Tamarind: skincare’s hot new super ingredient
Our very own Dr Israt Alam tells us why Tamarind Seed Extract is skincare’s best new ingredient for hydrating skin: it has been shown to outperform the well-known Hyaluronic Acid in recent studies. Elethea Luxury Beauty are one of the first to pioneer the use of this extract in our products, and the proof is in our customers’ results.
Lovers of Asian cuisine will be all too familiar with Tamarind. The tamarind tree (Tamarindus Indica) is indigenous to Africa though, because of its uses, it is today cultivated around the world. It produces curved pods which contain fleshy brown pulp used as a souring agent to impart a delicious tangy taste. For centuries, the culinary and medicinal uses of Tamarind have been noted. The healing power of this fruit was first mentioned in ancient Sanskrit scriptures. Rich in fibres, vitamins and minerals, consumption of this fruit is reported to aid metabolism, digestion and prevent cancer. More recently, scientific studies have been able to explain the molecular mechanisms of these benefits. Some of this research has focused on benefits that Tamarind has for the skin and specifically the benefits of the Tamarind seed extract (TSE).
TSE is made from the dried seed of the fruit which is made into a powder. It is rich in a special class of polysaccharides (long sugar molecules) called xyoglucans. These are great at holding on to water molecules making it a fantastic moisturising agent and a natural alternative to the widely used Hyaluronic acid (HA). Recent studies have noted the parallels between the two and it is now reported that TSE in fact outperforms HA in skin moisturisation and the ability to smooth wrinkles.
Additionally the seed is also high in antioxidants. These are able to neutralise free radicals and thus protect cells from damage which contributes to ageing. A 2011 study showed that the anti-oxidants along with a high content of a particular protein in TSE, could promote collagen synthesis and wound healing. The list of benefits of TSE for skincare formulations is a long one; the extract has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and cancer fighting properties. Scientists are hard at work to further characterise the benefits of this wonderful treasure of nature. At Elethea, we are pioneering the use of this amazing extract in our Youth capture Serum, Revitalising High Protection Fluid SPF30, and Eye Architecture Cream to provide instant hydration and help smooth fine lines and wrinkles with proven results.
Written by Dr Israt Alam, PhD Biochemist and Head of Scientific Research & Development at Elethea Luxury Beauty