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3 Surprising Ways Bamboo Extract Can Benefit Your Skin

Bamboo doesn’t just make for great landscaping: It also has potential in your skincare routine, too. Here at Kiehl’s, learn 3 beauty benefits of bamboo.

Some of the most beloved and influential ingredients used in the skincare industry today are rooted in discoveries made by ancient people hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago. Turmeric’s purifying properties have been known since at least 250 BC; olive oil, meanwhile, has been used as a natural moisturizer since the rise of ancient Greek civilizations—possibly even earlier. It stands to reason that other long-loved plant ingredients, such as bamboo, may similarly be worth investigating for their potential beauty benefits.

Luckily, you don’t have to do the research yourself—you have us. Ahead, we’re diving deep into bamboo and revealing how this immensely popular (and ancient) natural resource can benefit your skin. You’ll discover some of the plant’s most notable properties, and learn how you can incorporate bamboo into your regular skincare routine. So get comfortable, prepare to learn, and read on to discover three bamboo benefits for skin.

What Is Bamboo?

If we had to guess, we’d say you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with bamboo. There are more than 1,400 species of bamboo, the most widely known of which is Bambusa vulgaris, or common bamboo. Native to tropical and subtropical regions throughout Asia, this woody grass (yep, bamboo is a grass) is celebrated for its versatility and renewability. Bamboo grows extraordinarily fast—sometimes as much a foot per day—and can reach heights of up to 130 feet. Different parts of the plant are used in a wide variety of applications, from construction to textile making. Of course, what we’re most interested in is how bamboo is used in the beauty industry, as this traditional Asian plant has a host of potential benefits for your skin.

What Is Bamboo Extract?

When bamboo is used in cosmetics, it’s typically included in its extract form. Bamboo extract is obtained by distilling certain parts of the plant with water or ethanol. The exact properties of the extract depend on the parts of the plant used as well as the distilling process. Generally speaking, however, bamboo extract is rich in a slew of skin-friendly substances, including silica and vitamins C and E.

How Is Bamboo Good For Skin?

Because of its concentration of vitamins and minerals, bamboo extract can be beneficial for the skin, especially when used topically. Here, discover benefits of bamboo extract for skin and learn how to use this powerful ingredient in your skincare routine.

Bamboo Extract Benefit #1:

It’s Rich in Antioxidants

One of the biggest boons of bamboo extract is that it’s rich in a wide array of antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols. As a refresher, antioxidants are substances that work to neutralize free radicals. While your skin has its own antioxidant system, it’s not foolproof. Excessive exposure to free radical-generating stressors (like ultraviolet radiation and air pollution) can cause your body’s antioxidant system to become overwhelmed, resulting in oxidative stress. Using skincare products that contain antioxidant-rich ingredients like bamboo can bolster your skin’s defenses against external stressors and help protect against unwanted skin damage.

Flavonoids, in particular, are found in bamboo leaves and are known for their free radical-scavenging abilities. They also can help absorb ultraviolet light (though this doesn’t mean you should skimp on sunscreen) and soothe skin, leading us to benefit #2…

Bamboo Extract Benefit #2:

Bamboo Extract Can Help Skin Feel Soothed

Studies show that bamboo extracts have skin-soothing properties. This ingredient can help soothe skin after cleansing or shaving. In addition to bamboo extract, the invigorating toner is formulated with caffeine and vitamin C. It visibly reduces the signs of fatigue and leaves the skin feeling hydrated and balanced. The gentle toner is suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and night. Splash a palmful directly onto your face or use a cotton pad to apply it, then follow with the serum and moisturizer of your choice.

Bamboo Extract Benefit #3:

It May Help Improve Skin Discolorations

Numerous studies have shown that bamboo extract, applied topically, is known to help improve the appearance of skin discolorations, such as post-blemish marks.* Part of this may be due to the extract’s antioxidant activity, though further research needs to be done to determine exactly how (and why) bamboo extract helps brighten and even the skin’s tone.


I. Tanaka, Akinobu et al. “Biological activities and phytochemical profiles of extracts from different parts of bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens).” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 19,6 8238-60. 18 Jun. 2014.

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