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Skin luminosity is an important attribute for giving skin its youthful glow. Luminosity is partially determined by the skin chromophores collagen and bilirubin. Bilirubin, a breakdown product of blood and heme, is one cause of dark circles around the eye. Until recently, it was unknown that plants produced bilirubin. To date, a small group of plants are known to produce bilirubin and hence contain a mechanism to control production and degradation of the compound.
An extract of Strelitzia, a plant that produces bilirubin, was found to degrade solutions of bilirubin. A human in vivo assay ascertained that topical applications of the plant extract, named Vivillume™, decreased dark circles and improved luminosity of the skin. The extract was also found to increase Collagen III levels, which are known to decrease with aging and hence negatively impact luminosity.