(Natural News) Your skin is the first thing people will see when they look at you, so having great skin can make you look and feel confident. Unfortunately, aging happens to everyone, and with it comes unsightly discoloration of the skin. This discoloration is caused by an enzyme called tyrosinase. It is responsible for the appearance of brown pigments in fruits and vegetables, as well as age spots and melasma in humans.
Nowadays, you can find a cosmetic product for almost all kinds of skin woes, including melasma and age spots. But what most people may not know is that the solution can be found in Nature itself, and the scientific community is now beginning to catch on to the wonders of natural remedies that have been used by traditional healers for many years.
To address the issue of skin discoloration due to tyrosinase, researchers from Jadavpur University in India reviewed different medicinal herbs for their potential to inhibit the enzyme. Their findings appeared in the Journal of Herbal Medicine.
Medicinal plants as potent and safe tyrosinase inhibitors
Tyrosinase is a multifunctional, copper-containing enzyme responsible for the production of melanin that determines skin color. Production of too much melanin causes dermatological disorders such as melasma and age spots.
Tyrosinase also affects the color clarity of plant-derived food products, resulting in brown discoloration and loss of nutritional quality.
Tyrosinase inhibitors are commercially available for cosmetic purposes to lighten the complexion. Clinically, they are used to treat hyper-pigmentary disorders. However, there is ongoing research on the safety of these tyrosinase inhibitors due to their undesirable side effects.
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In the present study, the researchers from India aimed to find potent and safe tyrosinase inhibitors from medicinal plants. Their review may provide comprehensive overviews of various tyrosinase inhibitors obtained from medicinal plants and their mechanisms of action.
Based on the results of other studies, the researchers established that the polyphenol and stilbenes group of phytomolecules are effective tyrosinase inhibitors. However, only a few of these molecules have been clinically investigated as potential anti-melanogenic agents.
The researchers believe that their review may be useful for the development and evaluation of tyrosinase inhibitors from medicinal plants that can safely treat hyper-pigmentary disorders. Tyrosinase inhibitors can also be used as anti-browning agents in the food-processing industry.
Grow your own skin care garden
Before you run to your favorite cosmetic store to stock up on the latest beauty trend, consider the idea that most ingredients found in these products come from plants. So why not grow these ingredients right in your home? Here are some of the most common ingredients in skin care products that can be easily grown in your backyard or indoor garden. (h/t to MindBodyGreen.com)
- Aloe vera — This succulent is your skin’s best friend. Aloe vera is abundant in skin-loving nutrients and antioxidants that can hydrate, moisturize, fight inflammation, and accelerate skin healing. You can use aloe vera gel straight from the plant; carefully cut open the leaves, scoop out the gel and apply it directly as a moisturizer, skin-soother or aftershave treatment. Aloe vera plants are low-maintenance and will be happy with plenty of sunlight and weekly or bi-monthly watering. (Related: A Natural Lotion Made With Only Two Ingredients To Treat Itchy Skin.)
- Chamomile — This unassuming plant is used for many medicinal purposes, including skin care. Its component alpha-bisabolol is a lightening, brightening and clarifying agent that is great for skin healing. You can brew some chamomile tea, let it cool, then use it as a facial wash. You can also use the tea bags on your eyes to soothe puffiness and get rid of dark circles. Chamomile plants love sunlight and require only occasional watering once they’re grown.
- Calendula — This bright flower is a powerhouse of antioxidants that can help with everything from chapped lips to fine lines. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids that accelerate wound healing, plump skin through hydration and circulation, and prevent inflammation. Simply add calendula flowers to your bath and let your skin soak up all the benefits. Unlike aloe vera and chamomile, calendula prefers cool temperatures, so make sure to keep it in a shady spot.
- Lavender — Lavender is as relaxing for your skin as it is for your mind. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe irritated and inflamed skin. You can use the flowers (dried or fresh) to infuse creams, toners and facial steams. Lavender is sensitive to excessive moisture and humidity, so make sure to provide excellent drainage and air circulation for your plant.
You can find other skin-friendly medicinal plants and natural skin care remedies at PlantMedicine.news.