Can This Common Leaf Prevent Wrinkles?

What do your favorite pancake topping and your anti-wrinkle cream have in common? Well, nothing—yet. But in the near future, your skin care products might come to you courtesy of the same tree that makes your maple syrup.

Yep, maple trees may hold the key to fighting off wrinkles naturally, but it’s not the syrup that researchers are interested in. It’s the leaves. According to recent research, the national symbol of Canada may actually help the skin preserve elasticity and make the skin more resistant to wrinkles as it matures.

Maple Leaf Extract for Wrinkles: Here Comes the Science

Wrinkles naturally form in the skin when the enzyme elastase begins breaking down elastin proteins in the skin—the stuff that keeps skin looking youthful and springy. It’s an inevitable part of the aging process, albeit not the most pleasant one.

Scientists have discovered that certain compounds in maple leaf extract can actually inhibit the activity of elastase, meaning fewer proteins get broken down over time. If formulated properly, these compounds could potentially drastically slow down the onset of wrinkles by preserving the precious proteins that encourage elasticity.

Can This Common Leaf Prevent Wrinkles?

What are the compounds that work this skin-tightening magic? They are phenolic compounds known as glucitol-core-containing gallotannins (GCGs). And the best part? No injections. This compound will likely be effective when applied topically.

GCGs seem to be ideal for helping to preserve skin elasticity, although this is currently purely based on test tube research. And, of course, it doesn’t seem like GCGs can reduce pre-existing wrinkles. They seem to reduce the age-related loss of elasticity, not reverse it.

But GCGs aren’t just good for preserving skin elasticity. In prior studies, the same research team concluded that the GCGs in maple leaves can actually protect the skin from inflammation as well as lighten areas of hyper-pigmentation, like freckles and age spots. These free radical-fighting compounds also seem to have powerful antioxidant, antimelanomic, and antidiabetic effects, making them ideal for natural skincare.

The best part? An increase in plant-based preventative skincare using compounds like maple-derived GCGs could make Botox injections a barbaric beauty tool of the past. More research is still needed, but the preliminary evidence is promising.

To be clear, maple leaf extract is NOT the same as maple syrup. You can try slathering your face with pancake syrup—but it’s probably not going to help your wrinkles.

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Images via Thinkstock.

84 comments

Jack Y
Jack Yabout a month ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Yabout a month ago

thanks

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John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

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Dennis Hall
Dennis H6 months ago

thanks

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 6 months ago

many thanks

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 6 months ago

many thanks

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Peggy P
Peggy Peters7 months ago

Maple good for something than a delicious flapjack topping? Great!

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Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI7 months ago

it would be good if they could prevent wrinkles, thanks

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