Revisiting Amazonian Plants for Skin Care and Disease
Department of Pharmacy, University of Genova, Viale Benedetto XV, 16132 Genova, Italy
Biophysics Institute, National Research Council (CNR), via De Marini 6, 16149 Genova, Italy
Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genova, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cosmetics 2017, 4(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics4030025
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts in Skin Care Products)
This review concerns five species of trees and palm trees that occur as dominant plants in different rainforest areas of the Amazon region. Due to their abundance, these species can be exploited as sustainable sources of botanical materials and include Carapa guianensis Aubl., family Meliaceae; Eperua falcata Aubl., family Fabaceae; Quassia amara L., family Simaroubaceae; and Attalea speciosa Mart. and Oenocarpus bataua Mart., family Arecaceae. For each species, the general features, major constituents, overall medicinal properties, detailed dermatological and skin care applications, and possible harmful effects have been considered. The major products include seed oils from A. speciosa and C. guianensis, fruit oil from O. bataua, and active compounds such as limonoids from C. guianensis, flavonoids from E. falcata, and quassinoids from Q. amara. The dermatologic and cosmetic applications of these plants are growing rapidly but are still widely based on empiric knowledge. Applications include skin rehydration and soothing; anti-inflammatory, antiage, and antiparasite effects; hair care; burn and wound healing; and the amelioration of rosacea and psoriasis conditions. Despite a limited knowledge about their constituents and properties, these species appear as promising sources of bioactive compounds for skin care and health applications. An improvement of knowledge about their properties will provide added value to the exploitation of these forest resources.