Africa contains some of the richest biodiversity in the world, blessed with bountiful plants of economic importance and plants of medicinal importance which when developed would reduce our expenditure on imported drugs to meet our health needs. Plants are source of phytochemicals that possess emollients, humectants and medicinal properties. A complex mixture derived from plant sources are also used as a medicine or drug (phytomedicine, or phytopharmaceuticals). The demand for phytocosmetics and phytopharmaceuticals is increasing. Due to growing global market demand for phytocosmetics such as skin care, toiletries, perfumes and other cosmetics, there are greater opportunities through participation of local community in processing the plant resources to extract the products at subsistence level for industrial needs especially now that Africa needs local source of raw materials for the development of local industries for contribution to continental and interbational development. However, little or no research was conducted on the cosmetic potential of such plant resources. Plant-based cosmetics have an important role in modern society, natural based cosmetics, fragrances, and personal care products have increasingly become the greener alternative to nonherbal preparations. In this chapter, African perspective of phytocosmetics and phytopharmaceuticals are covered. Aspects of phytochemistry, botanicals for cosmetic use and formulation, the importance of phytocosmetic in traditional medicine, efficacy, safety research and patent among other areas are discussed in details. Applications of nanobiomaterials in phytocosmetics and phytopharmaceuticals, functional herbal cosmetics, emerging technologies in phytocosmetics phytopharmaceuticals development, and pharmaceutical phytocosmetics were explicated. Entrepreneurial platform for phytocosmetics is captured using the selected African medicinal plants.
Part of the book: Natural Drugs from Plants