As a result of an increasingly stressful and toxic world, our bodies are aging more rapidly than what is natural. This has sparked an interest in “anti-aging” and the subsequent study and developmental research of methods for the revitalization of the skin from both extrinsic and intrinsic damage. Today, scientists are aware of the primary factor in skin damage and aging. It is the initiation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), otherwise known as oxidative stress. The process of oxidative stress inhibits normal metabolic and mitochondrial function. This state of biological stress interferes with the natural metabolism of proteins, fatty acids and sugars, resulting in oxidative damage to the cell. This leads to skin imperfections. Specifically, oxidative stress causes disorders in collagen production. This eventually leads to skin roughness, wrinkles, dryness, pigmentation, and other physical markers of aging. One approach in protecting the skin against aging is the use of plant extracts topically for their flavonoid, phenolics and antioxidant abilities. Of the many useful and medicinal botanical extracts, Alfalfa (medicago sativa) is making way into the world of green beauty products and for good reason.
The word alfalfa in Arabic means “father of all foods.” It got its name due to its nutritional superiority. The plant has unique taproots that reach deep into the earth’s soil where it extracts high levels of nutrients not common in poor quality top soil. The leaf is rich in various vitamins and minerals, including amino acids, chlorophyll, B vitamins, D, E, K, A, iron, biotin, niacin, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is commonly used as animal feed, due to its fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins. Humans consume it for similar reasons. However, recent research discovered alfalfa to be a useful source of phenolic compounds with therapeutic benefits, especially for the skin.
Clinically Proven Anti-Aging Benefits of Alfalfa
• Less Wrinkles
: In study, anti-aging serums containing Alfalfa extract produced significant improvement in facial wrinkles, which was associated with fibrillin-1 deposition. Fibrillin is a glycoprotein, which is essential for the formation of elastic fibers found in connective tissue. Fibrillin is secreted into the extracellular matrix by fibroblasts. Then it becomes incorporated into the insoluble microfibrils, which appear to provide a scaffold for deposition of elastin. The study demonstrates that Alfalfa extract, applied topically, can significantly improve the appearance of wrinkles and repairing photo-aged skin by promoting fibrillin-1 content in the dermis. 1
• Softer, Smoother Skin:
The primary culprit of thick, tough and chronically dry skin is the accumulation of mucopolysaccharides. It is a byproduct of metabolic dysfunction and oxidative stress. Mucopolysaccharide accumulation in the skin and scalp can lead to both skin issues and a scalp fibrosis, causing baldness. In study, Alfalfa extract, which contains beneficial flavonoids, is capable of radical scavenging activity. This neutralizes reactive oxygen species from causing oxidative stress. Use of this extract thereby reduced the levels of glycosaminoglycans and mucopolysaccharides in skin fibroblasts. This suggest Alfalfa extract might possess potential benefits in regards to preventing aged skin and scalp. 2
Alfalfa extract proves to be a promising ingredient for green skincare products to promote skin revitalization, regeneration and protection against aging. These are just a few of the reasons we feature this miraculous plant in the Alitura Gold Serum