Moringa oleifera is also called the tree of life for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, useful, for example, in counteracting cellular degeneration and strengthening the immune system. From today, we know that moringa can also become a precious ally for the health and beauty of our skin, regenerating it and protecting it from damage caused by the sun's rays. Excellent piece of news, especially now that we have entered the summer. The research we are talking about today is available online and was published a few years ago in the Molecules journal by an Italian team (Baldisserotto et al, Molecules, 2018).
Sun, benefits and risks
The sun improves mood, relaxes and allows our body to synthesize vitamin D. However, care must be taken. The sun's rays, even if beneficial, must be taken with caution, avoiding the central hours of the day and always with the necessary protections. In fact, the sun interacts with DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids of the skin, triggering processes that can cause damage to the skin. UVB rays can induce erythema and cellular degeneration. UVA rays cause premature skin aging, wrinkles and blemishes by degrading collagen. That is why it is important to protect the skin with special creams with sunscreens. But plants can help too. Perhaps not as a substitute for sunscreens, they would never be equally powerful, but certainly as a treatment that follows a day at the beach, in the mountains or in the pool. Moringa, thanks to its precious antioxidants, is considered a very powerful natural remedy to counteract the aging processes and attacks by viruses and bacteria. The cosmetic properties of moringa, on the other hand, have only been investigated by a few studies. That's why the researchers of the study we're talking about today analyzed moringa extracts to evaluate their action on the skin.
Moringa and its anti-aging properties for the skin
The researchers prepared three samples, a hydroalcoholic extract, a methanolic extract and the aqueous extract of moringa leaves. The three samples were studied to evaluate their antioxidant and anti-aging action. What emerged is that all three samples counteract free radicals, and therefore the aging processes induced by the sun's rays, but with differences. In particular, the aqueous extract is the one with the highest number of phenols, which are antioxidant substances. All three samples were shown to contain rutin, ellagic acid, chlorogenic and ferulic acid. Instead, quercetin is contained only in the hydroalcoholic extract. But why are these substances important for photoprotection purposes? For example, ellagic acid counteracts the damage induced by UVA rays and photoaging. Not only that, it can also prevent collagen degradation and inflammation caused by UVB rays. Chlorogenic acid inhibits the proliferation of damaged cells and ferulic acid is a powerful antioxidant capable of counteracting the development of erythema induced by sunlight. Rutin is anti-aging, fights free radicals and protects the skin from sun damage. Quercetin, which is the only substance present just in the hydroalcoholic extract, protects against damage from UVA and UVB rays.
Moringa, beauty masks
So moringa extracts can come to the rescue of the skin, protecting it, regenerating it and helping to prevent wrinkles, blemishes and dry and dehydrated skin. You can try making a moringa tea. Heat a cup of water to 70° C, add 3 teaspoons of dried moringa leaves and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Filter, let it cool down and soak a gauze, apply to your face and leave on for ten minutes, then rinse. You can also use this infusion as a watery part of masks with an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory action.