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Maca root, Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium Peruvianum, is a nutritious Peruvian root crossing over from health care to the beauty category. In supplements, it was originally associated with fertility and virility claims; Inca warriors are said to have eaten it before battle to fortify themselves. More recently, maca root has been positioned as a superfruit with the ability to reduce stress and assist with weight loss or hormonal changes. Maca root is rich in essential minerals, fatty acids and amino acids.
Within the beauty category, maca root first emerged in 2002, in hair care products such as Andean Products MacaOption shampoo and conditioner and later in facial care. It remains a niche ingredient; however, in the past three months, maca root has provided the key active ingredient in several new European skin care brands, including the Body Shop’s new range for men.
Condensé launched a collection of 19 natural beauty products for face and body with 100% natural actives and no parabens, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil or artificial colorants. The Normal to Combination Skin line includes a Deep Moisturizing Cream with black tea ferment and maca root. It claims to nourish and soften the skin, refill wrinkles and stimulate fibroblasts.
Pure Altitude Bio-Organic range is the new line from French alpine spa brand Fermes de Marie. Its Maca Root Elixir draws on the brand’s signature antiaging edelweiss active and adds organic maca root and daisy extract. This ECOCERT-certified product claims "to help tired, strained skin recover radiance, suppleness and vitality.”