Due to adverse effects of free radicals on human skin and increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients, essential oils from basil, Ceylon cinnamon bark, clove, juniper, lavender, oregano, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, and ylang-ylang were assessed for their antiradical activity. The oils were evaluated in the concentration range of 5—0.1 mg·mL−1, in which the three reference synthetic antioxidants are most often added to mass-produced cosmetics. Among all examined samples, C. cinnamon oil at a concentration of 5 mg·mL−1 showed the strongest DPPH radical scavenging activity (0.41 mg·mL−1 IC50), followed by clove oil, BHA, α-tocopherol, and BHT (0.82, 0.84, 0.88 and 0.93 mg·mL−1 IC50), respectively. At the same concentration, the reduction power of C. cinnamon oil was higher (1.64 mg·mL−1 Trolox Eq.) than that of α-tocopherol and BHT (1.42 and 0.80 mmol·L−1 Trolox Eq., respectively) but lower than that of BHA (1.81 mmol·L–1 Trolox Eq.). Antiradical activity of the other eight essential oils was low or negligible. C. cinnamon oil and clove oil are promising antiradical agents for skin care but according to our GC-MS analysis, these oils contain 0.29 % of cinnamaldehyde, 0.03 % of linalool, 0.02 % of D-limonene, and 0.02 % of eugenol or 0.41 % of eugenol and 0.002 % of linalool, respectively, which are monitored contact allergens in cosmetics. Such a product is not be suitable for consumers allergic to these substances but for the vast majority of consumers it does not pose a risk in terms of allergic manifestations.

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Chemistry, other