You may associate French lilac with fields of purple flowers that look and fill the air with an intoxicating fragrance, but French lilac is also a great anti-ageing ingredient for your skin.
What is French Lilac?
A flowering plant that belongs to the legume and pea family, French lilac is mostly found in southern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It’s also known as Goat’s Rue, Galega Officinalis, or Italian Fitch. Grown wild in damp low lying areas, it’s been used since the Middle Ages because of its skin healing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties as well as its ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Metformin and Diabetes
You may have heard French lilac referenced when talking about diabetes, that’s because this powerful plant contains flavonoids, metabolites and alkaloids including galegine. In scientific studies it was found that galegine helped reduced blood sugar levels, so scientists isolated this compound from the leaf of the plant and made a synthetic version of it called metformin. It’s this synthetic version that you find as an active ingredient in many diabetes drugs because of its ability to dramatically decrease blood sugar levels.
What gives French lilac its anti-aging properties is that it contains high levels of flavonoids. You’ve probably heard flavonoids described as plant active ingredients in your skincare before.
Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients that occur naturally in plants and are found in most fruit and vegetables. Along with carotenoids, they are responsible for giving fruit and vegetables their vivid colours. They are the largest group of phytonutrients with over 6000 of them compared to around 2000 known phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes and lignans, which make up the non-flavonoid group. The main difference between the two groups is their chemical structure but most importantly they both have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
French lilac helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation
Benefits of French Lilac for Your Skin
- Helps supress the enzyme tyrosinase, the key factor in the melanogenesis process which causes hyperpigmentation.
- Rich in kaempferol which helps protect against photo ageing and reduces skin inflammation.
- Contains quercetin which helps reduce skin redness and inflammation in damaged and irritated skin.
- It's ultra hydrating helping restore skin barrier function, increasing hydration and reducing water loss.
- High levels of antioxidants help the skin repair itself of visible damage.
Even though French lilac has been used for centuries because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a relative new ingredient to be used in skincare. It’s such an exciting ingredient as it has been scientifically proven to help calm and hydrate skin, which is why you’ll find it in repairing products, like serums and spot treatments.
EPI-gN Repair Serum with French Lilac