22 March 2015

New cosmetics ingredients on the way

Tired of your latest anti-ageing cream and looking for the next new thing? A new crop of anti-ageing solutions are on the way.

An August 2014 article in PLOS One, has studied the anti-wrinkle effect of a herb native to China and Japan called Salvia miltiorrhiza BUNGE (丹参). An extract from S. miltiorrhiza called Magnesium Lithospermate B (MLB) taken by mouth reversed both age- and ultraviolet B light-related collagen damage for both rats and human skin cells. The plant is already used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat heart problems and diabetes. Other constituents of the plant have shown promise against cancer.

In a May 2014 article in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, traditional earthworm extracts from three different types of earthworms were found to be a potential anti-aging agent, as they inhibited the chemicals that cause wrinkles.

An article in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, published in October 2014, identified the fermented leaves and stems of honeybush, Cyclopia intermedia, as promising for anti-wrinkle effects. Honeybush tea is a herbal tea from South Africa that is relatively rare, found only in a narrow mountain area in the cape region of the country. The authors of the research note that honeybush contains some of the same chemicals found in rooibos, and is an antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.

Researchers found that mice fed the honeybush extract and the fermented herb experienced reduced length and depth of skin winkles caused by UV irradiation, had less thickening of the skin, and lost less collagen, indicating its potential use as a skin wrinkle prevention agent.

A November 2014 article in Pharmaceutical Biology plumps for the leaves of a tree, ma kiang, Cleistocalyx nervosum var. paniala. According to Fruitipedia, the ma kiang fruit is eaten in Thailand, and drinks from the fruits, buds and/or leaves are made in Thailand, Korea and China. The plant is thought to be from Southeast Asia. An extract made from the leaves and alcohol (methanol) without heating showed high values for inhibiting the chemicals that cause ageing.

Last but not least, a December 2014 article in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, has identified an extract from a mushroom that may help anti-ageing. The extract of the mycelium of T. matsutake (松茸, often called the pine mushroom) which the authors say is not only antioxidant, helps the immune system and fights tumours, but is also a good candidate for anti-wrinkle treatments.