Could Maple Leaf be the next natural botox alternative for the wrinkly skin?

Maple leaf could prove to be the secret ingrident that people were looking to turn back the time on their aging skin.

                            Could Maple Leaf be the next natural botox alternative for the wrinkly skin?
(Source:Getty Images)

Trying hard to ensure that your skin stays youthful all the time? What if we tell you, there's a painless, non-surgical, in fact, quite a healthy way to keep your skin wrinkle-free?

All you got to have is a Maple Leaf!

Yeah, you read that right. It turns out that an extract from the maple tree leaves may help prevent wrinkles, suggests a study. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island think that maybe one day, humans will be able to prevent wrinkles with the help of a plant-based botox; topical cream made from maple leaves. The research was presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Wrinkles are a natural part of life and are formed when the enzyme elastase breaks down elastin, which maintains skin elasticity. It is believed that it could also happen with exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. 


Maple leaf could be the secret to anti-aging (Pexels)


During the research, the scientists found that the maple plant extract could block elastase activity in a test tube. If the same is proven in humans, this could one day slow the formation of wrinkles. However, speaking to Newsweek, Navindra Seeram, principal investigator of the experiment from the University of Rhode Island, said that at the moment it is too early to predict if the same effect will be seen on humans. 

"There is no human clinical data yet to support what we saw," he said. Navindra pointed out that chemical compounds in maple extract, known as glucitol-core-containing gallotannins (GCGs), prevent skin inflammation and lighten age spots. “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,” he said. 


Currently, the researchers are working on a formula called Maplifa, pronounced “mape-LEAF-uh,” that they hope to eventually market as cosmetics or dietary supplements. With this, they also hope that they will be able to help the economy of those who farm maple trees. “Many botanical ingredients traditionally come from China, India and the Mediterranean, but the sugar maple and the red maple only grow in eastern North America,” he said. 

Hang Ma, a research associate with the University of Rhode Island said that it was mindblowing to see the effects. “It was absolutely amazing,” Hang Ma said, as reported by CTV News. “We see it from a plant extract and into different bio-acids, and finally see (that) it has (an) effect on the skin cells. So that’s very exciting.” Meanwhile, Nathalie Langlois, from the Federation of Maple Syrup Producers of Quebec, called the research “very promising.”

“If the maple leaf extract can indeed reduce wrinkles in humans then this could represent the potential development of value-added products from the maple industry,” she said. At the same time, Dave Chapeskie from the International Maple Syrup Institute agreed that the research could be the good news that the industry had been looking for. Many aging baby boomers are looking for natural products to maintain a youthful and healthy appearance,” he said. “Maple leaves, just like the maple forests from which maple syrup is derived, are both natural and sustainable."