Juniperus Phoenicea Gum Extract
What Is It?
There are a number of ingredients derived from four species of juniper that may be used in cosmetic and personal care products. These include Juniperus Communis Fruit The mixture of substances drawn out of a material by solution, heat, or another physical or chemical process., Juniperus Oxycedrus Fruit Extract, Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood A thick dark-colored semi-liquid of organic composition obtained by the destructive distillation of organic substances and bituminous minerals, including wood, coal or peat., Juniperus Phoenicea Sticky, polysaccharide substances exuded by plants that are gelatinous when moist but harden on drying. Extract and Juniperus Virginiana Wood Extract. The Juniper-derived ingredients are used in the formulation of makeup products such as lipsticks, foundations, mascara, blushers, and face powders, as well as some skin care products. Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar is used in the formulation of shampoos and other hair care products.
Why Is It Used?
The following functions have been reported for the juniper-derived ingredients.
- Ingredients that are applied to the skin to relieve pain. In the United States, external analgesics are regulated as Over-The-Counter (OTC) drug ingredients. – Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar
- Ingredients that enhance the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. – Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar
- Skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous – Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract
The following common names are also used for these species of Juniper. Juniperus communis – Common Juniper Juniperus oxycedrus – Cade Juniper Juniperus phoenicea – Phoenician Juniper Juniperus virginiana – Eastern or Virginia Red Cedar
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Juniperus communis berry oil on its list of essential oils considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as food for human consumption. Juniper tar is approved for use as an analgesic, anesthetic, and antipruretic active ingredient in Over-The-Counter (OTC) anorectal drug products. The safety of Juniper Extracts and Tar has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that the available data were insufficient to determine whether Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Juniperus Oxycedrus Fruit Extract, Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar, Juniperus Phoenicea Gum Extract and Juniperous Virginiana Wood Extract were either safe or unsafe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel noted that Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar is produced as a by-product of distillation. No information was available on the manufacturing process for any of the extracts. Oils derived from these species of juniper are commonly produced using steam distillation of the source material. One report states that the chemical composition of Juniperus Communis Oil and Juniperus Communis Extract is similar. No data were available, however, indicating the extent to which there would be variations in composition that may occur as a result of extraction differences or any other factor such as plant growth conditions. Information on the composition of the other extracts was not available.
Most of the available safety test data were from studies using oils derived from the various species of juniper. Because of the expected similarity in composition to the extract, these data were considered. Acute studies showed little toxicity of the oil or tar.
The oils derived from J. communis and J. virginiana and Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar were not skin irritants. The oil from J. virginiana was not a sensitizer, and the oil from J. communis was not phototoxic. Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar was genotoxic in several assays.
No genotoxicity data were available for any of the extracts. Large oral doses Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract did affect fertility and caused fetal deaths. Clinical tests showed no evidence of dermal irritation or sensitization with any of the tested oils, but some evidence of sensitization to the tar. These data were not considered sufficient to assess the safety of these ingredients.
To complete their safety assessment, the CIR Expert Panel requested additional data on
1) current concentration of use;
2) methods of manufacture and impurities;
3) UV absorption spectra;
4) developmental toxicity data to detemine the dose that does not affect reproduction;
5) genotoxicity data; and
6) carcinogenicity data on juniper tar.
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Juniper berry oil and Juniper Tar
Juniper Extracts and Juniper Tar may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:
More Scientific Information
The chemical composition of Juniperus Communis Oil and Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract is reported to be similar, each containing a wide variety of terpenoids and aromatic compounds, with the occasional aliphatic alcohols and aldehydes, and, more rarely, alkanes. The principle component of Juniperus Oxycedrus Wood Tar is cadinene, a sesquiterpene, but cresol and guaiacol are also found.
Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration
OTC Drug Home Page: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSa…
Information about OTC Drug monographs: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/over-counter-otc-drug-monograph-process
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/defaul…
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/