Local mango leaf extracts found as potential anti-aging, skin-whitening cosmetic ingredient – study

Published May 7, 2021, 11:29 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

State researchers found that extracts of the local mango leaves could be used to produce safer cosmetic products after showing “great potential” as anti-aging, skin-whitening cosmetic ingredient.

Leaves of mature (left) and young (right) carabao mango. (Photo from the Philippine Journal of Science/DOST-STII)

Based on the study conducted by a researcher team, led by Arsenia B. Sapin of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), local mango leaves were found as a nature-based cosmetic ingredient “with good antioxidant, anti-aging, and whitening properties.”

Sapin’s team’s study zeroed in on the “evaluation of the bioactivities of natural phenolics from mango (Mangifera indica Linn) leaves for cosmetic industry applications.”

Samples of fresh leaves of mango cultivars (carabao, apple mango, pico, sinaging, and sipsipin) were collected from San Miguel, Bulacan to explore its possible cosmetic applications, read the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Facebook post on Friday.

It noted that most of the studies on mango, one of the top three produced and exported crops in the country, focused on the industry profitability, mainly on breeding, fruit production, and processing.

“Unlike in other countries, very few in the Philippines have explored the potential and utilization of the non-fruit parts of the mango, such as the bark and leaves,” Sapin said.

The research team studied the presence of polyphenolic compounds in the local mango leaves. It also looked into the local mango leaves’ antioxidant capacity and inhibitory effect against elastase and tyrosinase – enzymes which cause aging and darkening of skin.

“Previous studies on foreign mango cultivars reveal that mango leaves are excellent source of polyphenolic compounds, which provides health benefits such as antioxidation, antidiabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties, among others,” the DOST- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) noted in a statement on Friday.

It said abroad, mango leaves have proven its application in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. “In fact, there have been an approved patent, such as that of Loreal’s, on the extraction and application of polyphenols from mango leaves,” the Institute said.

The study results showed that in terms of skin whitening, extracts from young leaves of pico and carabao varieties were most potent in inhibiting tyrosinase, the skin darkening enzyme.

“On the other hand, among the extracts from the mature leaves, the apple mango exhibited the greatest potency. While these extracts are better whitening agent than the ascorbic acid, such is not the case with kojic acid,” it said.

The study also revealed that in terms of anti-aging, extract from apple mango leaves was the most potent elastase (enzyme for aging) inhibitor, which was about two times to four times more potent than the other extracts.

Compared with the standard tocopherol (Vitamin E compound commonly found in nuts, oil, and vegetables), the mango leaf extracts were probably 10 times more effective, it showed.

“The results of this study could provide consumers with effective nature-based ingredients for safer cosmetic products, and for healthier and beautiful skin, as an alternative to the synthetic ones available in the market,” Sapin said.

The DOST said the public may download the complete discussion and results of this study for free from the Philippine Journal of Science (PJS) Vol. 150 No. 2, April 2021 issue.

PJS is the country’s oldest peer-reviewed scientific journal. It is published by the Department of Science and Technology- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII).