Extracts from the leaves of different Philippine mango varieties were seen to possess ingredients viable for antioxidant and skin-whitening, according to a study.
Researchers led by Arsenia B. Sapin of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology University of the Philippines Los Baños investigated how the non-edible parts of a mango tree like its barks and leaves can be utilized for other purposes such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
According to the study, while the Philippine mango is one of the most important crops in the country, also belonging in the top three most produced and exported crops, there has been no local study regarding the possibly usage of its barks and leaves for non-food applications, specifically the cosmetic industry.
In other countries, these types of study on mangoes are given more importance and exploration, as previous foreign studies prove that foreign mango cultivars are great sources of polyphenolic compounds which has antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties, among others. In fact, cosmetic brand L’Oréal already has an approved patent on the extraction and application of polyphenols from mango leaves for cosmetic use.
Sapin’s team set to find out for the first time if this is also the case for Philippine mango cultivars.
Young and mature sample leaves from five mango cultivars: carabao, apple mango, pico, sinaging, and sipsipin, all sourced from San Miguel, Bulacan, were investigated by the team to explore the presence of polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants, and inhibitors against enzymes that cause skin darkening.
Results of the study show that extracts from young leaves of pico and carabao varieties were most potent in inhibiting tyrosinase, the skin darkening enzyme. Among the mature leaves, the apple mango variety has shown the greatest potency.
The study also compared the leaves’ potency from commercial antioxidants and revealed that all the mango leaves extract exhibited greater potency – almost twice in scavenging free radicals – than that of commercial ascorbic acid, which suggests that it can be used to substitute ascorbic acid as an antioxidant in cosmetic products.
In terms of anti-aging properties, apple mango leaves extract was found to be two to four times more potent inhibitor of elastase than the rest of the samples and ten times more effective than the standard tocopherol, a vitamin E compound found in nuts, oils, and vegetables. Elastase is an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in wrinkling or sagging of the skin.
Sapin said that 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.” It could also increase the value of the unpopular mango cultivars being grown in the country.
The study on “Evaluation of the Bioactivities of Natural Phenolics from Mango Leaves for Cosmetic Industry Applications” is published and can be viewed for free in the Philippine Journal of Science.