There aren’t many fruits found more in face masks than in meals, but Emu Apple is one that the world has identified as a powerful cosmetic ingredient rather than a smoothie super food. In fact, a quick google search for ‘Emu Apple’ shows more information on beauty products than on recipes using the nutritious fruit. So how did this little apple (really, a berry) make its way into the skincare space and will it stay as a pillar ingredient?
The Berry’s Backstory
Wild harvested across South Australia, Emu Apple is rife with potent phyto-actives that it produces to survive its harsh environment. Traditionally, the Indigenous valued the little miracle berry, measuring about 1cm in diameter, for its edible qualities. Also known as muntries (Kunzea pomifera), native cranberries, munthari, muntaberry or monterry, these little morsels are packed with antioxidants (up to 10 times more than blueberries) and were traditionally ingested rather than used topically.
Harnessing the Apple’s Activity
As Australia's leading manufacturer of water-soluble extracts, Native Extracts processed the first Cellular Extraction of Emu Apple in 2013 and had its phyto-compound profile verified by Southern Cross University’s Plant Science Laboratories. The report showed an incredible profile of water-soluble phyto-actives that would deliver a multifunctional extract, great for skin and later to be found – hair!
As featured in the recent Beauty Crew article, these powerhouse berries contain particular compounds that work to prevent the skin from ageing. Out of the ten compounds found in the Cellular Extract, the Flavone Glycosides, Quercetin and Kaempferol, contain potent anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential for the skin.
Our recent research has also shown this combination of phyto-compounds to have incredible effects for hair growth by activating hair cells, improving dermal penetration and counteracting thinning/weakening (miniaturisation). Research indicates flavone glycosides can assist in stabilising vitamin C, intensifying its antioxidant activity and increasing collagen synthesis as well.
Multifunctional for Simple Formulas
When we first discovered the power of Emu Apple, we began showing brands like Mukti the incredible results we were seeing on trials. As a pioneer of Green Beauty in Australia, she has translated the amazing benefits of this powerful little apple into some incredible products, like the Age Defiance Eye Serum. It's a bedside must-have here at Native! Now, multinational brands like Sand & Sky have caught on to the multifunctional power of Emu Apple, boasting their clean and effective formulas, delivering a number of compounds through one extract, without the need for synthetic additives or loaded ingredients lists.
While some brands also include Emu Apple Seed in their products, it’s practical to note that not all parts of a plant offer the same benefits. Emu Apple seeds are so tiny we are not sure how it is possible to create large volumes of their oil. The water-soluble fruit extract is the most superior, with multiple natural compounds identified when we first opened the cell. We suspend these natural molecules in a liquid matrix, transferring and harnessing them in their synergistic relationships as they are in the cell – capturing the entourage or water-soluble blueprint.
Natural Extracts for Regenerating Native Bush Communities
Sourcing native bush foods for advanced botanical extracts feeds Indigenous economies and ecosystems by providing a source of income for wild harvesters, new commercial growing opportunities and supporting insects and nectar loving birds. Synthetic ingredients don’t do either of these, so when and if you are sourcing your own Emu Apple extract, it’s important to consider its social and environmental impacts.
Different extraction processes use varying amounts of raw materials, thus affecting supply, which is increasingly a concern with the recent bush fires and native ingredients growing popularity. Compared to previous methods like maceration and percolation, Cellular Extraction uses less plant material for a superior extract. We don’t draw on the precious public water supply either - all extracts are created with rain harvested water that is purified to hospital standards.
Emu Apple Phyto-Compound Profile
From publicly available peer reviewed abstracts, this is what's known of these compounds.
Amino Acids: Increase skin barrier function, regulate skin collagen synthesis, antioxidant activity, maintain skin vitality as anti-aging agent
Organic Acids: Antimicrobial, anti-acne, exfoliating, moisturising and conditioning properties, suppresses inflammatory agents and positive effects on microbiome.
Sugar Alcohols: Humectants, prevents loss of moisture
Gallic Acid: Skin radiance, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, regulates skin aging and exerts anti-aging activity, improves wound healing
Catechin: Protects from skin aging due to sun exposure, maintain skin flexibility and prevent wrinkle formation, wound healing, anti-inflammatory
Phenolics: Attenuates or prevents progression of skin disorders (i.e. rosacea), wound/burn healing, anti-aging benefits, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory,
…. And MORE!
To see all of the Emu Apple Cellular Extract’s water-soluble actives and their potential applications in your products, REQUEST an extract data sheet or our latest brochure on extracts for Hair Care.