Why can not marigold extract be used for skin care?

Stachyose food additives

Why can not marigold extract be used for skin care?

31/08/2021 blog 0

On May 28 this year, the State Food and Drug Administration’s announcement on updating the list of banned ingredients for cosmetics (No. 74 of 2021) officially listed TAGETES ERECTA extract and TAGETES ERECTA oil as banned raw materials for cosmetics. In the document, the “Catalogue of Prohibited Cosmetic Ingredients” totals 1284; the “Catalogue of Prohibited Cosmetics (Animal) Ingredients” contains 109 items.

Some people question: Marigold extract (lutein) is used as a food additive in many food categories such as dairy products, biscuits, and beverages in my country. It can also be used in feed. Since humans and animals can eat it, why can’t it be used in cosmetics? Is the safety level of food even lower than cosmetics?

Of course it is not what everyone thinks, listen to Zhitiqiao and analyze it slowly.

Marigold extract (lutein) is a food additive and new food material.

The main source of lutein and lutein esters is marigold flowers. Many people recognize the benefits of lutein in eye health. It can be used in ordinary foods. It is often seen that eye jelly and child food supplements use this ingredient. , Which shows its importance in the development of daily functional foods. The national standard GB 26405-2011 is the standard for food additives-lutein. The simple process is described as using marigold oleoresin as the raw material, saponified, extracted and refined.

In addition, the No. 12 document of the Ministry of Health in 2008 approved lutein esters (chemical name: lutein dipalmitate) as a new food material. The initial source is marigold flowers. The process description uses marigold flowers as raw materials, which are dehydrated and crushed. , Solvent extraction, purification of low molecular weight alcohol and vacuum concentration. It is stipulated that the daily usage amount is ≤12 mg/day; the usage scope includes bakery foods, dairy products, beverages, instant cereals, frozen beverages, condiments and candies, but does not include infant foods.

Marigold extract is allowed to be used in feed

On March 9, 2021, the European Union issued Regulation (EU) 2021/420, approving Lutein-rich and lutein/zeaxanthin extracts from Tagetes erecta from marigolds as feed additives Used for fattening and laying of poultry (except turkeys), and fattening and laying of small poultry,

Extracts rich in lutein are used for chicken fattening and small poultry fattening, hen laying and small poultry laying. The maximum content of total carotenoids in the complete feed with a moisture content of 12% is 80mg/kg; lutein / Zeaxanthin extract is used for chicken fattening and small poultry fattening. The maximum content of total carotenoids in the complete feed with a moisture content of 12% when laying eggs is 80mg/kg, and it is 50mg when used for laying eggs on small poultry. /kg.

In my country, lutein derived from marigold is also allowed to be used as a feed additive.

Why can’t marigold extract be used in cosmetics?

As early as 1986, Chinese researchers have studied the safety of marigold extract; experiments have confirmed that marigold root extract contains more thiophene compounds, which can cause irritation to human skin, form blisters, and threaten health!

In 2005, the European Commission for Consumer Products Science, SCCP, considered that Tagetes erecta, Tagetes minuta and Tagetes patula extracts and oils are phototoxic. Since there is no basis for a safe dosage, it is recommended that Tagetes erecta, Tagetes minuta and Tagetes patula extracts and oils ) Do not use in cosmetics. Until 2013, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) updated the information file of this type of substance, which determined the maximum allowable concentration of marigold plant extracts and essential oils used in stay cosmetics as 0.01%.

Therefore, in 2015, the European Union SCCS re-evaluated the extracts and essential oils of marigold plants. This evaluation is only for phototoxicity.

The European Union SCCS believes that:

Marigold (Tagetes minuta) and T. patula (T. patula) extracts and essential oils are safe when the maximum allowable concentration is 0.01% in stay cosmetics (except sunscreen products), but the alpha-trithiophene (alpha terthienyl) shall not exceed 0.35%.

Marigold (Tagetes minuta) and maidenhair (T. patula) extracts and essential oils cannot be used in sunscreen products. Because under ultraviolet radiation, phototoxicity will increase!

In 2016, the SCCS (European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) pointed out that the maximum allowable concentration of small marigold, maidenhair extract and oil in rinse-off cosmetics should be set at 0.1%.

In 2018, the European Union officially classified marigold as a banned ingredient in cosmetics! The European Union Gazette announced the European Commission (EU) 2018/978 Amendment, which officially updated Annexes II and III of the EU Cosmetics Regulations, and included marigold flower extracts and flower oils in the list of prohibited substances, small marigold and maidenhair flower extracts and flower oils Included in the restricted substance list.

In fact, marigold extract was previously allowed to be used in cosmetics!

In 2005, the evaluation opinion SCCP/0869/05 issued by the European Commission for Consumer Products (SCCP) proposed that marigold extract/oil is phototoxic. Due to the lack of unproven safety limits for use, it is recommended not to use marigold and small in cosmetics. Marigold, Maidenhair extract/oil.

Then, in the evaluation opinion SCCS/1551/15, it is pointed out that in the stay cosmetics, the concentration of small marigold and maidenhair extract/oil is safe when the concentration does not exceed 0.01%. However, this conclusion does not apply to sunscreen products and cosmetics that are specifically exposed to natural or artificial ultraviolet rays. Therefore, SCCS believes that marigold extract/oil should not be used in such products.

The list of small marigold flower oil and marigold flower extracts in the 2015 version of the “Catalogue of Names of Used Cosmetic Ingredients” is listed, and the use amount and scope of use are not included in the “Cosmetics Safety Technical Specification” (2015 version) Implement legal restrictions. In May 2021, the National Medical Products Administration officially classified marigold flower extract and marigold oil as prohibited raw materials.


Although there is no case of photosensitivity dermatitis caused by marigold flower extract/oil, EU research believes that the α-tertthiophene is phototoxic to humans.

Some people say that α-tertthiophene is not the main component of the extract, even if the content is very small, it is the incidental residue of the extract, but the quality of the raw material of the extract and the maturity of the process will affect its residue in the extract. Supervision brings a certain degree of difficulty, and the use of such materials that are known to be risky can cause potential damage to the body.

The prohibition of relevant raw materials in our country can eliminate safety hazards on the one hand, and on the other hand, it can be on the same track with foreign standards, which is of far-reaching significance! Why is it not banned in food? Because the limit of lutein in food is ≤12mg/day, the main ingredient is already very low, and α-tertthiophene accounts for ≤0.35% of its components, which is safe. Will not cause safety hazards. Moreover, this study is aimed at the phototoxicity of α-tertthiophene, which doubles its phototoxicity under ultraviolet light and has potential skin hazards, so its use in cosmetics is prohibited.
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