Application of Sutherlandia flutescens in cosmetic skin industry (phytochemical fingerprinting and its activity against skin immune diseases.
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Hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma, freckles and black-pigmented spots on the surface of the skin are often a result of increased over production and accumulation of melanin pigments in the skin. In melanin biogenesis, tyrosinase is the key enzyme that catalysis the synthesis of melanin, thus the most effective and easiest way to reduce melanin synthesis is by inhibiting tyrosinase. There are a large number of reported tyrosinase inhibitors, their identification and isolation from natural sources is highly important because when natural tyrosinase inhibitors are identified in natural sources, their production is relatively low in cost. Tyrosinase inhibitors are highly sought in the cosmetic industry because of their skin – whitening effects. Most common used tyrosinase inhibitors are kojic acid (KA), arbutin, hydroquinone and ascorbic acid. However, these inhibitors have side effects and lack clinical efficiency. These facts led us to focus our research work on the exploration of natural tyrosinase inhibitors. Due to the therapeutic potential of medical plants researchers are not only concerned with validating ethnopharmacological usage of plants, but also with identification, isolation and characterization of bioactive components. Sutherlandia frutescens and Psoralea aphylla are both examples of indigenous fynbos species, which have been applied by indigenous people for the benefit of their medicinal properties.