Making and manufacturing extracts for beauty products

When you’re developing a new range of skincare or haircare formulations, have you thought about harnessing the benefits of plant extracts? Even a small amount in beauty products can provide numerous benefits and a scent to awaken the senses.

A key reason to incorporate extracts into your products is their ability to provide natural solutions. Renowned for their potent properties, botanicals can do everything from soothing inflammation through to nourishing tired-looking skin.

As a UK beauty manufacturer, Hera Beauty makes most of its own extracts in-house or, if you’re after something more unusual, we can source the ingredients you need too. Take a look here to find out what we do.

But first, let’s see in more detail about what extracts actually are and how they benefit consumers.

Focus on extracts

Botanical extracts are derived from plants, fruit, and flowers - and they can be from the whole plant or one part; such as bark, leaves, petals or seeds. They consist of a concentrated solution that captures the essence of their source. Botanical extracts are often packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help nourish the skin and hair.

When you are deciding on the formulations of your products, why not customise your ingredients and enhance them with extracts? Extracts are known to have many beneficial properties. Whether it's the antioxidant-rich green tea, the anti-ageing qualities of grape seed, or the soothing effects of aloe vera, extracts can offer a wide range of benefits.

Extracts are either oil-based or water-based. They are made from freeze-dried, dried or fresh materials, depending on what is in season and available at the time. The type of plant, its fresh or dried state, and how it responds to extraction processes determine how the essence is created.

How are extracts made?

  • Hydroglycolic extracts are produced via maceration in a mixture of water and glycol. The finished product is water soluble and generally suitable for including in creams, lotions and wash products.
  • Hydroglyceric extracts are offered in two forms: cold process extracts and hot process extracts. The hot process allows for faster extraction, but the cold process is used when heat affects the character of the botanical, such as with cucumber or pineapple. These extracts are also water soluble.
  • Hydroalcoholic extracts are made using water and extraction fluid (made from water and denatured ethanol). This type of extract can be used in formulations that already contain alcohol; such as skin toners, antiperspirants or sanitiser gels.
  • Infused oil extracts have an extraction fluid generally made up of either sunflower oil or sweet almond oil, mixed with a small quantity of either vitamin E or vitamin E acetate to inhibit oxidation. This type of extract would typically be used in face, body or hair oils, creams, lotions, butters or balms.

Discover more

When formulating skincare products containing extracts, opt for reputable manufacturers that prioritise quality and sustainability. One route that Hera Beauty is exploring further is the ability to upcycle waste products, which would otherwise go to landfill. For example, extracts could be created from the seeds or discarded skins of fruits used in the food industry.

We already make our own extracts, but in the future, we would like to produce them from plants we’ve grown on-site at our Cambridgeshire facility to reduce travel miles too - a great way to cut carbon for the benefit of our brands and the environment.  

Got some ideas for your next beauty product range? Get in touch today to see how we can manufacture and incorporate the extracts of your choice.