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Extrait de ginseng contre-indications.

Ginseng Extract: Are there any adverse effects, contraindications, and usage precautions for topical application?

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 aging. Before incorporating it into your skincare routine, let's explore together the potential risks, contraindications, and precautions to be observed.

Published May 11, 2023, updated on February 8, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

A brief 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" and refers 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 wild in the mountainous regions of China and Korea. In skincare and haircare, this perennial plant is utilized 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 utilized for its antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals and delay skin aging. 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 soothe and calm the skin from skin irritations.

Are there dangers associated with the topical use of red ginseng extract?

Generally, ginseng extract poses no risk 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 Organization (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 observed.

Like any other skincare product, ensure to store the bottle in a dry place, away from heat and light. To make sure you are not allergic to any of the active ingredients in the ginseng extract, please perform a tolerance test beforehand. To do this:

  1. Apply a small amount of the product in the crook of your elbow or behind the ear;

  2. Wait 24 hours and observe the area. If it remains unaltered, 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).


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