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Ingredient Spotlight: Piper Betle (Sireh) Extract And The Use In Cosmetics


Hi guys. In today’s ingredient spotlight; we will be talking about the uses of piper betle (sirih) in cosmetics.

Now if most of you know me; im a Malaysian; and therefore when i was younger; my grandma used to make me eat sireh whenever i was ‘sick’. Tastes like crap. Its spicy and it stinks but i guess it does its job.

And so for today;s pharmacognosy review; i would like to extract all the data’s from the Ayurvedic point of view. Of course people use sireh a lot in Malaysia and other part of asia as well; but so far ive seen most studies done in India.

What Are The Proven Pharmacological Effect Piper Betle?

Antioxidants- from its phenolic compound; it successfully reduces free radicals.

Tyrosine Inhibition- disrupts melanin production

Antibacterial- it inhibits gram positive bacterias and some gram negative bacterias.

Cytotoxic- Not applicable for skincare.

Anti-Malarial- Not Applicable for Cosmetics.

Anti-halitosis- found to have inhibitory activity against oral anaerobic bacteria.

Anti-Diabetic- Not applicable for Cosmetics.

Anti-Inflammatory- dose dependent anti inflammatory effect.

So What Does It Mean In Cosmetics?

So now that we know the pharmacological effect of this plant; lets take a look at how we could incorporate them into out cosmetic making.

As you can see above; there are various pharmacological effect of piper betle. Out of those; only few can be used in skincare; while others are only effective when eaten (the anti diabetic; cytotoxic etc).

As for cosmetics; piper beetle will be suitable for someone who needs 

anti oxidants

For scars, marks, and as UV free radical ‘destroyer’. So if you have acne scars, or dried wound, or even someone with eczema; you could add this into your skincare and other cosmetics. 

Tyrosine inhibition

this would mean if you made skincare/body care from this; it gives brightening effect.


this would be great for someone who has acne (the one with pus because thats filled with bacterium P.Acnes; a gram positive bacteria). And since piper betle has shown positive response to destroying gram positive bacteria. This would be great addition to skincare and body care.

Anti Inflammatory

This is to soothe redness and itchiness. Therefore if someone has skin diseases that includes this two; adding piper betle into the skincare or body care; or even hair care (for scalp psoriasis) would be beneficial. 


Piper betle can be used in your toothpaste or chewing tablets or even fresh mint oral spray as its shown to kill those anaerobic bacterias in mouth. imagine adding sireh and mint. Instant fresh breath! 

Whats My Take On It?

For me; i couldnt really find a definitive studies to show if Piper Betle is as effective as cosmeceuticals; but i did find studies showing how piper Betle is perfect for moisture addition as it has moisturizing properties.

Besides that; ive also found studies showing applying piper betle on wound promotes wound healing, as well as the usage in acne treatment.

Overall; more studies needs to be done. However; for me; i dont see the harm in adding piper betle in your cosmetics. It might or might not work. But hey never know rite? 

We will surely be making a lot of cosmetics adding this ingredient in. Therefore do come back in the future to check it out (p/s: next post :-D)

Hope you found this useful;



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