A study conducted by researchers from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños revealed that extracts from the leaves of local mangoes were potential cosmetic ingredients possessing anti-aging, antioxidant and whitening properties.
The researchers determined the presence of polyphenolic compounds (organic chemical in plants) in the leaves of five mango cultivars (plant variants produced by selective breeding)—carabao, apple mango, pico, sinaging and sipsipin.
They also looked at antioxidant capacity and inhibitory effect on elastase and tyrosinase, the proteins causing aging and darkening of skin, respectively.
According to the researchers, all extracts showed greater antioxidant capacity than standard ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), which meant more protection from skin damage caused by free radicals as well as greater inhibition on elastase than tocopherol (vitamin E compound used to inhibit elastase), which suggests greater antiaging property.
Extracts from young leaves of pico and carabao mango leaves were found to be most potent in the inhibition of tyrosinase, while extract from apple mango leaves were up to four times more potent in inhibiting elastase than the others.
“Unlike in other countries, very few in the Philippines have explored the potential and utilization of the nonfruit parts of the mango, such as the bark and leaves,” said the team.
The study is particularly significant in that it not only spotlights the potential of the local mango cultivars, but increases their value too. “This could provide consumers effective nature-based cosmetic ingredients as a replacement to the synthetic ones that are used at present to promote safer products for healthier and beautiful skin,” they pointed out.
Entitled “Evaluation of the Bioactivities of Natural Phenolics from Mango (Mangifera indica Linn) Leaves for Cosmetic Industry Applications”, the study was led by Arsenia Sapin from UPLB’s National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and was published in this April’s issue of the Philippine Journal of Science under the Science and Technology Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology.