Ethnobotanical was laid on the plants used

Ethnobotanical information
regarding all 105 plant species was obtained through a comprehensive literature
survey from Google Scholar, PubMed, Science direct, web science, library search.
All the available relevant data from medicinal plants was collated from
literature review articles together with several relevant books (e.g. Hutchings
et al., 1996; Van Wyk et al., 2009; Watt and BreyerBrandwijk, 1962). One hundred and eighty-five (185) journals
were retrieved, although emphasis was laid on the plants used in various
cosmetic products when keywords such as scientific name of the plants and
cosmetics were typed in.

and methods

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 Ethno-pharmacological data collection


The search for plant products used
in cosmetics is ongoing worldwide. A review by
Chen et al.7
reported the medicinal and cosmetic relevance of Aloe ferox, a fully explored plant of South Africa used in the cosmetic
herbal formulation. An article from Vermaak et
al. 8
also reported the importance of seeds oil from six species used in the
preparation of cosmetics. In this study, we focused on a comprehensive review
of plants traditionally used for various cosmetic purposes in the Eastern Cape
Province with a view to helping researchers and government agencies to prevent possible
extinction of these plants. This study also provides an insight into possible
future research on the scientifically unproven plants.


In South Africa, most people prefer
herbal products for their personal
care to improve their beauty as these products supply the body with nutrients
as they are devoid of synthetic chemicals and reported to have relatively fewer
side-effects 6.
In the Eastern Cape Province, herbal cosmetic products, are more frequently
bought from herbal shops, but in a few cases, they are still prepared at home, especially
those used for skin care. Despite enormous advertising campaigns for new and
improved cosmetic products, Xhosa men and women still use, indeed prefer,
certain traditional vegetable and mineral cosmetics (imbhola yesiXhosa) for
beauty, health, well-being and as social status indicators in the Eastern Cape
today. In line with this, it is worth reviewing the knowledge and usage of ethnobotanically
reported plants used in the Eastern Cape Province for various cosmetic purposes.

have been the main source of all cosmetics since time immemorial, before
the use of chemical-based cosmetics. Humans, indeed still prefer using plant
extracts for various cosmetics purposes. They used plant extracts for
cleansing, beauty, health, wellbeing and social status indicator.  Presently, there is an increased demand for
herbal cosmetics products. This could be due to the poor image that chemical-based
cosmetics are harmful to the skin and an increased awareness among consumer for
herbal products triggered the demand for natural products and natural extracts
in cosmetics preparation. The Herbal cosmetics are
formulated, using different cosmetic ingredients to form the base in which one
or more herbal ingredients are used to do
magical wonders to an individual’s skin as well as other parts of the body.  Herbal
cosmetics are also been prepared in various types of formulation to ease of
use.  The formulations include ointments,
creams, emulsions, powder solutions and compacts can be employed based on the
need. The legal requirement and regulatory procedures for herbal cosmetics are
same as that for chemical ingredients or moieties used in cosmetic formulations
However, the significant growing interest in herbal cosmetic products has produced new opportunities in
cosmeceutical market. This emerging pattern shift in
cosmeceutical market continues to be driven by the growing demand for herbal products
which is increasingly fascinating amongst young and elderly people worldwide.


Beauty plays an important role in
our day to day life. It is a very important source of inspiration in all areas
of lives, thus providing pleasure or deep satisfaction to the sensations. Some are
born with natural beauty while others are made beautiful aesthetically. The
word ‘beauty’ is not associated with females only as is often thought, but
males also used cosmetic products. According to the European Directive
93/95/EEC (European Commission), cosmetic products are referred to as “any
substances or preparation intended for application to any external surface of the
human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs),
or  with the teeth including the mucosa  membranes of the oral cavity with a view
exclusively or mainly  to cleaning,
perfuming or protecting them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body
odour and/or protecting them or keeping them in good conditions” 1.
 Currently, cosmeceutical industry is gaining popularity nowadays, as
many cosmetic products are now being supplemented with natural ingredients.
The term “natural” denotes as any element of the physical universe that is made
by nature or found in nature and is specifically extracted from animal or
plants products. Sources
of natural ingredients include water, land, mineral, fruits, flowers, leaves
and herbs 2.








is the science of alteration of appearance and has been practiced since ancient
times. In South Africa, especially Eastern Cape, the concept of using plants
for beautification finds its origin in the traditional medicine literature.  Moreover, herbal extract as a whole or part
thereof has been used for various ailments of the skin, hair and for overall
appearance. Recently, the interest of consumers in the use of herbal cosmetics
has been stimulated by the decline of faith in modern cosmetic products based
on the beliefs that plant remedies were natural and thereby superior to
synthetic cosmetics and the reference to successful historical use by different
cultures. A number of South African medicinal plants have been evaluated for
their cosmetic potential. In this article, we review the major studies
conducted based on the plant used in the Eastern Cape Province for cosmetic
products. Overall, the results of the studies conducted confirmed the potential
of the Eastern Cape medicinal plants in cosmetic products and identified a
number of promising species for further investigation as plant-based cosmetic agents.