horse chestnut extract for skin

Horse Chestnut Extract For Skin And Hair Growth

The horse chestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum) has been utilized for its health-giving properties for centuries. Native to Europe and parts of Asia, this magnificent tree holds a potent extract with multiple benefits for skin and hair growth. Horse chestnut extract is already being used in numerous skin creams, shampoos, conditioners, serums, lotions and even dietary supplements–all because of the remarkable chemical compounds that make up this special plant. In this blog post, we'll be taking an in-depth look at horse chestnut extract for skin and scientific evidence and how it can nourish our bodies from head to toe!


What Is Horse Chestnut Extract Seed Oil?

Horse chestnut extract comes from the seeds of the horse chestnut tree, scientifically known as Aesculus Hippocastanum. 

The extract is a rich source of several beneficial compounds, including saponins, flavonoids, and tannins. The most notable compound is aescin, which makes up about 3-6% of the extract.

Horse Chestnut Extract Oil Is Popular Used For Skin Care

Aescin is a saponin with potent anti-inflammatory and vascular protective properties, making horse chestnut extract particularly beneficial in skincare and hair growth products. 

Furthermore, other compounds like flavonoids contribute to the extract's antioxidant properties, aiding in protection against cellular damage.

Horse Chestnut Extract For Skin

Evening Skin Tone

Horse chestnut extract can be used to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation. Horse chestnut extract works by reducing melanin production, thus decreasing the appearance of discoloration on the skin. 

It also helps to improve blood circulation in the body, which encourages repair and regeneration of the skin. This can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Horse chestnut extract can also help reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. This is thanks to its aescin content, which possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. 

Aescin plays a pivotal role in the extract's overall effectiveness, with studies indicating that the complete extract, when containing aescin, is a staggering 100 times more potent in terms of anti-inflammatory activity compared to its counterpart without aescin [4].

The mechanism behind this anti-inflammatory action involves countering the decrease in ATP and increasing the activity of phospholipase A2, a crucial enzyme responsible for releasing intermediaries that trigger inflammation [4]. 

The extract can be used to reduce swelling and helps to soothe irritated, sensitive skin.

Horse Chestnut Extract Has Strong Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties For Skin

Antioxidant Properties

Horse chestnut extract is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from oxidative damage. Free radicals are molecules that can cause cellular damage, leading to premature aging and other signs of skin damage. 

Antioxidants like flavonoids found in horse chestnut extract help to combat this damage by neutralizing free radicals. This helps to promote healthy skin and a youthful glow.

Delving deeper into the antioxidant properties of horse chestnut extract, various studies have underscored its impressive capacity to combat oxidative stress. 

For example, Study 6 confirmed the strong antioxidant activity of water and ethanolic extracts from horse chestnut seeds and leaves [6]. This finding suggests that horse chestnut extract could be used in various industries like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food, harnessing its beneficial antioxidative effects.

Moreover, a study by Hideta Kimura and his team unveiled that the bark of the horse chestnut tree showcases the highest antioxidant activity [7]. 

This increased activity is mainly due to the abundance of high-polymeric proanthocyanidins in the bark. Horse chestnut seeds also contribute significantly to the extract's antioxidant power, thanks to flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol, found in substantial amounts [7].

Horse chestnut seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that supports overall health by protecting the body from oxidative damage. It is highly valued in the skincare and hair growth industry due to its antioxidant properties and other beneficial compounds.

Maintaining Skin Hydration

Horse chestnut extract for skin offers remarkable benefits in maintaining skin hydration. 

The tannins found in horse chestnut extract have the unique property of forming a thin film when in contact with mucous membranes, damaged skin areas, or ulcers. This film provides a protective barrier, stopping bleeding and preventing further leakage due to its protein-precipitating properties

As a result, horse chestnut extract is commonly used in both blood-clotting medications and skin-tightening products, making it a versatile remedy for various skin concerns [8].

Horse Chestnut Extract Help To Maintain Skin Hydration And Anti-Aging

Moreover, a study titled "Biopolysaccharides for Skin Hydrating Cosmetics" underscores the importance of horse chestnut as a source of polysaccharides, particularly oligosaccharides that makeup over 50% of its composition [8]. 

This abundance of oligosaccharides acts as an excellent skin moisturizing polymer, contributing significantly to skin hydration. Consequently, horse chestnut seed extract plays a pivotal role in nourishing and well-hydrated skin, making it a valuable ingredient in skin care products [8].


Horse chestnut seed extract, rich in saponins, also known as aescin, showcases remarkable anti-aging properties. 

These compounds possess resilient anti-inflammatory abilities and excel in reducing capillaries' fragility, thereby preventing unnecessary fluid leakage into surrounding tissues that might instigate swelling [1]. 

Interestingly, horse chestnut seed extract surpasses even vitamin E in terms of "antioxidant activity," as validated by tests conducted among 65 other extracts [1]. This high antioxidant activity is pivotal in combating skin aging, which is often linked to oxidative activities, further exacerbated by ultraviolet radiation. 

Thus, horse chestnut seed extract has been acknowledged as an effective anti-aging herbal remedy. Moreover, studies have demonstrated its efficacy in reducing wrinkles by inducing contraction forces in collagen fibers, further supporting its reputation as a potent anti-aging component [2], [3]

How To Use Horse Chestnut Extract For Skin?

Horse chestnut extract can be used alone or as part of a comprehensive skincare regimen. In this case, it should be essential to your morning and evening routines. 

If using the extract in its pure form, you can apply it directly to the skin with a cotton pad or add several drops to your moisturizing cream or serum. 

Alternatively, you can look for horse chestnut extracts in skin care products such as facemasks, creams, serums, and even shampoos. This way, you get to enjoy the horse chestnut extract benefits for skin while combining it with other beneficial ingredients. 

In either case, always ensure that the product or cream contains pure horse chestnut seed extract and not just the extract's molecules. 

It is also important to start with small amounts since there have been reports of skin irritation when used in large concentrations.

Horse chestnut seed extract offers immense benefits for maintaining healthy skin, from its antioxidant properties to its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects - all of which make it a worthy addition to your skincare routine.

Be sure to keep an eye out for it in any products you purchase, or opt to use it alone and experience its remarkable benefits yourself. 

Aside from horse chestnut extract for skin, the extract has also been widely used as a remedy for varicose veins and other vein disorders, helping to reduce swelling and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Benefits Of Horse Chestnut Extract For Hair

The Effects Of Horse Chestnut Extract For Hair Need More Extensively Studies

The benefits of horse chestnut extract for hair care are not extensively studied, but there are some indications of its potential usefulness. 

Some sources suggest that a 20% horse chestnut extract, when dissolved in water, glycerin, and fatty acids, proteins, and sugar chains, may assist in restoring damaged hair caused by factors like hair dyes and hair dryers.

Additionally, horse chestnuts contain hair-friendly components such as vitamin E, zinc (found in the leaves), potassium, and various B vitamins. These compounds can contribute to maintaining a healthy scalp, preventing hair loss, and promoting shiny and smooth hair. 

However, it's important to note that hair care is not the primary benefit associated with horse chestnut extract, and its effectiveness in this regard may not be as high as that of specialized hair-focused extracts.

How To Use Horse Chestnut Extract For Hair Growth?

There are a few ways in which horse chestnuts can be used for hair care, though these methods are not well-documented in terms of their effectiveness and safety. 

Extracted oil from horse chestnuts is widely used in skincare due to its effectiveness and safety, so it is likely safe for your scalp as well. The best approach is to use horse chestnut extract oil for hair conditioning for 1-2 hours, allowing the scalp to absorb the nourishing nutrients beneficial for hair growth.

While some people use horse chestnut seed oil for hair care, and others mix it with their regular shampoo or conditioner. But because there is limited information on how effective or safe these methods are, it's best to be cautious.

In addition, many hair care product manufacturers incorporate horse chestnut extract into their formulations along with other potent ingredients known for their beneficial effects on hair health. These commercial products have undergone testing for efficacy and safety. Using such products may be safer and more reliable than DIY applications.


Horse chestnut seed extract is a powerful antioxidant with many potential health benefits. Its skin-friendly properties, such as hydration, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory effects, are especially popular in the skincare industry. It has further been suggested that horse chestnut extract may be beneficial for hair growth and scalp nourishment; however, its effectiveness is not yet backed by extensive research. Therefore, using horse chestnut extract for skin as part of a comprehensive skincare and hair growth routine is better than relying solely on this natural remedy for long-term results. 


1. Wilkinson, J., & Brown, A. M. G. (1999). Horse Chestnut - Aesculus Hippocastanum: Potential Applications in Cosmetic Skin-care Products. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 21(6), 437–447.
2. Europe PMC. (2016). Europe PMC.
3. Jurek, I., Aleksandra Szuplewska, Chudý, M., & Wojciechowski, K. (2021). Effect of the oat, horse chestnut, cowherb, soy, quinoa and soapwort extracts on skin‐mimicking monolayers and cell lines. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 25(2), 185–192.
4. Dudek-Makuch, M., & Elżbieta Studzińska-Sroka. (2015). Horse chestnut – efficacy and safety in chronic venous insufficiency: an overview. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, 25(5), 533–541.
5. Escin: a review of its anti-edematous, anti-inflammatory, and venotonic properties. (2019). Drug Design, Development and Therapy.
6. Stojanova, M., D. Djukić, Stojanova, M., Aziz Şatana, & Blažo Lalević. (2022). Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Potential of Wild Chestnut Ohrid Diamond Extract—An Opportunity for Creation of New Natural Products. Erwerbs-Obstbau, 65(1), 83–91.
7. Kimura, H., Ogawa, S., Ishihara, T., Maruoka Mahoko, Shota Tokuyama-Nakai, Mitsuo Jisaka, & Yokota, K. (2017). Antioxidant activities and structural characterization of flavonol O -glycosides from seeds of Japanese horse chestnut ( Aesculus turbinata BLUME). Food Chemistry, 228, 348–355.
8. Mayuree Kanlayavattanakul, & Nattaya Lourith. (2015). Biopolysaccharides for Skin Hydrating Cosmetics. ResearchGate; unknown.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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