Ficus carica (fig) fruit extract

Fig may seem like a simple fruit often associated with the soft-textured cookies sold in grocery stores; however, it is proving to be a rather fascinating ingredient for skin.

It’s a rich source of a class of antioxidants known as phenolic compounds, including gallic acid, various epicatechins, and anthocyanins which contribute to the rich, often dark colour of fig skin and the fruit inside.

Along with being an antioxidant, fig has been shown to enhance skin’s hydration by preventing water loss from skin’s uppermost layers. It can also visibly improve skin color by addressing an enzyme in skin (tyrosinase) whose overproduction can lead to dark spots.

Those benefits are intriguing, but there’s more: fig extract has also been to help reduce uncomfortably dry, tight skin, including compromised, redness-prone skin.

One caution: Fig contains a group of naturally-occurring compounds known as psoralens. These can make skin more sensitive to sun exposure, but you can get around this by using a broad spectrum sunscreen every day. The leaves, root and sap from the fig plant contain the highest concentration of psoralens, which is why the fruit portion, which contains appreciably low levels, is typically used in skin care.

References for this information:

Indian Journal of Dermatology, January 2019, pages 71-73
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, December 2017, pages 85-91
Frontiers in Plant Science, November 2017,ePublication
Annals of Dermatology, February 2017, pages 86-90
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, November-December 2014, pages 560-664
Pharmaceutical Biology, November 2014, pages 1,487-1,503

See fig

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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