INCI: Polypodium Leucotomos Leaf Extract
Sources: Central America and Parts of South America
Our rating: GOOD
What is Fern/Calaguala Leaf Extract?
Fern is a nonflowering vascular plant belonging to the Pteridophyta botanical group and is native to Central America and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. The Mayans drank it as tea and the indigenous people of Honduras used the herb as medicine for various skin ailments such as sunburn, tumors and psoriasis.
Benefits of Fern/Calaguala Leaf Extract:
Fern contains high levels of antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and prevent them from destroying the cells’ DNA, proteins, lipids and membranes. It also inhibits the formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers – a type of DNA damage induced by UVB rays – which helps to reduce ultraviolet-induced DNA mutations. Researchers at Harvard had studied the antioxidant effects of the fern leaf extract, specifically, if it could protect people with fair skin tone from sun damage. The results showed a notable decrease in UV-induced skin damage in study participants who had consumed fern leaf extract. It was evident that their skin had significantly fewer cells burned by the sun’s UV rays and suffered less DNA damage. The botanical extract also protected the Langerhans cells (found in the deeper layers epidermis) that support the skin’s immunity. The Harvard study concluded that fern leaf extract offers “significant protection of skin against UV radiation.”
Matrix metalloproteinases(MMPs) are enzymes that can degrade the extracellular matrix which can cause the skin to age by breaking down the collagen. Fern leaf extract suppresses the expression and activity of MMPs in dermal fibroblasts (manufacturer of collagen). This helps to maintain collagen levels in the skin and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Side Effects & Toxicity:
An extremely safe ingredient, fern leaf extract has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
Fun Fact: Fern is an ancient plant and fossil records show that it has been around since 200 million years ago during the Jurassic period.