Antioxidant and bactericidal properties of CO2-extracts for cosmetic products
Subcritical СО2-extracts in cosmetics
CO2 - Extract of Siberian Fir
Pikhtovit - water fraction of CO2-extract of siberian fir


New trends in the cosmetic production require more serious approach to the choice of the formulas. One shouldn't neglect the influence of cosmetics on the health of a person, in particular, frequent cases of allergy to some components. Unfortunately, more often the causes of it are such necessary components of cosmetic formulas as scents and preservatives. Is there a panacea for all these troubles? In accordance with our studies, now we can tell with confidence: yes, there is. It is the CO2-extracts.

The analysis of up-to-date world trends of perfumery-cosmetics smell evolution shows that lately perfumers actively use spice-and-flavour aspects of the smells, or food scents (EDIBLE). The most known of this aspect perfumes made lately, are Lolita Lempicka (L. Lempicka Company), Angel ( T. Mugler), Casmir (Chopard) and Wish (Chopard). When developing compositions for perfumes, the perfumers more often use smells of honey, caramel, red fruit, cardamom, spices, green tea and carrot. For the last novelties, these are Reur de Carotte of L'Artisan Perfumer Company (France), - a toilet water with freshness, greenery, carrot scents against a background of flower aroma; Oblique (Play) of Givenchy Company (France), - a toilet water of the caramel-and-fruit aspect, etc.

As to cosmetics in which CO2-extracts are included in formulas as biologically active additives, one can not only decrease the dozes of perfumery scents but fully replace them. Introduction of CO2-extracts into products in 0.5 per cent amounts regarding the total amount, allows receiving a high-grade aroma of the spice-and-flavour aspect product.

All CO2-extracts selected for the studies, had antioxidant properties preventing oxidation of the oil phase as a component of cosmetic products and as own oil component.

CO2-extracts are brought into cosmetic products primarily for satiation of a product with biologically active substances favourably influencing skin, hair and gums.
The extracts listed above contain vitamin systems, tannins, the substances stimulating blood circulation and thereby indirectly strengthening metabolism. They also contain medical preventive additives.

CO2-extracts are non-polluting products combining the advantages of a native bouquet of spicy aromatic substances which cannot be extracted by any other extraction method. One can keep them for three years in normal conditions without a special sealing and without losses of properties as CO2-extracts are bactericidal.

The studies have shown that CO2-extracts do not lose their bactericidal properties in products. When checking cosmetic products by a loading test with such micro-organism cultures as Ps. aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacteriaceae family at the semination level of the first ones 103 - 104 КОЕ/g., bactericidal and bacteriostatic effect of CO2- extracts was revealed. When ranging CO2-extracts by the bactericidal ability, the sequence was received: echinacea, Siberian fir, sage, walnut, horse-radish, siliculose pepper, zest of orange, waste products of sea-buckthorn berries, seeds of carrots, balm citric, greenery of parsley, olives, rosemary, cardamom, mace.

The carried out studies allow making the conclusion as follows: use of CO2-extracts is most expedient for tooth-pastes. The extracts strengthening metabolisms alongside with bactericidal properties, are preferable for shampoos: CO2-extracts of siliculose pepper, horse-radish, echinacea, etc. The cosmetic creams with CO2-extracts are enriched with biologically active substances, which in turn have an expressed favourable influence on withering skin.

Use of CO2-extracts in the cosmetic industry solves three problems at once:
- the extracts provide an expressed smell of a product;
- antioxidant properties of the extracts allow keeping products in a native state, as well as indirectly increase shelf life of a product;
- the extracts contain useful substances preventing presenilation.

Table 1
Antioxidant properties of CO2-extracts in cosmetic products

CO2-extracts Emulsion creams Shampoos Toothpastes
Parameters antioxidant properties on methyl oleate
Control - 0.40 0.0 0.0
Seeds of carrot 1.23 0.15 0.0
Zest of orange 0.67 0.27 0.12
Walnut 0.96 0.3 0.4
Balm citric 0.21 0.32 0.43
Greenery of parsley 0.86 0.0 0.34
Echinacea 0.56 0.21 0.43
Sage 0.2 0.11 0.37
Rosemary 0.21 0.13 0.31
Waste products of sea-buckthorn berries 0.76 0.25 0.54
Siberian fir 0.67 0.17 0.27
Horse-radish 0.13 0.21 0.11
Olives 0.67 0.31 0.21
Cardamom 0.53 0.18 0.08
Siliculose pepper 0.2 0.1 0.0
Mace 0.49 0.41 0.09
  • It is checked up over than forty CO2-extracts; the most interesting ones are included in the Table.
  • The technique of the determination see: S. I. Alaverdieva. Antioxidant properties of natural components and their mixtures in lipid oxidation processes in technologies of cosmetic products. Author's abstract. Moscow, MSUFI, 2000.


Application of subcritical СО2-extracts when producing cosmetic products raises advantages of the latter ones giving cosmetic bases various valuable properties. СО2 extracts increase regenerating properties of creams, develop nutritious, protective, humidifying creams, eliminate vitamin insufficiency, lower asteatosis state of skin; the extracts also enrich the cream with biologically active substances.

In practice, it is possible to transfer a huge variance of natural substances to a cosmetic product as a СО2-extract or a combination of the extracts. In addition to a healthy influence on one's skin, СО2-extracts also provide stability of a cream in relation to oxidizing exposures, as well as regarding the action of micro-organisms.

The lipophilia of СО2-extracts ensures superior skin action deeply penetrating the hypodermic capillaries at molecular level.

The subcritical СО2-extracts giving the creams all of the above properties are listed in Table 1 overleaf together with their recommended use ratios (in percent to the total mass).
The combinations of СО2-extracts should also be of special interest for cosmetic products development. These extracts distinguish from simple mixtures of extracts by the fact that several kinds of vegetative raw materials are extracted simultaneously at a specially selected ratio, forming complex and at the same time valuable systems (blends). The matter is that during subcritical extraction the adjustment, balancing and forming of the composition occurs at molecular level. As a result, synergistically compatible and balanced product is received containing aromatic, biologically active, pharmacological and other valuable components.

These blends facilitate the work of cosmeticians on creating a wide range of biocosmetic products with targeted action, tailored for various types of skin or for different parts of human body. We may offer a number of combinations of СО2-extracts. The examples are given in Table 3 overleaf with the fillings rates given in percentage of the total mass.

General recommendations on use of subcritical СО2-extracts in cosmetic products by age groups of costumers

Infants and Young children
Child's skin is rich with blood capillaries thus it shows increased ability for absorption. Compared to the adults, the dosage of bioadditives should be reduced down to 10%.
Practically, only anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiallergic and drying remedies are used.

Children (7 to 14 years old)
Dosages of the bioadditives are approximately 50% compared to adults.

Teenagers and Youth (up to 25 years old)
The dosages are to be increased up to 65%.
Teenage skin is especially sensitive to any infection due to metabolism imbalance and because host defences of an organism are weak. The following actions are especially recommended: additional nutrition of skin with vitamins and sedatives containing anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, bactericidal and bacteriostatic components.

Adults (25 to 45 years old)
Bioadditives consumption is assumed to be equal to 100%.
Biocosmetics is used mostly preventively. Vitamin additives and bactericidal substances are introduced.

Mature Age (over 45)
Ageing of skin is an individual process, so additives amount sometimes can be
reduced, but more often it should be increased up to 1.5 times. Devastation of intercellular spaces results in connective tissue losing its elasticity flabbiness of skin and nutrition disorder due to sclerosis changes in capillaries. The addition of such bioactive substances as vitamins, hormones, trace elements, pharmacologically active substances (anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, bactericidal, etc.) is important.

Table 1. Filling rates of subcritical extracts in % to the total mass of the final product

Subcritical CO2-extracts Filling Rates
barley sprouts 0.03 - 0.07%
wheaten bran 0.1 - 0.3%
wild camomile 0.1 - 0.2%
seeds of carrots 0.15 - 0.25%
yeasty residuum of grape wines 0.5 - 1.2%
coniferous boughs of Siberian fir 0.1- 0.3%
sea-buckthorn berries 0.2 - 1.5%
seeds of grapes 1.5 - 3%
coniferous boughs of Caucasian fir 0.1- 3%
dioecious nettle up to 0.3%
milfoil 0.02 - 0.3%
extracts of pomegranates 0.1 - 1.0%
mint 0.04 - 0.05%
hop 0.01 - 0.06%
fennel 0.04 - 0.20%
parsley 0.025 - 0.1%
bur-marigold 0.05 - 0.5%

Table 2. Examples of some of the extracts and their positive effects on the skin

Subcritical CO2-extracts Positive Effects
barley sprouts
wheaten bran
wild camomile (combination)
nutrition action for any skin type, eliminates vitamin insufficiency and improves skin's regenerating properties
yeasty residuum of wines improves metabolic processes of skin, accelerates epithelization of wounded places, and promotes skin regeneration
coniferous boughs of Siberian fir or Caucasian fir stimulates fermental activity of skin, has anti-inflammatory effect and reduces permeability of skin vessels
contain ether oil, bornylacetate as a basic component. Vitamins E and C show antibacterial properties, especially regarding staphylococcus.
sea-buckthorn berries anti-inflammatory effect, increases permeability of skin vessels, prevents skin peeling, free of irritative and allergenic actions
grape seeds has tonic and moistures properties, protects skin against premature withering, saves skin's elasticity, promotes favourable metabolism

Table 3. Various combinations of CO2 extracts for use in cosmetics manufacturing

Blends of CO2 extracts Filling Rates Effects
parsley seeds
grape seeds
pomegranate marcs
0.1 - 1.5% It has biogenic-stimulus properties, improves exchange processes, accelerates epithelization, adjusts fatty exchange of epithelium cells, and gives antispasmodic and bactericidal effect; may be used in biocream for fat skin
0.1 - 1.0% biostimulation, bactericidal effect, skin vitaminization
red capsicum pepper
0.07 - 0.2% Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal, bleaching effect, local-irritating effect causing blood rush; limits discharge of sebaceous glands; intensifies metabolism, raises skin tonus
waste products of lavender
0.05 - 0.2% Bleaching effect.
grape seeds
pomegranates marcs
seeds of fennel
seeds of parsley
0.06 - 0.15% Bleaching, anti-inflammatory, tonic, regenerating effects and bactericidal action.
fennel seeds
0.1 - 0.6% Antiallergic, antipruritic, soothing action.
Smoothes fine wrinkles, promotes formation of new cells. Tonic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effect. Smoothens hands skin.
seeds of carrots
0.1 - 0.6% Anti-inflammatory, styptic, disinfectant and antiseptic, plasticizing, softening effect. Used for feet skin
wild camomile
0.04 - 0.2% Regenerating, antiallergic action with stimulating, freshening, calming effect; effective when reddening skin


Carbon dioxide extract of the Siberian Fir is the product of extraction of green wood pulp of the Siberian Fir by liquefied carbon dioxide (the CO2 extraction). Compared to the technologies that use organic solvents or water steam distillation, this method offers a number of advantages: no high temperatures are used during extraction, so the biologically active substances are not destroyed or modified in the process, while the carbon dioxide kills all microorganisms.

CO2 extract of the Siberian Fir is substantially richer in its composition than the oil of this species. While the Siberian Fir oil only consists of essential oils, the CO2 extract includes in its composition, in addition to the essential oils, just about all known lipovitamins (carotinoids, tocopherol, provitamins F, D, K), sterols (phytohormones), flavonoids, phospholipids, complex ethers, higher alcohols, a complex of natural organic acids, chlorophylls, phytoncides, micro- and macro elements. Therefore, prophylactic and curative efficiency of the biologically active substances found in CO2 extracts is considerably higher than that of the Siberian Fir essential oil.

CO2 extract of the Siberian Fir is recommended for use in perfumery, cosmetics, household chemicals, to manufacture personal hygiene and cosmetics products that are very stable and preserve their original biologically active properties. This product is an efficient preparation for health recovery, decontamination and air deodoration. In cosmetics, CO2 extract is an attractive option for several reasons:

  • The presence of tocopherol in the CO2 extract determines its antioxidant properties, so there is no need to add stabilizing agents while formulating the preparation;
  • The preparation possesses anti-inflammatory and regenerative effect for outer skin and tissues.
  • As antioxidant, it slows down aging processes in skin cells.
  • CO2 extract of Siberian Fir has bactericidal properties and represses the growth of many microorganisms. According to research institutes in the pharmaceutical industry, the extract represses spore micro flora when used in concentration above 250 mkg/ml.
  • CO2 extract contains up to 48 percent of essential oils. With its pleasant scent, the extract can be recommended for use as an odorant.

Recommended dosage: for medical treatment - 3-5 percent; as stabilizer - 1-3 percent.

CO2 extract of the Siberian Fir is used medically to treat diseases of the upper respiratory tract, and those of the cardiovascular and peripheral nervous system.

It is used locally to treat backaches, rheumatism, arthritis, and other malfunctions of the skeletal and motion system of the body.
The presence of carotinoids, sterols and a vitamin complex explains the biogenic stimulation properties of the extract. This improves metabolic processes and accelerates epithelization of wounds. The CO2 extract of the Siberian fir has demonstrated good properties as a medicine to heal wounds and burns, including festering wounds and ulcers (both varicose and trophic), and to treat heel cracks.

The CO2 extract has great anti-inflammatory and regenerating effect on the skin and tissues, it also improves the lipolytic activity in the skin.
In dentistry, the extract is used to treat paradontosis, stomatite, and other mouth cavity diseases.

The CO2 extract of the Siberian Fir has bactericidal properties, and represses the growth of numerous microorganisms and spore micro flora. The needles essential oils are excellent inhaling substances with great antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect, they are also an excellent preventive medicine at the time of an flu epidemic. Foot baths help against colds and have beneficial effect on the bioactive points of the feet, they also have favorable effect on the entire body system. The Siberian Fir Subcritical CO2 extract has not skin irritants properties.


The extract of Siberian Fir is an age-old and widely known folk medicine.

Decoctions of Siberian Fir young bough were used against scurvy or general malaise as a stimulant that boosts the body's resistance functions; for their favorable effect on the gastrointestinal tract, and to fight the pernicious effect of pathogens.

Water fraction of Siberian Silver Fir is a dark cherry-colored liquid with pleasant fir-like scent. The water fraction constituents include: ascorbic acid, group B vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids, chlorophyll, polyphenols, and minerals.

The original technology allows obtaining an original product. Our water extract of Siberian Fir is not just water solution of biologically active substances extracted by exposing a Siberian Fir branch to water steam. It is the cellular juice taken from the plant by liquid carbon dioxide under pressure without thermal treatment.

Water extract of Siberian Fir is a natural adaptogenic agent with a broad spectrum of action. The product can restore physiological functions of human body, increase its resistance against various physical, chemical and biological factors: toxic effects of various chemicals, numerous infections, radiation damage. It also possess anti-tumor activity.

  • Siberian Fir extracts taken as medicine relieve the course of the radiation disease, remove the symptoms of radiation damage to the body, and have hemostimulating effect. A treatment course with Siberian Fir extract notably increases the level of leukocytes, erythrocytes and hemoglobin in blood. Its ability to raise disease resistance has been proved.
  • The Cardiology Institute of Tomsk Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science has examined the effect of the Siberian Fir extract in patients suffering from neurocirculatory dystony, myocardium ischemia and arterial hypertension. After a one-month course of Siberian Fir extract treatment, considerable improvement was observed in patients with neurocirculatory dystony and arterial hypertension. General condition and performance of patients was improved, their heart aches, head aches, weakness decreased or disappeared completely. A drop in arterial tension was registered. Positive changes in the blood composition, including lower cholesterol and triglyceride content were observed.
  • Siberian Fir extract has a clearly stimulating effect on gastric secretion. Siberian Fir extract is efficient when used in combination with other medicines to treat such gastrointestinal diseases as gastritis, colitis, enterocolitis, stomach ulcer, and duodenum ulcer. After 6-8 days of extract intake, pains and nausea in the patients disappeared, and their stool normalized. Activation of biosynthetic processes in secretory cells of the stomach mucosa resulted in rapid normalization of secreting activity. It has been proved that the Siberian Fir extract can be used as a principal medication in cases where the stomach ulcer is up to 5 mm, and in larger ulcerous cases it can be used as complementary to the standard treatment plan.
  • The formulation was useful in the complex treatment of patients in proctology, against rectum fistulas, proctitis, festering wounds and inflammatory processes in the intestinal mucosa. This effect is expressed through accelerated purification of festering wounds, active stimulation of granulating processes, immune system stimulation. In the groups of patients where the Siberian Fir extract was administered in combination with conventional treatment, recovery occurred 5-7 days earlier.
  • The Siberian Fir extract has been successfully used to treat lung disease and upper respiratory tract disease (such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis). The preparation eliminates inflammatory processes in the bronchi-lung system. Conifers are known to contain phytoncide complexes that have destructive effect on the microflora. Using 6 strains of different microorganisms, it was proved experimentally, that the extract of the Siberian Fir slows down their growth and development by 70 to 150 times. The Siberian Fir extract is used for complex treatment of the lungs, primarily to reduce side effect caused by tuberculostatic drugs intake.
  • Skin application of the extract in case of burns or dermatitis rapidly eliminates growing pathological process and prevents any possible recurrences. In case of mucous membrane injuries (erosions or ulcers), the Siberian Fir extract causes fast granulation of the injured areas.
In this way, water extract of the Siberian Fir stimulates blood generation, the body's immunity system and regeneration processes, it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-ulcer, and anti-radiation effects, it improves the functions of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The preparation is not toxic and has no allergic, carcinogenic or teratogenic properties.

To make the recommended weekly dose, use 5-10 ml or 1-2 teaspoons of Pikhtovit per 1 liter of water.
Take 1/4 to 1/2 glass twice a day with the meal. The treatment course duration is 2-4 weeks.

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