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Cotton thistle extract is said to stimulate epidermal regeneration and promote cutaneous repair. Acting on keratinocyte differentiation, the material stimulates epidermal reconstruction in dry or damaged skin.

The active is reported to strengthen the cohesion of the cutaneous barrier, stabilizing and regulating skin hydration, which maintains the flexibility and softness of the skin. The active is recommended at 2% in skin care products for anti-aging and moisturizers for mature skin. It is also recommended for post-operative/dermatological skin procedures or treatments. According to one source who manufactures this active ingredient, the material also could be formulated into products for sunburn treatments. In addition, for normal skin, the active can be used to combat the effects of post-acne imperfections or in post-treatment skin recovery.

Approved for cosmetic use in Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia, the ingredient also is organically certified by Ecocert. The active has been substantiated ex vivo on human skin explants that were damaged by stripping or burning. In vivo tests have demonstrated the repairing action of the active in the skin’s cutaneous barrier.

Cotton Thistle’s Historial Use

The Ancients supposed this Thistle to be a specific in cancerous complaints, and in more modern times the juice is said to have been applied with good effect to cancers and ulcers.

A decoction of the root is astringent and diminishes discharges from mucous membranes.

Gerard tells us, on the authority of Dioscorides and Plinv, that ‘the leaves and root hereof are a remedy for those that have their bodies drawn backwards,’ and Culpepper explains that not only is the juice therefore good for a crick in the neck, but also as a remedy for rickets in children. It was considered also to be good in nervous complaints.


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