Different vernacular names for Hibiscus Sabdariffa are Roselle, Red Sorrel, Jamaica Sorrel, Indian Sorrel, and Guinea Sorrel. It belongs to the family of Malvaceae. Herbaceous, annual, or bi-annual plants grow up to 16 feet tall. The stem is robust; the leaves are dark green, oval, alternate, simple, or divided into three lobes; the flowers grow solitary and axillary and are usually red.
Hibiscus Sabdariffa seems original from Central America and introduced into different tropical regions. This plant is currently cultivated in every sub-tropical region, especially in Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, Mexico, and China.
Hibiscus is traditionally used in slightly acidic beverages like Karkade tea that doesn't contain caffeine. In addition, the Roselle flowers have been used in folk medicine to treat numerous skin conditions thanks to their antiseptic, astringent, soothing, and toning properties.
- Modern uses of Red Sorrel extract are based on scientific studies that reveal numerous beneficial effects on the skin:
- Rich in anthocyans and flavones, it protects blood vessels and improves microcirculation
- It inhibits the Elastase enzyme responsible for the destruction of elastin, preserving skin elasticity and suppleness.
- Active compounds from Hibiscus Sabdariffa extract block the calcium influx through adrenergic receptors and relax expression muscles, smoothing expression lines and wrinkles.
- This multifunctional ingredient is also a potent antioxidant protecting skin from free radicals, DNA damage, and oxidative stress.
- Thanks to hydroxy acids (AHAs and PHAs), this ingredient is a mild exfoliating agent that gently eliminates dead and dull cells from the skin surface.
- Roselle extract also decreases bacteria, fungi, and yeast growth, exposing natural antiseptic effects and helping to treat acne and various skin infections.
- Rich in simple sugars and oligosaccharides, this ingredient improves skin hydration and enhances moisture retention.