Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract
* Also known as Guarana
Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract is derived from an Amazonian plant primarily used as an herbal supplement that supposedly treats a variety of ailments, ranging from diarrhea to migraines. It is also used as a weight loss treatment because of its caffeine levels, which are twice as high as those found in coffee beans (Wikipedia
). It is thought to have antioxidant and antibacterial effects, and the high concentration of caffeine in Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract serves as a defensive toxin that cleanses the body from the inside out.
It is used in skin care and anti-aging products for its toning and astringent properties, and as a treatment for cellulite. Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract is thought to target cellulite because of its theophylline and caffeine components, according to an article published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics
. As a vascoconstrictor, caffeine tends to reduce puffiness and create a smoothing effect. By increasing blood flow and increasing the lipolytic effect, it blocks enzymes and decreases triglycerides breakage. This anti-inflammatory impact also makes Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract a popular ingredient in eye creams. By constricting the blood vessels in the delicate eye area, caffeine can help temporarily reduce puffiness.
This is temporary, however; it is important to stay hydrated to counteract caffeine's drying effects. This temporary smoothing effect is one reason caffeine is a popular ingredient in anti-cellulite creams. However, according to Health Central
, cellulite is a specific type of fat cell and cannot be dissolved with a skin cream. The dehydration effects of caffeine simply shrink the skin and fat cells, creating a smoother appearance, but no lasting effects.
Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract is FDA approved and has received its GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The Cosmetics Database
finds Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract to be a 95% safe, low hazard ingredient, and note cancer as a concern, although studies were involving one or more in vitro tests on non-mammalian cells that showed positive mutation results, unlike a human reaction to a topical application. The Material Safety Data Sheet
does list Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract as having carcinogenic effects, however, "Classified PROVEN by State of California Proposition 65."
However, another concern listed was regarding additive exposure sources, as this ingredient can permeate the skin and deliver toxins and other unwanted ingredients into the body. It has also been listed as an irritant to the skin and eyes on its MSDS.
There are other health concerns regarding taking Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract as a dietary or weight loss supplement, including seizures, muscle spasms, and convulsions, heart disease, and an increase in the risk of bleeding (Wellness.com
). "Nausea, stomach upset, trouble sleeping, restlessness, nervousness, tremor, increased urination, headache or lightheadedness may occur," according to MedicineNet.com
, and women who are breast-feeding should not take Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract, as caffeine is easily transferred through breast milk.
Recommended Products w/ Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract:
, Murad Firm and Tone Serum for Cellulite