Albizia julibrissin, also known as Silk Tree or Mimosa of Constantinople, is a tree native to East Asia and South America, but it was spread by the man on almost every continent (US Patent). It has been reported in various reputable journals to have antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties (Biochemistry and Medicinal Letters, Carbohydrate Research, Glycoconjugate Journal).
In skin care, Albizia julibrissin is believed to protect against glycation, a process that results in an aged, inelastic state of collagen. (Know how your skin loses suppleness as you age? That is, in part, due to glycation).
What is Albizia julibrissin?
Extracts of A. julibrissin has been found to possess antidepressant effects in mice in high doses, most likely mediated through 5-HT1A receptors. In traditional Chinese medicine Albizzia jublibrissin is known as 合歡花 (Hé Huān Huā), and is used to nourish the heart and calm the spirit (Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine).
How Does Albizia julibrissin Work in Beauty Products?
Like so many plant extracts, Albizia Julibrissin is an antioxidant. The compound julibroside naturally contained within (Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2005).
Primarily, however, Albizia Julibrissin has effects against glycation. This occurs in two different ways:
- First, a preventive effect against glycation, to prevent its implementation;
- Second, a reparative effect, called a “deglycating” effect or of “de- glycation”. This means that Albizia julibrissin can neutralize or detoxify the products as they are leading up to glycation, leading to a reparative effect on tired skin with in particular a loss of radiance and suppleness (US Patent).
There is a rumor that the fragrance of Albizia Julibrissin is derived from the compounds methyl salicylate, eugenol, linalool, and octanol, which are irritant substances. However, this is not true. Albizia Julibrissin extract and seed oil are primarily comprised of fatty acid and triacylglycerol (Industrial Crops and Products, 2011). Any fragrance attributable to other compounds are in such minute concentrations, they are not likely at all to cause irritation: In fact, no direct case studies attributing irritation to Albizia Julibrissin have been published to date.
Do You Need Anti-Glycation Skin Care?
The vast majority of people can benefit from anti-glycation skin care. However, if you regularly consume sugary foods, alcohol, or simple carbohydrates, anti-glycation skin care becomes all the more important.
I used to think that got me off the hook when it came to things like high blood sugar, but it turns out that the vast majority of salty snacks have a high glycemic index score, indicating that they turn to sugar almost immediately after they hit your bloodstream. Even worse, excess of any carbohydrate turns into sugar in your bloodstream. Not only does regularly overloading your body this way lead to obesity over time, but it also leads to a chronically-elevated blood sugar level. This is linked to nearly every chronic condition in the book, from heart disease to diabetes.
The skin is no different. When you are constantly overloading sugars into your system, this causes the collagen in your skin to age faster. It’s a process known as glycation.
What are the Best Products with Albizia julibrissin?
Albizia julibrissin is hard to find in skin care products, but there are a few with it:
I’m a big fan of AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum, and recommend it highly. For those with dry skin, put another moisturizer over top; for those with oily skin, you should be good!
AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum contains the highest concentration of Albizia Julibrissin that I’ve seen.
AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum has a lightweight texture and glides across the skin. It absorbs fairly well for a silicone-based serum, and lays atop the skin smooth, without any lingering stickiness or tackiness. For those who are concerned about the fragrance of Albizia Julibrissin, take note that it does not have a scent. A great product for preventing future skin sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles, and for treating a loss of suppleness in the skin! Use it nightly for at least 4 weeks for best results.
Salma Hayek Nuance Facial Serum contains a far lesser concentration of Albizia Julibrissin than AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum, but it still has it. Salma Hayek Nuance Facial Serum also contains a small concentration of kojic acid, which may help to lighten dark spots. It’s a reasonable moisturizer, though if you want the full effects of Albizia Julibrissin, I do still recommend the other product, AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum, applied nightly for at least four weeks.
Albizia Julibrissin (Persian silk tree) has promise in fighting glycation, that pesky process that causes your collagen to lose elasticity as you age, leaving your skin wrinkled, sagging, and paper-thin. To prevent this process, I highly recommend a product like AminoGenesis Age Control Anti-Glycation Serum.