Dermocosmetics for dry skin: a new role for botanical extracts.

Competence Center skintegral, Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
Skin pharmacology and physiology (Impact Factor: 2.89). 06/2011; 24(6):289-93. DOI: 10.1159/000329214
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dry skin is associated with a disturbed skin barrier and reduced formation of epidermal proteins and lipids. During recent years, skin-barrier-reinforcing properties of some botanical compounds have been described. Searching the PubMed database revealed 9 botanical extracts that specifically improve skin barrier and/or promote keratinocyte differentiation in vivo after topical application. The topical application of Aloe vera (leaf gel), Betula alba (birch bark extract), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oleodistillate), Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort extract), Lithospermum erythrorhizon (root extract), Piptadenia colubrina (angico-branco extract) and Simarouba amara (bitter wood extract) increased skin hydration, reduced the transepidermal water loss, or promoted keratinocyte differentiation in humans in vivo. The topical application of Rubia cordifolia root extract and rose oil obtained from Rosa spp. flowers stimulated keratinocyte differentiation in mouse models. The underlying mechanisms of these effects are discussed. It is concluded that some botanical compounds display skin-barrier-reinforcing properties that may be used in dermocosmetics for dry skin. However, more investigations on the mode of action and more vehicle-controlled studies are required.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Traditionally and nowadays preparations from two xerophytic plants, the ice plant and cactus pear are used in dermatologic and cosmetic preparations. In spite of their daily use, little is known concerning the bioactivity of such extracts on skin cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of pressed juices from ice plant (McP) and two cactus pear polysaccharides (cold water soluble, NwPS; non swelling pectin, NPec) on the cell physiology of normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDF) and HaCaT-keratinocytes due to composition, concentration and incubation time. Cactus pear polysaccharides were analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection after hydrolysis with trifluoroacetic acid. Ice plant pressed juices were filtrated through a 1.2 μm (McPI) and 0.2 μm filter (McPII). Cell proliferation was measured with BrdU incorporation assay. Reduction of tetrazolium salts was applied to determine the metabolic activity (MTT) while necrotic effects were assessed by LDH-release measurements. Cactus pear polysaccharides differed predominantly in their glucose and uronic acid content. The filtration of pressed juices altered the amounts of high molecular weight compounds. The proliferation of NHDF and HaCaTs was significantly stimulated by cactus pear polysaccharides and ice plant pressed juices not until 72 h of incubation. McPI significantly increased the proliferation of NHDF and HaCaTs while significant effect of McPII was only observed in case of HaCaT-keratinocytes. A dependence on concentration was not observed. Metabolic activity was neither influenced by McPI nor by McPII independent of incubation time. The HaCaT proliferation was not significantly influenced by low concentrations of cactus pear polysaccharides however it was inhibited by 100 μg/mL NPec. 100 μg/mL of NwPS and 1 μg/mL NPec stimulated the proliferation of fibroblasts. The metabolic activity of NHDF was not affected neither by NPec nor by NwPS. Independent of the used concentration NwPS significantly enhanced the metabolic activity of HaCaTs after 48 h of incubation. Pressed juices of common ice plant and polysaccharides of cactus pear influenced the cell physiology of human keratinocytes and fibroblasts predominantly in a time-dependent manner. The effect was also be related to the concentration and composition as well as the investigated cell type.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 05/2012; 142(2):438-44. · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The skin is a complex organ involved in thermoregulation, gas exchange, protection against pathogens, and barrier function to maintain proper hydration. When dry, the ability for skin to execute these tasks becomes impaired. Dry skin affects almost everyone as we age, but it is also dependent on external factors, such as dry climate, colder temperatures, and repeated washing. In addition, increasing evidence has shown racial variability in the physiological properties of skin, which directly impacts water content of the stratum corneum and sensitivity to exogenously applied agents. A multitude of products have been developed to treat dry skin, and as a group, moisturizers have been designed to either impart or restore hydration in the stratum corneum. Given the large number of moisturizers presently available, depending on individual components, several different mechanisms may be employed to promote skin hydration. As there exists dramatic racial variability in skin properties, certain moisturizers may thus be more effective in some and less effective in others to treat the common condition of dry skin.
    Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology 06/2014; 7(6):25-32.


Available from
Jul 28, 2014