, rare adverse effects have been observed following the use of ginseng extract on the skin, such as swelling, irritation, skin rashes, and peeling.
Furthermore, both the German Commission E and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have not reported any known contraindications to the topical use of ginseng extract. However, it is important to note that ingestion of a skincare product containing ginseng extract should be avoided, especially by pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, and individuals with diabetes.
The precautions for use to be adhered to.
Like any other skincare product, ensure to store the bottle in a dry place, protected from heat and light. To make sure you are not allergic to any of the active ingredients in the ginseng extract, please carry out a tolerance test beforehand. To do this:
Apply a small amount of the product in the crook of the elbow or behind the ear;
Wait for 24 hours and observe the area. If it remains unblemished, this indicates that your skin tolerates the ginseng extract or the skincare product containing it. However, discontinue use if you experience warming, blistering, itching, redness, or any other allergic reactions.
MAHADY G. B. & al. Ginsengs: a review of safety and efficacy. Nutrition in Clinical Care (2001).
VERMA N. K. & al. An overview on Panax ginseng. International Journal of Pharma And Chemical Research (2017).