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Pyrus malus is the scientific name for the apple. Apple-derived ingredients are obtained from the fruit, leaf, stem, root or flower of the plant Pyrus malus. In cosmetics and personal care products, the ingredients derived from apples are used in the formulation of a wide variety of products including hair conditioners, hand and body lotions and shampoos.

Apple extract functions in skin care products:

  • Antioxidant: Apple Peel Extract
  • Binder: Apple Fiber
  • Cosmetic astringent: Apple Fruit
  • Emulsion stabilizer: Apple Fiber
  • Exfoliant: Apple Peel Powder
  • Fragrance ingredient: Apple Fruit Water
  • Skin conditioning agent -emollient: Apple Seed Oil
  • Skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous: Apple Flower Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Apple Juice, Apple Oil, Apple Root Extract, Apple Seed Extract, Apple Stem Extract
  • Viscosity controlling agent: Apple Fiber
  • Viscosity increasing agent – aqueous: Apple Fiber

Apples in Skincare and Apple Allergies

Unfortunately, apples can present a potential danger to some people. Individuals with a northern European ancestry can be susceptible to what is known as “birch-apple syndrome.” This means that such individuals, who are also allergic to birch tree pollen, can also have an allergic reaction to apple proteins. Since apples are also closely related to pears, some individuals with ancestry from the Mediterranean region can also have, or develop, an allergy to apples. Furthermore, apple seeds contain a small amount of a chemical, amygdalin, which is a form of cyanide; the amount of amygdalin in apple seed oil is so minute, however, that this does not present a real danger but, in some individuals, can cause irritation. Anyone using skin or hair care products containing ingredients derived from Pyrus malus or apple seed oil who develops symptoms of redden, inflamed or itching skin or, in particular, finds any difficulty in breathing should immediately cease use of that product and contact their physician.

Apple Stem Cells

An anti-aging active based on an extremely rare form of apple stem cells has been launched by Mibelle Biochemistry, promising to protect skin stem cells and slow the senescence of hair follicles. Furthermore, the Switzerland-based company has developed a method to cultivate large quantities of the plant cells that allows it to use the benefits of this plant. In vitro and in vivo tests performed by Mibelle have suggested that the ingredient PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica boosts the production of human stem cells, protects human stem cells from stress, and decreases wrinkles. In vitro the extract was applied to human stem cells from umbilical cords and was found to increase the number of the stem cells in culture. Furthermore, the addition of the ingredient to umbilical cord stem cells appeared to protect the cells from environmental stress such as UV light. Another interesting finding was the ability of the ingredient to delay the aging of hair follicles, suggesting a possible use in anti-aging hair preparations. Despite this finding, the company stated that the main focus of the active is skin care for the face.


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