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Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract

Also-called-like-this: Cogon Grass Root Extract, Japanese Bloodgrass Root Extract
What-it-does: moisturizer/humectant


A subtropical plant that thrives in flooded environments and is claimed to give excellent long-term moisturizing effects. Its hydrating ability is due to the chemical composition of the rhizomes that contain natural osmoprotective compounds such as 3-dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), potassium, starches, and sugars. 

Osmoprotective compounds are interesting, skincare-wise, as they are thought to be able to increase intracellular osmosis, meaning water is drawn into the skin cells. According to the efficacy data from the manufacturer, 2% of ABS Imperata Cylindrica Extract (the trade name of the diluted version of the root extract) is able to increase the level of skin moisturization by almost 45%, which is 88% more effective than the untreated control. 

This all sounds great, however, in terms of comparative effectiveness, Imperata Cylindrica came up somewhat short in the study published in the Journal of cosmetic dermatology. They compared four hydrogels with different moisturizer actives and although all the formulas did hydrate the skin, the one with Imperata Cylindrica extract performed less well than the same formula with urea or sugar-based hydrating trio, called Aquaxyl

Still, it is a skin goodie with nice moisturizing properties, so if you are after skin hydration, it is a good one to spot on the INCI list. 

Show me some proof

  • Leite e Silva, Vânia Rodrigues, et al. "Hydrating effects of moisturizer active compounds incorporated into hydrogels: in vivo assessment and comparison between devices." Journal of cosmetic dermatology 8.1 (2009): 32-39.

Products with Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract

Image Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum RAU Express Lift The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum + Chantecaille Bio Lifting Cream + Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream Rosette Aqua Ceramide Gel Tony moly Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Mask CNP Laboratory 2-Step Propolis Energy Ampule Mask CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule CULLUN HA Rejuvenating Hydrator Darphin Hydraskin Cooling Hydrating Stick Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream Missha Super Aqua Ultra Waterfull Clear Cream CNP Laboratory Green Propolis Anti-Oxidant Ampule Chantecaille Bio Lifting Oil Free Fluid + iS Clinical White Lightening Complex CULLUN Ultra Radiance Hydrating Mist Darphin Hydraskin Light Nature Republic Bulgarian Rose Moisture Essence Abib Relaxing Sleeping Pack Bright Tube Blithe Vital Treatment - 5 Energy Roots Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque URANG Rose Ceramide Cream Caudalie Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream Korres Wild Rose Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial Korres Wild Rose Brightening Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial Nuface Optimizing Mist TonyMoly Peach Punch Sweet Foam Cleanser CULLUN Silky Breeze Whitening Cream Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Secret Key Syn-Ake Anti Wrinkle & Whitening Ampoule Dermaquest Sheer Zinc Tinted Nude Spf30 Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturiser Soleil Toujours Mineral Sunscreen Holika Holika One Solution Super Energy Whitening Ampoule J.One Jelly Pack Missha Super Aqua Ultra Waterful Cream Atoclassic Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream Perricone MD Neuropeptide Firming & Illuminating Under-Eye Cream