The term "Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract" may not ring a bell for many. However, it is simply the INCI name for strawberry leaf extract. This substance is used in the formulation of various skin and hair care products due to its numerous benefits, which are discussed in this article.
What is "Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract" and what is its utility?
An overview of strawberry leaf extract.
There are over 600 varieties of strawberries , the most well-known of which is the gariguette (accounting for 20% of global production). All belong to the Rosaceae family. The extract of strawberry leaves comes from a variety known as wild strawberry, woodland strawberry, or indigenous strawberry. Originally from Asia (China and Turkey) and North America, it can also be found in Europe, particularly in France.
The acquisition process involves a solid/liquid extraction performed using crushed strawberry leaves in a hydro-ethanolic mixture. The filtrate is then dried by atomization.
From an organoleptic perspective, the extract of strawberry leaves appears as a fine brown powder. Its recommended percentage in skincare is 0.5%; this powder is soluble in the aqueous phase. Regarding its composition, the strawberry leaf extract contains antioxidant substances such as flavonoids (quercetin), tannins, and polyphenols.
What are the benefits of strawberry leaf extract in cosmetics?
The extract of strawberry leaves is beneficial for all skin types. Here are the main virtues of this plant-based active ingredient on the epidermis.
Its richness in polyphenols allows it toimprove the complexion by toning the skin's micro-vessels , thus contributing to better cellular oxygenation. The skin appears regenerated and fresher. It is therefore an excellent active ingredient for mature skin.
The presence of these polyphenols also gives it antioxidant properties, thus helping to combat the damage that UVA rays can induce (generation of free radicals). In a recent study, researchers evaluated the potential photoprotective capacity of various strawberry-based formulations, enriched with coenzyme Q10 nanoparticles and with a sun protection factor of 10 (SPF10), on human dermal fibroblasts (HuDe) exposed to UVA radiation. They confirmed that strawberries are a very rich source of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and vitamins, and possess a high total antioxidant capacity. They also showed that strawberry extracts (25 μg/mL) exert notable photoprotection in HuDe, increasing cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, and that these effects are potentiated by the presence of coenzyme Q10.
They concluded that the topical use of a strawberry extract can provide good photoprotection, although further studies are strongly encouraged to assess the cellular and molecular effects.
It also allows torefine the skin texture through an astringent effect by reducing the diameter of the pores due to the presence of tannins. Therefore, it is coveted by blemished skin and/or those with a tendency to be oily.
Finally, strawberry extract also helps tobrighten and even out the skin tone due to its anti-tyrosinase properties. As a reminder, tyrosinase is an enzyme involved in the formation of melanin, a pigment that gives color to an individual's skin, hair, and body hair. Research has shown that ellagic acid can interrupt the pathway leading to visible changes in skin color, including brown spots. In this sense, it is an excellent ingredient to combine with complexion-enhancing products, such as vitamin C, niacinamide , and arbutin. Strawberry leaf extract is therefore particularly coveted by mature skin types generally prone to solar lentigines.
On the hair, strawberry leaf extract strengthens the hair fiber and helps it better withstand external aggressions (dryness, heat, harsh treatments...).
In which skincare products can one find "Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract"?
Due to its previously described virtues, this plant extract is particularly suited for dull skin, mature, oily (dilated pores) and those with more pigmented areas (pigmentation spots). It is thus found in moisturizing creams but also masks, eye contour treatments, serums, facial gels, and lotions. It is also suitable for dry hair, damaged and dull. It can be found in certain shampoos and hair masks.
At Typology, we have incorporated thestrawberry plant extract into our firming night mask. This treatment should be used once or twice a week. To achieve the desired result, let it sit for about fifteen minutes before removing the excess with a makeup remover cotton pad.
Massimiliano Gasparrini & al., A Pilot Study of the Photoprotective Effects of Strawberry-Based Cosmetic Formulations on Human Dermal Fibroblasts, Int J Mol Sci. (2015)