Of Chinese herbal medicine resources are very abundant in China, and its use of the more than ten thousand kinds of type commonly used alone has more than 1000-1200, including plants herbs accounted for about 90%, the extraction and use of plant ingredients has a long history, but did not form an independent industry, only part of the domestic pharmaceutical companies in the 1970 s by mechanical to extract of Chinese medicine, but still is just one part of the pharmaceutical industry. Plant extract is a term that includes modern processing technology. It first emerged in Europe and The United States in the 1980s. With the improvement of industrialization and more in-depth utilization of resources, plant extract has gradually been favored by the market due to its natural and healthy properties. Limited by technology, we started late in the field of plant extract, but it develops rapidly. The export volume of plant extract of Traditional Chinese medicine alone accounts for more than 40% of the total export volume of Traditional Chinese medicine. Moreover, the industry is also developing towards high quality, gradually shifting from the export of single raw materials to diversified applications.
The concepts of green consumption and return to nature have become the fashion of consumption. The natural properties of plant extracts meet the needs of consumers and are conducive to the construction of a sustainable ecological market. Plant extract is the middle link of the whole industrial chain. The upstream connects agricultural planting, while the downstream undertakes product development and application. Its product line is highly variable, with distinct levels of cost and technical input.
The strong market demand has driven the rapid development of the industry, but there are still many problems to be solved.
First of all, there are regulatory restrictions. Different countries have different requirements on plant extracts and different product applications. For example, dietary supplements are mainly used in North America. Europe is dominated by health products and plant medicines; China’s traditional Chinese medicine and food additives mainly. The difference in use directly affects the applicability of the types of raw materials, and only the categories that meet the requirements can enter the market, with many restrictions.
The second is the uneven distribution of industrial processing. Due to the limitations of technical conditions, crude extracts are mainly used in China, while the in-depth development is not ideal due to the limitations of technology and regulations, and the international competitiveness is lacking.
Third, the supporting system is not perfect. Plant extract is an emerging industry in China, most of which have no corresponding production standards and norms, lack of effective implementation of supervision, and uneven product quality. There is still a long way to go on the road of industrial norms.
Curcumin, for example: curcumin is the function of the hot food raw materials, especially in the north American market booming, curcumin have covered the dietary supplements, beverage, cosmetics, and many other areas, while in China is mainly used in food coloring, its functional food has been listed, but registered for examination and approval for a long time, enterprise development cost is higher. Recently, turmeric powder is proposed to be listed as health food supplementary materials in the draft opinions on the addition of health food supplementary materials list. Although the maximum amount is still set, it has a great promoting effect on the application of turmeric powder.
With the progress of society and the improvement of people’s living standard, people’s awareness of pursuing health is increasing day by day. Due to the small side effects and better efficacy of plant active ingredients, more and more consumers pay attention to beauty products based on plant active ingredients.
Therefore, cosmetics plant raw materials have become a hot spot in the field of cosmetics research and development. In this paper, the status quo of cosmetic plant materials is reviewed, and its application and development trend are prospected.
China is one of the countries with the most abundant plant resources in the world. China ranks the third in plant species in the world, next only to Malaysia and Brazil.
On June 30, 2014, China Food and Drug Administration announced 8,783 cosmetics raw materials, of which more than 2,000 are plant raw materials.
According to the data, plant materials account for a relatively high proportion in cosmetic materials, but they are still relatively small compared with the total plant resources, and the rich plant resources of cosmetics in China need to be further developed and utilized.
At present, the cosmetics plant raw material variety on the market is chaotic, quality good and bad are intermingled.
One of the reasons is that there are regional differences in the plant raw materials themselves. The planting environment of different regions is quite different, and the quality of cosmetic plant raw materials in the regions most suitable for the growth of this medicinal material is often more authentic.
The second reason is that individual businesses pursue the maximization of profits, with false and false.
Therefore, the quality control of cosmetic plant raw materials is particularly important:
On the one hand, the management department should improve the quality supervision and management system of plant resources.
On the other hand, as cosmetic plant raw materials manufacturers should establish a raw material selection system.
Although “genuine medicinal materials” can reflect the superiority of regional medicinal materials to some extent, it still needs to be further verified according to physicochemical indexes and efficacy indexes.