Clitoria Ternatea (Butterfly Pea) Flower Extract



Clitoria Ternatea (Butterfly Pea) Flower Extract at a glance

  • Perennial herb whose roots contain compounds that calm skin and visibly reduce redness
  • Source of skin-beneficial antioxidants, including quercetin and anthocyanins
  • Has been shown in studies to also have anti-glycation (and thereby anti-wrinkle) properties
  • Also used in the food industry and is known as “blue matcha” thanks to its lavender to deep blue hue
  • The flowers of this plant do not contain aromatic compounds known to irritate skin

Clitoria Ternatea (Butterfly Pea) Flower Extract description

_Clitoria ternatea_ is a perennial herb more commonly known as butterfly pea because of the pea-shaped, wing-like flowers it produces. All parts of this plant have benefit for skin, making it an interesting natural ingredient to consider. The root portion of this plant contains numerous compounds that have been shown to calm skin and visibly reduce redness from external irritants. All parts of the plant can increase the presence of the body’s “master antioxidant”, glutathione, as well as act as an antioxidant itself. Of note, _Clitoria ternatea_ is a source of skin-beneficial quercetin and anthocyanins. The flower extract from butterfly pea has been shown in studies to also have anti-glycation properties. This is important for younger-looking skin, because by-products from glycation (a process in which rogue sugar molecules break down proteins in the body) can lead to collagen loss, resulting in wrinkles becoming more prominent and firmness decreasing. Butterfly pea (also known as “blue matcha”) is native to regions in Asia but is also found in Africa, America, and Australia. Its richly colored flowers produce a noticeable hue in extract form ranging from lavender to deep blue. Concentration levels for this plant extract haven’t been firmly established; however, it takes very little to impart colour, and the pigment is the rich source of antioxidant pigments known as anthocyanins. Note: The flowers of this plant do not contain aromatic compounds known to irritate skin.

Clitoria Ternatea (Butterfly Pea) Flower Extract references

  • Journal of Food Science and Technology, September 2020, pages 2054-2067
  • Frontiers in Plant Science, May 2019, ePublication
  • Scientia Pharmaceutica, December 2018, ePublication
  • BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, February 2015, ePublication
  • Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, May 2012, pages 34-38
  • Phytotherapy Research, November 2009, pages 1,624-1,625

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.