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Aloe Vera:




Aloe vera is a natural product that is now a day frequently used in the field of cosmetology. Though there are various indications for its use, controlled trials are needed to determine its real efficacy. The aloe vera plant, its properties, mechanism of action and clinical uses are briefly reviewed in this article.


Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes in several cultures for millennia: Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China.1 Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra used it as part of their regular beauty regimes. Alexander the Great, and Christopher Columbus used it to treat soldiers’ wounds. The first reference to Aloe vera in English was a translation by John Goodyew in A.D. 1655 of Dioscorides’ Medical treatise De Materia Medica.2 By the early 1800s, Aloe vera was in use as a laxative in the United States, but in the mid-1930s, a turning point occurred when it was successfully used to treat chronic and severe radiation dermatitis.

Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo



No studies have yet been undertaken to determine the effect of aloe gel on the clinical signs and biochemical changes of aging skin. We wanted to determine whether dietary aloe vera gel has anti-aging properties on the skin.


After aloe gel intake, the facial wrinkles improved significantly (p<0.05) in both groups, and facial elasticity improved in the lower-dose group. In the photoprotected skin, the type I procollagen mRNA levels were increased in both groups, albeit without significance; the MMP-1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in the higher-dose group. Type I procollagen immunostaining was substantially increased throughout the dermis in both groups.


Aloe gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photoaged human skin, with an increase in collagen production in the photoprotected skin and a decrease in the collagen-degrading MMP-1 gene expression. However, no dose-response relationship was found between the low-dose and high-dose groups.

Effects of plant sterols derived from Aloe vera gel on human dermal fibroblasts in vitro and on skin condition in Japanese women



Aloe is known for its topical use for treating wounds and burns. Many previous studies reported the healing effects of Aloe vera. However, there are few clinical studies on the effect of orally administered A. vera gel on the skin. Aloe sterols are a type of plant sterols that have the capability to regulate the metabolism of glucose and lipids. In a recent study, we confirmed that ingested Aloe sterols reached the peripheral tissues through the bloodstream. However, their influence on dermal fibroblasts has not been investigated.


After cocultivation with Aloe sterols, the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid increased by approximately two-fold and 1.5-fold, and gene expression levels of these enzymes responsible for their synthesis were also observed in human dermal fibroblasts. An increase in arm skin hydration was observed at 8 weeks in the AVGP group, whereas a slight decrease in arm skin hydration was noted in the placebo group. However, there was no statistical difference between AVGP and placebo groups in skin moisture. In subgroup analysis, the change in the mean wrinkle depth was significantly lower in the AVGP group than in the control group. In addition, percent body fat after 8 weeks was significantly lower in the AVGP group. No AVGP intake-dependent harmful phenomenon was observed during the intake period.


The present study confirms that daily oral Aloe sterol-containing AVGP significantly reduced facial wrinkles in women aged ≥40 years, and Aloe sterols stimulate collagen and hyaluronic acid production by human dermal fibroblasts.

Cucumber Extract:

Exploring cucumber extract for skin rejuvenation



This study was designed to develop a topical skin-care cream water in oil (w/o) emulsion of 3% cucumber extracts versus its vehicle (Base) as control and evaluates its effects on skin-melanin, skin erythema, skin moisture, skin sebum and transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Hydroalcoholıc cucumber (Cucumis sativus) fruit extract was entrapped in the inner aqueous phase of w/o emulsion. Base containing no extract and a formulation containing 3% concentrated extract of C. sativus was formulated. The odour was adjusted with few drops of lemon oil. Both the base and formulation were stored at different storage conditions for a period of 4 weeks to predict their stability. Different stability parameters that is: Physical stability, centrifugation and pH were monitored at different time intervals. Both the base and formulation were applied to the cheeks of 21 healthy human volunteers for a period of 4 weeks. The expected pharmaceutical stability of creams was achieved from 4 weeks in vitro study period. Odour disappeared with passage of time due to volatilization of lemon oil. The base showed insignificant (p > > > > 0.05) effects on all skin parameters except sebum that was not significant, whereas the formulation showed statistically significant (p0.05) effects on skin sebum secretion. TEWL and erythema was increased while skin melanin and skin hydration level was decreased by formulation. However these effects were statistically insignificant (p > > > > 0.05). The results showed a good stability over 4 weeks of observation period of both base and formulation and the formulation has anti sebum secretion, bleaching and moisturizing effects.


This project was a preliminary step to explore the hidden potential of cucumber for skin rejuvenation in the form of topical cream. From our findings we concluded that a stable topical cream (w/o emulsion) containing cucumber extract can produce a pronounced decrease in melanin content of the skin showing that the formulation has skin whitening effects. The cream produced a pronounced decrease in skin sebum content showing that the formulation has anti-acne effects. The formulation was also observed to decrease skin moisture content and increase TEWL which strengthens the anti-acne effects. However, further a targeted study needs to be conducted in future in patients with freckles/melasma, acne, psoriasis as well in people with dry wrinkled skin to evaluate this product for the cosmetic market. Our investigations have proved to be promising in terms of future potential applications of cucumber extract, as skin-care products, cosmetics and/ or pharmaceutical preparations owing to these properties.

Green Tea

Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris



Polyphenols are antioxidant molecules found in many foods including nuts, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, wine, and tea. Polyphenols have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic properties. Recent studies suggest that tea polyphenols may be used for reducing sebum production in the skin and for treatment of acne vulgaris. This review examines the evidence for use of topically and orally ingested tea polyphenols against sebum production and for acne treatment and prevention. The PubMed database was searched for studies on tea polyphenols, sebum secretion, and acne vulgaris. Of the 59 studies found, eight met the inclusion criteria. Two studies evaluated tea polyphenol effects on sebum production; six studies examined tea polyphenol effects on acne vulgaris. Seven studies evaluated topical tea polyphenols; one study examined systemic tea polyphenols. None of the studies evaluated both topical and systemic tea polyphenols. Tea polyphenol sources included green tea (six studies) and tea, type not specified (two studies). Overall, there is some evidence that tea polyphenols in topical formulation may be beneficial in reducing sebum secretion and in treatment of acne. Research studies of high quality and with large sample sizes are needed to assess the efficacy of tea polyphenols in topical and oral prevention of acne vulgaris and lipid synthesis by the sebaceous glands.


Our search produced a limited number of results for how tea polyphenols may be used in reducing sebum secretion and acne pathology. While all the studies used some form of tea polyphenols, the exposures were not uniform. Some studies included unknown types of tea and with unspecified amounts of tea polyphenols as exposure. However, based on this review there is some evidence that tea polyphenols used orally and topically may be beneficial for skin health and more specifically, for reducing sebum production by the sebaceous glands and for the prevention and treatment of acne vulgaris. Physicians and other health care professionals should be aware of the studies examining the beneficial effects of tea polyphenols as they could potentially be used as alternatives in skin care. Research studies of high quality and with large sample sizes are needed to assess the efficacy of tea polyphenols in topical and oral prevention of acne vulgaris and lipid synthesis by the sebaceous glands.

Hyaluronic Acid

Science of Hyaluronic Acid Beyond Filling: Fibroblasts and Their Response to the Extracellular Matrix



Loss of viscoelasticity is one of the primarily signs of skin aging, followed by appearance of visible wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid (HA)-based fillers are widely used to fill wrinkles and compensate for volume loss. Recent clinical observations demonstrate persistence of the filling effect longer than the biological availability of the filler. Stimulation of new collagen by cross-linked HA and up-regulation of elastin have been suggested as possible explanation to this observation and have been supported experimentally. Cross-linked HA substitutes for fragmented collagen in restoring extracellular matrix required for normal activity of fibroblasts, such as collagen and elastin production. To restore extracellular matrix efficiently, serial monthly treatments are required. Boosting of facial and nonfacial skin through fibroblast activation is a new indication for HA-based products. Injectable HA has also been recently registered in Europe as agents specific for the improvement of skin quality (Restylane Skinboosters). Further explanation of the possible mechanisms supported by long-term clinical examples is presented herein.

Hyaluronic acid stimulates human fibroblast proliferation within a collagen matrix



Human dermal fibroblasts suspended in a collagen matrix exhibit a 4-day delay in cell division, while the same cells in monolayer divided by day 1. The initial rates of 3H-thymidine incorporation by cells in monolayer or suspended in collagen were not significantly different. When suspended in collagen, there was a threefold increase in the proportion of cells in a tetraploidal (4N) DNA state compared to the same cells in monolayer. Flow cytometry analysis and 3H-thymidine incorporation studies identified the delay of cell division as a consequence of a block in the G2/M of the cell cycle and not an inhibition of DNA synthesis. The inclusion of 150 microg/ml of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the manufacture of fibroblast populated collagen lattices (FPCL) caused a stimulation of cell division, as determined by cell counting; increased the expression of tubulin, as determined by Western blot analysis; and reduced the proportion of cells in a 4N state, as determined by flow cytometry. HA added to the same cells growing in monolayer produced a minimal increase in the rate of cell division or DNA synthesis. HA supplementation of FPCLs stimulated cell division as well as tubulin concentrations, but it did not enhance lattice contraction. The introduction of tubulin isolated from pig brain or purchased tubulin into fibroblasts by electroporation prior to their transfer into collagen lattices promoted cell division in the first 24 hours and enhanced FPCL contraction. It is proposed that tubulin protein, the building blocks of microtubules, is limited in human fibroblasts residing within a collagen matrix. When human fibroblasts are suspended in collagen, one effect of added HA may be to stimulate the synthesis of tubulin which assists cells through the cell cycle.

Nannochloropsis oculata Extract (NOE)

Safety assessment of the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata



Nannochloropsis oculata is a marine-water microalgae that is considered to be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), utilized in the production of an omega-3 oil for use as a dietary supplement. This study investigates the safety of N. oculata in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats administered a 0 or 10 mL/kg bw/rat N. oculata (10E8 viable cells/mL) suspension by oral gavage once daily for 14 consecutive days. No mortalities occurred and no signs of toxicity were observed during the study. No treatment-related effects were seen for body weight, food consumption, urinalysis, clinical chemistry, hematology, gross pathology, organ weights, or histopathology. Although statistically significant effects were noted for some endpoints, none were considered to be of toxicological significance. The N. oculata suspension was concluded to have no toxicity in rats, confirming that the algal strain used in the production of omega-3 oil is not pathogenic when administered orally to rats.

Beneficial Effects of Marine Algae-Derived Carbohydrates for Skin Health



Marine algae are considered to be an abundant sources of bioactive compounds with cosmeceutical potential. Recently, a great deal of interest has focused on the health-promoting effects of marine bioactive compounds. Carbohydrates are the major and abundant constituent of marine algae and have been utilized in cosmetic formulations, as moisturizing and thickening agents for example. In addition, marine carbohydrates have been suggested as promising bioactive biomaterials for their various properties beneficial to skin, including antioxidant, anti-melanogenic and skin anti-aging properties. Therefore, marine algae carbohydrates have potential skin health benefits for value-added cosmeceutical applications. The present review focuses on the various biological capacities and potential skin health benefits of bioactive marine carbohydrates.


In this review, we have presented evidence that various biological activities of marine algae extracts and marine algal carbohydrates act as novel cosmeceuticals. Marine algae extracts and carbohydrates were categorized by source (species), structural parameters, bioactive functions and mechanism. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies showed that marine algae extracts and algal carbohydrates showed various biological activities against skin disorders including hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dry skin disorders, skin inflammation and skin cancer. However, although diverse biological activities of marine carbohydrates have been determined, their detailed molecular mechanisms and target proteins are not fully understood. Therefore, further investigations to elicit the precise molecular basis for the biological activity of marine algal compounds should be undertaken. Recently, bioinformatics has been used to screen functional materials derived from natural resources more rapidly and to predict the mechanisms of biological actions [86,87,88]. Thus, using a bioinformatics approach will be a good strategy for finding and understanding more effective marine algal compounds, which will contribute to the development of novel cosmeceuticals.


Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms



Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies have implicated solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation in various skin diseases including premature aging of the skin and melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers. Chronic UV radiation exposure-induced skin diseases or skin disorders are caused by the excessive induction of inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage, etc.. The use of chemopreventive agents, such as plant polyphenols, to inhibit these events in UV-exposed skin is gaining attention. Chemoprevention refers to the use of agents that can inhibit, reverse, or retard the process of these harmful events in the UV-exposed skin. A wide variety of polyphenols or phytochemicals, most of which are dietary supplements, have been reported to possess substantial skin photoprotective effects. This review article summarizes the photoprotective effects of some selected polyphenols, such as green tea polyphenols, grape seed proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, silymarin and genistein, on UV-induced skin inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage, etc., with a focus on mechanisms underlying the photoprotective effects of these polyphenols. The laboratory studies conducted in animal models, suggest that these polyphenols have the ability to protect the skin from the adverse effects of UV radiation, including the risk of skin cancers. It is suggested that polyphenols may favorably supplement sunscreens protection, and may be useful for skin diseases associated with solar UV radiation-induced inflammation, oxidative stress and DNA damage.


The polyphenols discussed in this review article show significant anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-DNA damaging effects. These protective effects of polyphenols may contribute to their anti-photocarcinogenic effects and act to abrogate the various biochemical processes induced or mediated by solar UV radiation. Based on the epidemiological evidence and laboratory studies conducted using in vitro and in vivo systems, it is suggested that routine consumption or topical treatment of these polyphenols may provide efficient protection against the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation in humans. For appropriate conversion of drug or chemopreventive agent doses from animal studies to human studies, the body surface area normalization method has been prescribed [reviewed in 75].


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