Discover our powerhouse ingredient: Sea-Buckthorn

The Sea-Buckthorn orange berry (Hippophae rhamnoides) and how it perfectly fits with our concept of The Biomimetic Way™ approach to skin care

Dr Bianca Piscioneri


Why this precious fruit oil in GGDS products is Organic and only extracted using the gentle yet highly efficacious pure CO2 supercritical fluid extraction method under carefully controlled conditions

Naturally inclined or herbal remedies do not necessarily have the backing of hard hitting scientific research or measurable and legitimate benefits. Some even have the adverse effect of causing irritation, inflammation and allergies. Sea-Buckthorn berry is different. This small orange berry has been extensively researched over decades with numerous publications in not just one but several fields of science. Sea-buckthorn has been researched in biotechnology, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and environmental sciences. Collectively, there is a lot of knowledge about this plant and its benefits and yet it has been under the radar. Or worse still, if it does find itself as an ingredient in any skin products, it is often of poor quality, dubious extraction methods and questionable traceability of origin. It seems like such a waste, and is disrespectful of all that scientific knowledge of the berry and nature itself, to be treating this rare and precious plant ingredient in this way by not optimising its 200+ bioactive substances that nature has infused into it. Here at GGDS, we are bursting with knowledge about this small yet powerful orange berry and want to bring its benefits to everyone's lips, skin and wellbeing.

GGDS and Sea-buckthorn story: How we discovered Nature's Miracle Berry

Driven by quality, traceability and scientific backing in everything we do, we researched and sought out a 100% natural group of active ingredients in a plant which has been extensively studied and which comes with its own powerhouse of individual internal ingredients for the benefit of skin and lip care. This plant for us is the Sea-Buckthorn berry. The sheer number, concentration and variety of ingredients all synergistically packaged in one small orange berry can be described as a miracle of nature. This is not surprising once we understand what Sea-Buckthorn actually is botanically, how it grows and the challenges it faces as a plant in its natural habitat.

For me personally, the story began in my childhood when I spent time in the shops of Vienna, Austria. Among face creams of brands like Nivea, I was fascinated by the products which had this orange berry, the Sea-Buckthorn, as an ingredient. Although I did not know what exactly this berry was at the time, I knew even then by ancestral understanding that strong orange colours must be good for you. It was my great grandmother that made sure I took the new buds of the Cornus Mas (Cornelian Cherry) every spring as a Renewal Ritual following cold winters and this shrub produced orange-red berries later in the season with its perceived health and vitality-giving benefits.


"Sea-Buckthorn loves the sun and has a special relationship with the sunlight."


It was no surprise to me that our patients were coming back with testimonials of how our organic and CO2 extracted Sea-Buckthorn lip balm was making their lips feel soft, nourished and protected. Just this week, one of my patients told me how he forgot to put the lip balm on while visiting the river on the weekend and experienced sunburn and wind burn, reporting that "your orange lip balm healed my lips really well" - the science explains and backs his experience.

It is the tocopherols and the carotenoids antioxidants that contributed to this experience of healing. Carotenoids is what gives the Sea-Buckthorn berries their intense orange colour. Sea-Buckthorn loves the sun and has a special relationship with the sunlight - keep reading to learn more!


What exactly is Sea-Buckthorn or Hippophae rhamnoides?

Sea-buckthorn is a thorny, deciduous shrub or small tree with excellent soil adhering abilities and extensive root system. It is naturally found and grows wild in Northern and Central Europe, including the Arctic, Caucasus, Siberia, and in Asia, in places like China and Tibet. It has been recognised as a highly valuable food and medicinal plant in all of these cultures for thousands of years and is actively cultivated in many countries.

The shrub is special botanically as it can withstand extreme temperatures from -43°C to +40°C. It is naturally resilient to challenges of air pollution, is both drought and frost tolerant, and its orange berries can stay on the tree the whole winter. Harvesting the berries is very difficult because of its thorns and the way the berries are trapped in and amongst the thorns. The berries are typically harvested every two years.

What makes the composition of Sea-Buckthorn oil so unique and rare and its role in the GGDS Biomimetic Way

Firstly, it is the only plant known in the world to provide all 4 Omega Fatty Acids: Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9. The characteristic that makes Sea-Buckthorn unique is the qualitative and quantitative composition of its fatty acids, particularly the presence of omega 7 group which is higher than any other plant in the world. Omega 7 is a rare palmitic acid in the plant world and is also a naturally occurring component of skin lipids, stimulating regenerative processes in the epidermis to promote wound healing, collagen biosynthesis and activating other physiological skin and lip tissue functions. This is why this oil fits so well with our concept of Biomimetic Way as it mimics the natural processes in skin.

Fatty acids, oleic acid (omega 9), linoleic acid(as omega 6), alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3) reduce transdermal water loss and thus contribute significantly to skin hydration and provide a protective barrier role. There are 14 vitamins identified in the sea-buckthorn berries, including Vitamins A, C, D, E, F, K, P and B complex vitamins (B1, B2 and B6).


"Its special relationship with sunlight gives it the ability to help prevent sun damage to skin and at the same time help repair already UV damaged skin and lips."


The 200+ bioactives in the oil reach different layers of the epidermis and help to enhance dermal transportation. The oil has a powerful antioxidant activity due to its high concentration of carotenoids and tocopherols. Its special relationship with sunlight gives it the ability to help prevent sun damage to skin and at the same time help repair already UV damaged skin and lips.

The presence of the unique components beneficial for skin health, their number, concentration and variety help in anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle goals. It can contribute to firming, toning, plumping, smoothing and improving elasticity of skin. It alleviates dry, itchy, rough, flaking and irritated skin.

Our CO2 extracted Sea-Buckthorn is a powerhouse of complex but well-balanced composition of lipids and other ingredients that makes it invaluable for everyday skin care rituals. An everyday booster for skin hydration, radiance and glow.

Why is the method and extraction process of the Sea-Buckthorn oil so important?

With such a wonderful, naturally present composition of bioactives, it only follows that no effort or care should be spared in how the oil is extracted. Our Sea-Buckthorn oil is organic from the fruit pulp and produced by CO2 extraction. The oil is extracted in Germany from trusted suppliers who grow the Sea-Buckthorn berries on the North Coast of Germany. This is to ensure that we know the composition of each batch and provide consistency of the oil's benefits for our customers each time they use the products.

The oil is extracted by supercritical fluid extraction with natural supercritical carbon dioxide, a 100% natural, high pressure extraction method which preserves all the important components at their best, in their most beneficial way and in high concentrations. It is a gentle method without using solvents or leaving residues. Our extract meets the strict criteria of Natural  Cosmetic Standards-COSMOS.