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Phormium Tenax (Harakeke) Extract

Approved Ingredients
Phormium Tenax (Harakeke) Extract

Phormium Tenax (Harakeke) Extract

Harakeke extract is a clear gel produced from the the whole plant harakeke (Phormium tenax). We use this ingredient in many of our products for its soothing, skin-hydrating properties.

Harakeke is a flax bush endemic to Aotearoa New Zealand, Norfolk Island and the Chatham Islands. These hardy perennial plants thrive in rich, well-drained soils in wetlands and coastal areas. Bushes grow long pointed leaves up to two meters in length, and produce nectar-rich red flowers to attract birds, who act as the primary pollinators.

Harakeke's active natural skin-conditioning compounds include humectant D-Xylose, and pH-balancing D-Glucuronic acid. The gel cools and calms skin in a similar way to aloe vera, helping hydrate and encourage improved skin appearance.

The beneficial properties of harakeke have long been valued by Māori, who have used it in traditional medicine to heal burns, cuts and skin infections. Harakeke fibres are prized for weaving textiles, clothing, baskets and mats, and it forms an important part of historical and contemporary culture.

Botanical name: Phormium tenax

Other names: Harakeke Flax Extract

Chemical class: Botanical Products and Botanical Derivatives

Notable compounds (leaf): Cucurbitacin D, Cucurbitacin I, Farrerol


Priscilla M. Wehi & Bruce D. Clarkson (2007). Biological flora of New Zealand 10. Phormium tenax, harakeke, New Zealand flax. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 45-4, 521-544, DOI: 10.1080/00288250709509737

Warwick Harris & Mairehau Te Ua Ani Woodcock-Sharp (2000). Extraction, content, strength, and extension of Phormium variety fibres prepared for traditional Maori weaving. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 38-3, 469-487, DOI: 10.1080/0028825X.2000.9512697

Ngā Tipu Whakaoranga database. Phormium tenax. Record number 1068. Retrieved on October 25, 2021 from

INCI Name:
Phormium Tenax Extract
Ingredient origins:
Harakeke Flax
Skin Conditioning Agent
Common name:
Harakeke Extract
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.