By BR Amelia
Maple syrup - delicious on pancakes. Moreish on french toast. Scrummy on porridge. Great added to cakes. Even better in skin care.
Yes, you read right. Move over mushrooms. See you later snail slime! Maple syrup is set to be skin care's next superhero ingredient.
Red maple leaf extract, to be exact.
Research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society by Hang Ma, a researcher at the University of Rhode Island, showed that they had discovered a series of unique compounds called GCGs within red maple tree leaves. The compounds worked to block the breakdown of the enzyme elastase, which is an enzyme that degrades the elastin in our skin, which we know is partly what can cause wrinkles.
They then used this knowledge to create an extract called Maplifa™ from the leaves and sap of the maple tree, which is designed to inhibit the formation of wrinkles by blocking the elastase.
Is it just the slowing of collagen breakdown that we can get excited about. No..... but wait, there's more.
Navindra P. Seeram, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator, had this to say... “You could imagine that these extracts might tighten up human skin like a plant-based Botox®, though they would be a topical application, not an injected toxin,”
Well, colour us giddy! Tightening of skin and less wrinkles without having to use an injectable? Get futher testing lads! Quick smart!
Those who care about where their skin care comes from will also love that the theory behind it is sustainable, with the compounds being collected from trees whose leaves have fallen to the ground or been pruned. While there is more research to be conducted, including testing it on human skin, there are plans for the extract to be launched within commercial products.
Will we be smothering maple on our pancakes and on our faces? If it helps the tide of time move along gracefully, heck yes! But what about you? Do you think you'd be mad for maple? Don't beat about the bush... er...tree. Get chatting!