Soy Extract: Best Natural Skincare Ingredient

While the soybean is a dietary staple in most Asian countries, this subtropical plant’s cosmetic benefits are less heard of. In this ingredient spotlight series, we will go through the benefits of ingredients you can find in your skincare formulations – starting with the the benefits of soy for your skin, and how it works as one of the best natural skincare ingredient.

What is Glycine Max Soybean Extract?

Glycine Max, also knows as the soya bean, is a species of legume native to East Asia. It can be consumed as a rich source of protein, or used in cosmetic dermatology for the improvement of skin tone, pigmentation and other photo-aging attributes. Soy extract is one of the best natural skincare ingredients, as it can help to reduce hyperpigmentation, enhance skin elasticity, control oil production, moisturize the skin. It also has the potential to decrease photoaging of the skin and prevent skin cancers.

Active components of Glycine Max Soybean Extract 

Phenolic acids and polyphenols are plant secondary metabolites. They have shown to have beneficial biological activity such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and are powerful antioxidants in vivo. Therefore, they can help to reverse and prevent against signs of skin aging, UV-induced free radical damage, and even skin cancer. 

Soybean contains lots of isoflavones or phytoestrogenes, because of their estrogenic activity. Isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors in the skin. This can result in reversed signs of photoaging such as improved skin texture and elasticity, and fewer wrinkles. Genistein, the primary isoflavone in soy products, enhances the natural antioxidant enzyme activities in our body

Benefits of Soybean Extract for our skin:

Antioxidant activity

The use of antioxidants is an effective approach to prevent symptoms related to photo-induced aging of the skin. The seed coat of black soya bean (SCBS) contains a high amount of anthocyanins and shows antioxidant properties. Furthermore, studies show that the primary isoflavone from soy products, Genistein, enhances the antioxidant enzyme in various mouse organs. Several studies have also shown that isoflavones present in soybean may also exhibit anti-inflammatory activities.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Repeated exposure to UV can lead to chronic inflammation. This contributes to accelerated skin aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. In one study, experiments in vivo showed that soybean-germ oil (SGO) has a remarkable protective activity against UVB-induced skin inflammation. Additionally, several studies have suggested that the topical treatment of soybean isoflavone genistein inhibits UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis in a hairless mice model

Treats skin pigmentation

Hyperpigmentary disorders of the skin such as melasma, sun spots, or age spots result from the overproduction and accumulation of melanin in the skin cells. 

Soymilk and soymilk-derived proteins induce skin depigmentation by reducing melanin transfer in the skin. These proteins have been studied to have depigmenting activity, as well as the ability to prevent UV-induced pigmentation. A study in skin color suggests that soybean extracts are helpful in the treatment of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. Therefore, soybean acts as an alternative treatment for hyperpigmentation with no side effects, making it one of the best natural skincare ingredient. 


Elastin fiber and collagen production are reduced with aging. The age-induced decline in skin elasticity results from slower tissue regeneration, lower production of elastin and increased levels of enzymes elastase- which break down elastin. This is one of the reasons soybean one of the best natural skincare ingredient. In studies conducted, non-denatured soybean extracts were shown to induce the synthesis of collagen and elastin. To illustrate, it promotes the correct assembly of new elastin fibers, providing a complete protection and restoration to the skin. 

Studies conducted in 30 post-menopausal women found that treatment with isoflavone-rich, concentrated soy extract caused significant increase in skin thickness and number of collagen and elastin fibres. Additionally, in a 12-24 week study, creams and lotions containing phytoestrogens and isoflavones were tested.The results showed improvement in skin dryness, thickness, facial wrinkles, increased hyaluronic acid, and type I and III collagen production. In these studies, no significant adverse effects after topical application of these cosmeceuticals. Furthermore, topical application of soybean extracts has been shown to decrease the transepisdermal water loss of forearm skin. This helps to retain moisture in the skin.

Mineral Booster contains soy extract - one of the best natural skincare ingredients

Taken by one of our users Ros Leon, on a trip to Dead Sea, Israel. The Mineral Booster is a dual function refreshing mist to increase absorption of skincare at night, for a perfect look with make-up & during touch-ups in the day. It contains skin-calming & repairing active ingredients, including precious rice bran extractlicorice extract, and Glycine Max Soybean Extract – that is a rich source of phytoestrogens and isoflavones. 

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