After 200 million years of this tree species' existence, the popularity of gingko biloba is growing, and it’s growing at a phenomenal rate. It’s no surprise, as gingko has rich traditions steeped in Chinese medicine, and has proven itself for years as a medicinal herb that can help heal various ailments in the human body.
This remarkable Asian tree is one of the oldest plant species on the planet. The extract from its leaves is one of the best selling supplements in both the United States and in Europe. One gingko tree can live as long as 1,000 years, and can grow to a height of more than 120 feet. It can withstand all types of difficult environments, and is highly resistant to disease and insects.
Of particular note lately, however, are the anti-aging effects of gingko biloba on skin. There are many studies underway, and there is such a huge demand for the herb that ginkgo biloba trees are currently being cultivated in order to protect the species. In fact, gingko has earned a reputation as one of the most coveted herbal supplements anywhere.
One of the reasons that gingko biloba is being used in many topical skincare formulations is due to its anti-aging properties. It has long been hailed as a potent anti-inflammatory herb, but it also has been shown to increase the production of human skin collagen.
It works by stimulating fibroblasts in the skin, which helps to keep skin looking youthful, plump, and wrinkle-free. Another key advantage of gingko biloba is its antibacterial properties, which helps to remove bacteria from the skin’s surface. This works to help prevent acne outbreaks.
But the main reason for gingko biloba’s popularity is its antioxidant properties, which include polyphenols and flavonoids. Antioxidants work to fight the free radicals that damage the skin’s DNA and mitochondria, causing the skin to sag and fine lines and wrinkles to develop.
The antioxidant properties in gingko biloba helps keep skin firm, restoring the elasticity lost to free radical damage and damage from the constant exposure to sunlight’s harmful UV radiation.
In addition, because ginkgo biloba is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it reduces the redness associated with exposure to UVA/UVB light. And here’s something else to consider: when prepared as a serum, gingko biloba has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin due to its smaller molecule size.
As our skin ages, blood cells become constricted, starving the cells of badly needed oxygen and nutrients. That’s where gingko biloba comes into play. It helps skin retain its youthful appearance by sending nutrients and oxygen to the skin. It also helps repair skin damaged by UV rays.
Gingko works as a vasodilator, opening the blood vessels so blood and oxygen can move more freely among the body’s cells. It has a high level of quercetin, which is a common and quite potent antioxidant.
It is also rich in other flavonoids, which gives it a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been shown to help treat acne, eczema, and many types of skin inflammation.
In addition to being a vasodilator, gingko also improves the skin’s sebaceous secretions, improves tissue irrigation, and stimulates cell metabolism. It is also known to be an effective, natural cleanser, working to clear the skin of oil, dirt, environmental impurities, and cellular debris.
Cosmetic skincare formulations that use both gingko biloba and green tea are more potent than formulations with only one or the other extract. They appear to work synergistically together to provide a moisturizing effect as well as increased cell renewal.
The combination of green tea and gingko extracts effectively improved skin conditions, as well as skin elasticity. In addition, the antioxidant effect was far greater when the two were formulated together.
So much has been written about the impact of gingko biloba and many research studies are underway to explore its bilities. One study found that gingko extracts helped protect skin cell membranes from the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals. The extract accomplished this by scavenging fat radicals, along with scavenging nitric oxide, and hydroxyl and oxoferryl radicals.
There is some debate on whether the benefits of gingko biloba are best derived from ingesting the extract or using it in topical formulations. The problem with ingesting ginkgo, as with any extract that is destined for skin cell benefits, is that the body metabolizes most of the extract before it ever reaches the skin.
In fact, studies have shown that when taken orally, only 1% to 3% of any extract reaches the epidermal layer where it’s needed to work its magic. Topical application, on the other hand, puts the extract exactly where it’s needed to do the most good.
That’s why there are now many different skincare and cosmetic formulations that incorporate gingko. When used as directed, the benefits of gingko biloba for skin are many and helpful.