There are two luxury companies that currently use Bird of Paradise flower extracts – Elemis and Sunday Riley.
One patent for bird of paradise flower extract in skincare says:
The invention relates to a topical composition containing a bilirubin-producing plant extract. In particular, the bilirubin-producing plant extract is obtained from the genus Strelitzia. When topically applied to skin, the composition is effective in accelerating the degradation of heme by-products such as bilirubin present in the skin.
When heme-containing molecules like hemoglobin break down in the body, they can convert to a number of degradation products that are also pigmented. For example, hemoglobin first converts to biliverdin and then to bilirubin, which is eventually removed from the body through the liver and kidneys. As heme degradation by-products accumulate, the body may also create certain proteins like ferritin and hemosiderin that will trap free iron and store it to keep it from reaching toxic levels in the skin. Most of these degradation by-products are also highly colored with dark blues, browns, and yellows being common colors for them. When these molecules accumulate near the surface of the skin, they can manifest themselves as undesirable spots such as bruises, dark circles, and other skin pigment disorders.
The ingredient is designed to promote a radiant complexion by reducing the appearance of dark pigmentation associated with the presence of excess bilirubin.
Plants in the genus Strelitzia produce no windborne pollen, and have an OPALS allergy scale rating of 1 (considered “allergy-fighting”).