Magnolia officinalis is one of flowering plant of Magnoliaceae family, originating from Far East (China, Thailand, Korea and Japan). Several officinal extracts from bark and strobili have been used in traditional eastern medicine. In particular, special decoctions or teas from Magnolia bark have been used for 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine for treating different disorders, such as cough, asthma and gastrointestinal or urinary tract illnesses. The eastern herbalist preparation, known as “Saiboku-to” – containing Magnolia bark – have been used up till now to alleviate asthma and anxiety as well.
The majority of beneficial activities of Magnolia derive from certain allyl-phenols, such as magnolol and honokiol. Several pharmacological activities are ascribed to Magnolia: the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant activities along with the ability to inhibit platelets aggregation. Among the new promising actions it should be cited the action in contrast angiogenesis and certain tumor mechanisms. Bioactive components of Magnolia (above all honokiol) have been attracted deep interest: scientific community is investigating beneficial activity toward anxiety, depression and stress treatment. Among documented scientific properties, particular attention is addressed to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hepato-protective properties.
The relevant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Magnolia have been explored for cosmetic purposes, as well. Very recently, great interest have been addressed to antimicrobial activities in topical formulation: Magnolia shows beneficial effects in young skin in limiting acne related bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes. Moreover, recent studies on oral-care applications have been shown magnolol and honokiol are able to modulate cellular activities of microorganisms causing dental caries.
Thanks to antibacterial properties of Magnolia, the bark extract have useful cosmetic applications both as new organic or natural preservative and as active ingredient with antiseptic and dermo-hugienic properties, useful in preventing skin infections. Magnolia officinalis could represent an alternative preservative in skin-care cosmetics and a functional ingredient being twice as precious and useful. For these reasons, we envisioned to include Magnolia extract in several products of our traditional BeC cosmetic line. In particular, it is an ingredient of Nuova Maschera and Pasta Idrogel, contributing to important dermopurifying properties. The soothing cream VelvÈ contains Magnolia extract (rich in magnolol and honokiol) that helps in tackling cellular aging, alleviates irritation phenomena and contributes to limit skin oxidative processes.
Thanks to its clean and eco-friendly production processes, approved by certification bodies like Ecocert, Magnolia extract could be included also in our new organic cosmetic line Terra biocare, We include it in the specifically designed formulation for delicate and impure skin: the face organic cream PuraBi.
Definitely, Magnolia bark with its synergic properties appears as a Nature’s gift: traditionally used for calming and relaxing properties since centuries, it has nowadays showed precious antioxidant, antimicrobial and dermohygienic properties, exploited with knowledge in natural cosmetics.