Orchids protect the skin [Asia Research News 2018 feature

An orchid-based skincare product could protect skin from the sun’s aging effects. 

Orchid compound can protect skin from the aging and damaging effects of sun exposure.
Credit : alisali | 123rf

Researchers at Hong Kong Baptist University have patented a formula, based on compounds present in two types of orchids, that can protect skin from the aging and damaging effects of sun exposure. 

They isolated stilbenoids, plant-based compounds with powerful antioxidant properties, from Dendrobium officinale and Dendrobium nobile, two orchids commonly used in Chinese medicine. The stilbenoids were formulated into a cosmetic blend that can reduce the formation of harmful reactive oxygen species and oxidative free radicals resulting from sun exposure. It can also reduce melanin generation from sun exposure, which can lead to abnormal skin pigmentations such as aging spots and freckles.

The formula’s active ingredients demonstrated higher antioxidant activity than vitamin C and beta hydroxy acid (BHA), which are commonly used in over-the-counter skincare products.

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