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Cosmetic potential of Southeast Asian herbs: an overview

  • Saveetha Medical College and Hospital, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences (SIMATS)


Herbs and spices have been used in retaining and boosting human beauty since time immemorial. Herbal cosmetic has growing demand in the worldwide market and is an invaluable gift of Mother Nature. In the present review, the focus is on the cosmetic herbs of Southeast Asian countries namely Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore in highlighting both traditional and scientific knowledge or background of the selected potential herbs. The available literature was searched in the following scientific database such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct and Springer for publications and patents. In view of traditional uses, herbs like Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Centella asiatica, Curcuma longa, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Lawsonia inermis and Tamarindus indica L. were classified as need of special mention. Many herbs have been scientifically evaluated for their cosmetic potentials such as anti-aging, antiacne, melanogenic and anti-tyrosinase activities. The great void remains for a systematic study, thorough review of scientific report that provides a basis for the use of specific herbs due to their efficacy as cosmetics. In addition, two of the Malay herbs; Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah) and Ficus deltoidea (Mas cotek), are proposed to be clinically studied for their safety in cosmetic application aspects wherein the need for safety evaluation and fruitful application of herbal cosmetics were emphasized.
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Phytochemistry Reviews
Fundamentals and Perspectives of
Natural Products Research
ISSN 1568-7767
Volume 14
Number 3
Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419-428
DOI 10.1007/s11101-015-9396-2
Cosmetic potential of Southeast Asian
herbs: an overview
Radhakrishnan Narayanaswamy & Intan
Safinar Ismail
1 23
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Cosmetic potential of Southeast Asian herbs: an overview
Radhakrishnan Narayanaswamy
Intan Safinar Ismail
Received: 26 December 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2015 / Published online: 18 February 2015
ÓSpringer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
Abstract Herbs and spices have been used in retain-
ing and boosting human beauty since time immemorial.
Herbal cosmetic has growing demand in the worldwide
market and is an invaluable gift of Mother Nature. In
the present review, the focus is on the cosmetic herbs of
Southeast Asian countries namely Malaysia, Cambo-
dia, Laos, Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Vietnam,
Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines and Singa-
pore in highlighting both traditional and scientific
knowledge or background of the selected potential
herbs. The available literature was searched in the
following scientific database such as PubMed, Google
Scholar, Science Direct and Springer for publications
and patents. In view of traditional uses, herbs like
Allium sativum,Aloe vera,Centella asiatica,Curcuma
longa,Hibiscus rosa-sinensis,Lawsonia inermis and
Tamarindus indica L. were classified as need of special
mention. Many herbs have been scientifically evaluated
for their cosmetic potentials such as anti-aging, anti-
acne, melanogenic and anti-tyrosinase activities. The
great void remains for a systematic study, thorough
review of scientific report that provides a basis for the
use of specific herbs due to their efficacy as cosmetics.
In addition, two of the Malay herbs; Labisia pumila
(Kacip Fatimah) and Ficus deltoidea (Mas cotek), are
proposed to be clinically studied for their safety in
cosmetic application aspects wherein the need for
safety evaluation and fruitful application of herbal
cosmetics were emphasized.
Keywords Malaysian herbs Traditionally use
Herbal cosmetics Topical applications
Herbs and spices have been used in retaining and
boosting human beauty since indefinitely old-age
(Gediya et al. 2011). For instance, about 5000 years
ago the ancient Egyptian colored their hair with a
mixture of henna and indigo, and scented with marjo-
ram. Similarly Oriental people used numerous kinds of
herbs to beautify their bodies from head to toe
(Chomchalow 2002). The trend for the majority,
nowadays, is going back to the usage of herbal products
in adopting a more natural way of leading life (Kapoor
2005). However, in the present, herbal cosmetics must
meet both of the technical safety and application
standards (norms) required by the society. The herbal
cosmetics are not only essential for the physical
appearance, but also to safeguarding the physical well-
being based on the regulated instructions of responsible
Electronic supplementary material The online version of
this article (doi:10.1007/s11101-015-9396-2) contains supple-
mentary material, which is available to authorized users.
R. Narayanaswamy I. S. Ismail (&)
Laboratory of Natural Products, Institute of Bioscience
(IBS), University Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang,
Selangor, Malaysia
Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428
DOI 10.1007/s11101-015-9396-2
Author's personal copy
authorities world-wide. The beauty of skin and hair
basically depends on an individual’s health, diet, nature
of job and climatic conditions (Morganti 2010). As an
example, the climatic condition during summer in
tropical countries causes the people to be exposed in
excessive sunlight and heat, which in turn dehydrates
the skin and increases the melanin content. It also
resulted in freckles, wrinkles, blemishes, sunburns and
pigmentation. Similarly, extreme cold in winter causes
discomfort to the skin such as cuts, cracks, maceration
and even infections. Climate condition also has effects
on hair, such as hair fall or loss and pre-mature graying
which becomes very common inrecent years among the
younger generation (Kapoor 2005). Therefore, there are
immense growing opportunities to explore and use
herbal ingredients (phytochemicals) in cosmetics for
skin and hair care.
In a selected Southeast Asian countries the trend in
using herbal products are increasing. In Malaysia, the
local herbs are primarily used in foods and beverages,
traditional medicines, health enhancing products, di-
etary supplements, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics,
and toiletries (Adnan and Othman 2012). The cosmetics
for both local and international products are regulated
under the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 (Revised 1989) and
the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984
(amended 2009). The Malaysian herbal market turn-
over is estimated to be around USD 2.5 Billion (2007)
of which personal care sector holds 35 % share.
Recently, Government of Malaysia identified eleven
herbs of national importance which are Eurycoma
longifolia (Tongkat Ali),L.pumila (Kacip Fatimah),
Orthosiphon stamineus (Misai Kucing), Phyllanthus
niruri (Dukung Anak), Andrographis paniculata
(Hempedu Bumi),C.asiatica (Pegaga),Zingiber
officinale (Halia), Morinda citrifolia (Mengkudu),
Hibiscus sabdariffa (Bunga Raya), F.deltoidea (Mas
Cotek) and Clinacanthus nutans (Belalai Gajah) (Sup-
plementary Figure 1). These eleven herbs serve as one
of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) propri-
etary list. NKEA Agriculture-herbs sub-sector has
approved a fund of MYR 9.8 million to conduct clinical
trials for phyto-cosmetic products particularly on anti-
aging serum from L.pumila (Kacip Fatimah) and
whitening serum from F.deltoidea (Mas Cotek) (Aziz
et al. 2010). Among the eleven chosen plants (Supple-
mentary Figure 1), five of them namely L.pumila, C.
asiatica, Z.officinale,H.sabdariffa and F.deltoidea are
well known for their cosmetic applications.
Therefore in this review, the main focus is on
cosmetic herbs of the selected Southeast Asian
countries of Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
[Burma], Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, East Timor,
Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore, in highlighting
both traditional and scientific findings of those poten-
tial herbs. This review provides researchers with
useful knowledge and guidance for the experimental
work on herbal cosmetics. The available literature was
searched using keywords of ‘‘Southeast Asian coun-
tries herbs and their cosmetic uses’’ for each country in
the following database of PubMed, Google Scholar,
Science Direct and Springer Link for traditional
claims and scientific publications and patents.
Traditional cosmetic uses of Southeast Asia herbs
In Southeast Asia, it was estimated that there are
65,000–70,000 plant species of which 6500 species are
herbs. Of these, Malaysia owes more than 20,000 plant
species, while the rest of plant species were brought in
from neighboring countries by the immigrants who
settled in Malaysia centuries ago. The neighboring
countries such as Indonesia is also a country of mega
biodiversity contributing 10 % of the world’s plant
species in which about thirty-four herbs were known
for traditionally cosmetic uses. The usage of tradi-
tional medicine by different ethnic groups varies
mainly due to the cultural differences. The presence of
various traditional medicinal shops such as ‘kedai
sinseh’ of traditional Chinese medicine or ‘jamu’ of
Malay-Indonesia origin in Malaysia are the examples
of the ethnicity related traditional medicines. The
usage of most of the herbs in cosmetic is not only
limited to Malaysia wherein many of the herbs are also
used in various ways in other Southeast Asian
countries and elsewhere. Therefore, it is interesting
to review the herbal cosmetics of Southeast Asia,
particularly based on their traditional claims.
Documentation on traditional knowledge of medic-
inal plants is still on-going throughout the world (Ong
et al. 2011b). This knowledge, if wisely utilized, could
draw out promising herbal leads of the future (Harsha
et al. 2002). However, in recent years deforestation and
urbanization are the two major factors, which result in
huge loss of traditional knowledge and culture. Hence,
there is a need of hour to preserve and conserve these
treasures which include traditional herbal cosmetic.
420 Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428
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Nowadays herbal cosmetic products are growing
rapidly and are manufactured using better and more
convenient modern technology. This technology allows
the blending together of several plants species that are
known for their medicinal attributes which for instance
the skin lightening property. The herbal cosmetics are
commonly grouped into two major categories of skin
and hair care which then divided into five subcategories
based on their uses for face, overall beauty, body, hair
care and medicated cosmetics.
Supplementary Table 1 represents 89 Malaysian
herbs which have been documented for their traditional
cosmetic uses. Herbal parts that are used ranged from
leaves, roots, fruits, flowers, stems, barks and seeds
whereby most ofthe herbs are used alone and only a few
being used in mixture recipes. Surprisingly more than
half of those herbs are used for managing hair or as hair
care regimes. Thirteen of these herbs are traditionally
used in perfumery and aromatherapy preparations
(Supplementary Table 1). Another nine herbs namely
Acalypha wilkesiana (Euphorbiaceae), Aloe barbaden-
sis (Liliaceae), Alternanthera sessilis (Amaranthaceae),
Averrhoa bilimbi (Oxalidaceae), Carica papaya (Car-
icaceae), C.longa (Zingiberaceae), Dioscorea daemona
(Dioscoreaceae), Jasmium sambac (Oleaceae) and
Peperomia pellucida (Piperaceae) are traditionally used
for treating pimples.These plants are mostly having a
specific traditional use as treatment regimes with a few
have more than a single medicinal use. A.barbadensis
(Liliaceae), C.odorata (Annonaceae), Citrus auran-
tifolia (Rutaceae), Citrus hystrix (Rutaceae), Michelia
champaca (Magnoliaceae), Pandanus amaryllifolius
(Pandanaceae), Polygonum minus (Polygonaceae) are
used for dandruff treatment. Herbs which are known for
having used in acne treatment are Agelaea macrophylla
(Connaraceae), A.sessilis (Amaranthaceae), C.odorata
(Annonaceae), Citrus microcarpa (Rutaceae) and
Plumeria acuminata (Apocynaceae). To improve skin
complexion, Adenostemma lavenina (Asteraceae),
Piper sarmentosum (Piperaceae) and Wedelia biflora
(Asteraceae) are traditionally being used. Ardisia ellip-
tica (Myrsinaceae), C.odorata (Annonaceae), C.hystrix
(Rutaceae) and C.longa (Zingiberaceae) are four
cosmetic herbs traditionally used for managing dry or
rough skin. In relieving skin rashes and/or irritation,
A.paniculata (Acanthaceae), Archidendron jiringa
(Fabaceae), Entada phaseoloides (Fabaceae), He-
liotropium indicum (Boraginaceae) and Impatiens bal-
samina (Balsaminaceae) are utilized. Herbs namely
C.asiatica (Apiaceae), Cosmos caudatus (Asteraceae),
Curcuma xanthorrhiza (Zingiberaceae) and F.deltoidea
(Moraceae) are traditionally known to preserveyouthful
complexion (anti-aging) in women which locally
referred in Malay as ‘awet muda’. The majority of
herbs as shown in supplementary Figure 2 and 3 are
traditionally used for hair care & skin care respectively.
Decoction of Catharanthus roseus whole plant is widely
used as hair wash agent by Southeast Asians (Samy et al.
2005). Punica granatum (Punicaceae) and Ruta angus-
tifolia (Rutaceae) are traditionally used for treating
dandruff. Amaranthus spinosus (Amaranthaceae),
Anacardium occidentale (Anacardiaceae), Plantago
major (Plantaginaceae) and Strychnos nux-vornica
(Loganiaceae) are traditionally known for pimple
treatment. Another three herbs, Baeckea frutescens
(Myrtaceae), M.champaca (Magnoliaceae) and
P.amaryllifolius (Panadanceae) are traditionally used
in perfumes as fragrance agent. Herb such as Annona
squamosa (Annonaceae) was traditionally used to
eliminate lice and P.granatum (Punicaceae) was used
to prevent pre-mature aging symptoms.
In Southeast Asia, Thailand was greatly influenced by
the culture and religions of India in which six herbs such
as A.sativum (Alliaceae), A.vera (Liliaceae), Cymbo-
pogon citratus (Poaceae), Dianella ensifolia (Xanthor-
rhoeaceae), Lagerstroemia macrocarpa (Lythraceae)
and Lophopetalum wallichii (Celastraceae) are well
known for their traditional cosmetic uses. Among these
six, A.sativum,A.vera,L.macrocarpa and L.wallichii
are traditionally used for baldness treatment. Other two
herbs which are A.vera and C.citratus are traditionally
known for skin nourishment. Interestingly D.ensifolia is
used as fragrant agent in cosmetic and perfume.
Myanmar is one among the home lands of early
civilization of Southeast Asia including Pyu and Mon. In
Myanmar, seven herbs are known for their traditional
cosmetic uses which are A.vera (Liliaceae), Ananas
sativus (Bromeliaceae), Cassia fistula (Fabaceae),
Crataeva religiosa (Capparidaceae), Kaempferia galan-
ga (Zingiberaceae), Nelumbo nucifera (Nelumbonaceae)
and Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Oleaceae). Five of those
herbs namely C.fistula,C.religiosa,K.galanga,
cifera and N.arbor-tristis are traditionally known to
prevent pre-mature aging symptoms. A.vera and
A.sativus are traditionally used in skin cream and
deodorant herbal cosmetic products respectively.
One of the mega diverse countries of Southeast Asia
is Philippines which makes a significant contribution to
Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428 421
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the biological diversity. In the Philippines, four herbs
were well known for traditional cosmetic uses of which
three herbs, A.vera (Liliaceae), Xylocarpus granatum
(Meliaceae) and Z.officinale (Zingiberaceae) are tradi-
tionally used to prevent hair loss. For skin itching relief,
Kalanchoe pinnata (Crassulaceae) is utilized. Vietnam
also owns a wide diversity of biological resources
whereby many are plant species endemic to Southeast
Asia. In Vietnam, three herbs which are Ageratum
conyzoides (Asteraceae) Embelia ribes (Myrsinaceae)
and Sapium sebiferum (Euphorbiaceae) are traditionally
known for their cosmetic uses. Of them, A.conyzoides is
traditionally known in dandruff treatment while E.ribes
and S.sebiferum are traditionally used to heal pimple
and hair as well as skin care, respectively.
In recent years, many of the Southeast Asia herbs
not only limited to their traditionally uses, despite they
were further validated scientifically for various
biological activities such as anti-aging, anti-acne,
anti-tyrosinase, melanogenic, anti-sebum and hair
growth promoter. In this review, emphasis and
elaboration are on those Southeast Asia herbs which
owned for the above said biological activities.
Herbs reported for anti-aging activity
Skin aging is a biological complex process which
originated due to the involvement of various intrinsic
and extrinsic factors include genetic, hormonal, metabol-
ic changes and exposure to environmental stresses
particular Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Moreover,
these various factors lead to a deterioration of the skin
structure, appearance and function (Dalziel 1991).
Indeed, the scientific understanding of the aging process
enabled new test procedures to be developed and applied
to medicinal plant research. As a results, nowadays anti-
aging activities of plant extracts can be assessed by
inhibition of specific (key) enzymes or biomarkers such
as elastase, hyaluronidase and matrix metalloproteinases
Camellia japonica (Theaceae), Coffea arabica (Rubi-
aceae),C.longa (Zingiberaceae),C.xanthorrhiza (Zin-
giberaceae), Emblica officinalis (Euphorbiaceae), Ixora
parviflora (Rubiaceae) and Polypodium leucotomos
(Polypodiaceae) are the seven herbs reported to be used
for the protective effect against aging via inhibition of
matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity (Supplemen-
tary Table 2). As for Areca catechu (Arecaceae), Cordia
dichotoma (Boraginaceae),M.citrifolia (Rubiaceae),
Myristica fragrans (Myristicaceae), Pisidium guajava
(Myrtaceae), Uncaria gambir (Rubiaceae) and Z.of-
ficinale (Zingiberaceae), their mechanism of action is
through inhibition of elastase activity. Inhibition of all
important aging enzymes of matrix metalloproteinase
(MMP), elastase and hyaluronidase are exhibited by
Cucumis sativus (Cucurbitaceae), Eclipta alba (Aster-
aceae) and Terminalia chebula (Combretaceae). Cassia
alata (Fabaceae) is a plant reported to protect against
aging via the inhibition of both matrix metalloproteinase
(MMP) and elastase activities. Differently, eleven herbs
namely Arctium lappa (Asteraceae), C.japonica (Thea-
ceae), C.asiatica (Apiaceae), Cinnamomum Species
(Lauraceae), C.arabica (Rubiaceae), C.xanthorrhiza
(Zingiberaceae), E.officinalis (Euphorbiaceae), F.del-
toidea (Moraceae), L.pumila (Myrsinaceae), I.parviflo-
ra (Rubiaceae) and Panax ginseng (Araliaceae) showed
effect against aging by the stimulation of collagen
biosynthesis as shown in supplementary Table 2. The
bioactive constituents such as asiaticoside (C.asiatica),
catechin (P.granatum), cinnamaldehyde (Cinnamomum
species), 3,30-bisdemethyl pinoresinol (M.citrifolia)and
xanthorrhizol (C.xanthorrhiza) isolated from the plants
reported for having antiaging properties are as shown in
supplementary Table 3.
Herbs with anti-acne activity
Acne is a skin disorder that suppresses an individual’s
self-esteem with regard to physical appearance and has a
clinical onset during puberty and adolescence. A high
incidence of acne is found in teen aged boys (aged
16–19) and in girls (aged 14–17). The pathogenesis of
acne is regulated by sebum hyper-secretion in deformed
follicles which leads to microcomedones and the
follicular hyperproliferation of microcomedones, finally
leads to inflammation (Cunliffe et al. 2004). The
resulting skin condition with sebum enrichment is prone
to the anaerobic growth of Propionibacterium acnes,
which is the main causative microorganism in acne.
Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pitryosporum ovale are
other bacteria which could co-present in acne lesion. The
proliferation of these microorganisms, mainly Propioni-
bacterium acnes will lead to inflammatory lesion which
could turn into severe acne. In this review, several herbs
such as Casuarina equisetifolia (Casuarinaceae), C.hys-
trix (Rutaceae), C.longa (Zingiberaceae),C.citratus
422 Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428
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(Poaceae), I.balsamina (Balsaminaceae), Michelia alba
(Magnoliaceae) and Syzygium aromaticum (Myrtaceae)
have been reported of having protective effect against
Propionibacterium acnes (Supplementary Table 2).
Coriandrum sativum (Apiaceae), Garcinia mangostana
(Clusiaceae) and Melaleuca alternifolia (Myrtaceae) are
another three herbs reported for the protective effect
against both Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococ-
cus epidermidis.
Herbs having melanogenic activity
Melanogenesis has been defined as the biochemical
process leading to the formation of macromolecular
pigments such as melanin. It is initiated with the first step
of tyrosine oxidation to dopaquinone catalyzed by
tyrosinase which is the key enzyme. Melanin is formed
by a combination of a few enzymatically catalyzed
chemical reactions. This pigment plays a vital role in
protecting human skin from the harmful effects of UV
radiation from the sun wherein determines our phenotypic
appearance (Radhakrishnan et al. 2007). Among the
popular herbs, G.mangostana (Clusiaceae), Piper nigrum
(Piperaceae) and Zanthoxylum piperitum (Rutaceae) are
those reported for melanogenic activity. The phyto-
chemicals from these plants which have been identified to
be responsible for the melanogenic activity are (-)-
cubebin and (-)-3, 4-dimethoxy-3, 4-desmethylenedioxy-
cubebin from P.nigrum, and xanthoxylin of Z. piperitum
as depicted in supplementary Table 3.
Herbs with anti-tyrosinase activity
Tyrosinase is a copper containing enzyme that is localized
in human eyes, skin and hair. However, it is widespread in
virtually all living organisms from bacteria to higher
eukaryotes. This enzyme participates in cuticle formation
in insects and also the rate limiting enzyme in melano-
genesis process particularly in the first two steps of the
tyrosine hydroxylation to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine
(DOPA) and the oxidation of DOPA to dopaquinone.
Therefore agents from natural sources have been targeted
as a way to inhibit or block tyrosinase activity for
pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical purposes, darkening
problems in agricultural products (Radhakrishnan et al.
2013). Four herbs namely Alpinia galanga (Zingiber-
aceae), A.vera (Liliaceae), C.aromatic (Zingiberaceae)
and Morus alba (Moraceae) were reported of having the
protective effect against ultraviolet (UV) induced pig-
mentation. Thirteen herbs which are C.longa (Zingiber-
aceae), Dioscorea villosa (Dioscoreaceae), Eupatorium
triplinerve (Asteraceae), F.deltoidea (Moraceae),
K.galanga (Zingiberaceae), M.citrifolia (Rubiaceae),
Origanum vulgare (Lamiaceae), Rehmannia glutinosa
(Scrophulariaceae), Rosa canina (Rosaceae), S.aro-
maticum (Myrtaceae), T.indica L. (Fabaceae) and
Z.officinale (Zingiberaceae) are the reported melano-
genesis inhibitors in melanoma cells. The responsible
phytochemicals from these plants with anti-tyrosinase
activity are aloesin (A.vera), anacardic acid, 2-methyl-
cardols and cardols (A.occidentale), americanin and 3,30-
bisdemethyl pinoresinol (M.citrifolia), artocarpanone and
artoindonesianin F (Artocarpus heterophyllus), arto-
carpanone (Artocarpus integer), chrysontemin (Diospy-
ros kakisL.),curcumin(C.longa) and diosgenin
(D.villosa). Other reported constituents under this
category are ethyl p-methoxycinnamate (K.galanga),
geranic acid (C. citratus), 6-gingerol (Z.officinale), (?)-
2,3-trans-dihydrokaempferol and (?)-2,3-trans-dihydro-
quercetin (Peltophorum dasyrachis), linderanolide B and
subamolide A (Cinnamomum subavenium), (?)-ly-
oniresinol-3a-O-b-D-glucoside (Vitex negundo), 7-meth-
oxy coumarin (E.triplinerve), mulberroside A (M.alba),
origanol A and origanoside (O.vulgare). Supplementary
Table 3 listed panduratin A (Kaempferia panduarata),
pentagalloyl glucopyranose (Mangifera indica), proan-
thocyanidins (R.canina), protocatechuic acid (O.vul-
gare), pyranocycloartobiloxanthone A (Artocarpus
obtusus), (S)-2-amino-5-((R)-1-carboxy-2-(E)-3-(4-hy-
opentanoic acid, N-L-c-glutamyl-S-sinapyl-L-cysteine,
S-sinapylglutathione and S-sinapyl-L-cysteine (Ana-
nas comosus), quercetin (R.canina &Tibouchinasemi
decandra), quercetin-4-O-b-D-glucopyranoside (Alli-
um cepa), zingerone and dehydrozingerone (Z.of-
ficinale) are a few more bioactive constituents with
anti-tyrosinase activity. Some of these active com-
pounds’ structures are presented in supplementary
Figure 4a to 4e.
Herbs active against sebum related skin
Oily skin is a common condition which is difficult to
manage. The oily appearance of the skin resulted from
Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428 423
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an extensive production of sebum responsible par-
ticularly by 5-alpha reductase (Type-I enzyme). Thus,
by inhibiting this enzyme one can manage the oily skin
problem (Chen et al. 1996). Moringa oleifera (Mor-
ingaceae) and O.stamineus (Lamiaceae) were reported
of possessing the protective effect against sebum
related skin imperfection (Supplementary Table 2).
Herbs with effect against skin dehydration/
Dry and chapped skin is a very common problem in
both healthy individuals and those with skin diseases.
Dry skin might be due to some inherited disorders
related to the structure and function of the epidermis
(e.g. ichthyosis and atopic dermatitis) and may also be
secondary to other diseases such as diabetes or renal
failure. The condition can occur in response to an
environment with low humidity and/or low tem-
perature. Exposure to chemicals such those in sol-
vents, surfactants, acids and alkalis may also produce
dryness. Products used for treatment or prevention of
dry skin are called emollients or moisturizers which
serve to return the water content (hydration) to the skin
with the humectants attracting water from the lower
layers of the epidermis into the stratum corneum and
occlusive ingredients preventing trans-epidermal wa-
ter loss (TEWL). Moisturizers help heal a damaged
epidermal barrier and restore epidermal lipids, which
play a key role in maintaining the permeability barrier
of the skin as well as increasing its plasticity (Jemec
and Na 2002). Two herbs which are Ceratonia siliqua
(Fabaceae) and Sapindus rarak (Sapindaceae) have
been reported for the protective effect against skin
dehydration. Type-3 aquaporin from C.siliqua was
reported as the bioactive constituent for the skin
hydrator (Supplementary Table 3).
Herbs used against hair loss/damage
Hair loss, irrespective of gender, affects a large part of
population. It is usually categorized into four patho-
genetic mechanisms: hair shaft defect, telogen effluvi-
um, anagen arrest, destruction of hair follicle or
miniaturization of the follicle. However, hair loss often
occurs due to various causes such as internal diseases,
hormonal and nutritional conditions, intoxications and
genetic traits. One major factor contributing to male
pattern hair loss is 5-alpha reductase enzyme (Type-II
enzyme) in the hair follicle. By inhibiting this enzyme
is possible to manage the hair loss (Kumar et al. 2012)
and three herbs namely E.alba (Asteraceae), H.rosa-
sinensis (Malvaceae) and Tridax procumbens (Aster-
aceae) were reported for having the protective effect
against hair loss (Supplementary Table 2).
Apart from these scientific reports, the herbs present in
herbal cosmetic products of Malaysia are also high-
lighted. A.vera is one of the herbs present in most of
the Malaysian cosmetic products as given in supple-
mentary Table 4. A product development team of
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has also commer-
cialized herbal soaps named ‘Putra AromatiQ’ consist
of 15 body soaps and 5 facial soaps with essential oils
extracted from 12 different herbs which are Alpinia
conchigera (Zingiberaceae), C.odorata (An-
nonaceae), C.caudatus (Asteraceae), Cymbopogon
nardus (Poaceae), Melaleuca leucadendron (Myr-
taceae), Ocimum basilicum (Lamiaceae), Ocimum
gratissimum (Lamiaceae), Persicaria hydropiper
(Polygonaceae) Piper betle (Piperaceae), P.sarmento-
sum (Piperacea), Pogostemon cablin (Lamiaceae) and
Zingiber zerumbet (Zingiberaceae).
During the past few decades, numbers of herbal
extracts have been reported to possess cosmetic
potentials and the use of some of the medicinal plants
in cosmetic preparations is increasing. Thus, this
review provides a summary of the plants with claimed
and/or proven potential for cosmeceutical applica-
tions. However, their efficacy validation and clinical
studies with the emphasis on the ingredient standard-
ization on concentrations (usage dose), the formula-
tion stability or shelf life, safety and efficacy are
crucial to be established.
Acknowledgments The author would like to thank the
Research Management Center (RMC) of Universiti Putra
Malaysia (UPM) for the Post-Doctoral financial support.
424 Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428
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428 Phytochem Rev (2015) 14:419–428
Author's personal copy
... The antioxidant activities of the CS ethanolic extract were also evaluated from previous studies using DPPH radical scavenging activity [15,27,28]. Ionizing radiation can cause harmful effects in the biological system resulting in the production of free radicals and ROS, such as hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion [6,27]. ...
... In addition, corn silk is rich in phenolic compounds and consists of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, magnesium, volatile oils, sitosterol, stigmasterol, alkaloids, and saponins [15]. The phytochemical composition of CS extracts is mainly due to the flavonoid content: 6,4 -dihydroxy-3 -methoxyflavone-7-O-glycosides ax-5 -methane-3 -methoxymaysin, ax-4 -OH-3 -methoxymaysin, 7,4 -dihydroxy-3 -methoxyflavone-2 -O-α-L-rhamno-syl-6-C-fucoside 3 -methoxymaysin, 2 -O-α-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-fuco-syl-3methoxyluteolin, 2 -O-α-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-quinovosylluteolin, 2 -O-α-L-rhamno-syl-6-Cfucosylluteolin, and 2 -O-α-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-3 -deoxyglucosyl-3 -methoxyluteolin have been identified [55,56]. ...
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Zea mays L. Poaceae stigma (corn silk, CS) is a byproduct of agricultural waste and is used as a traditional herb in many countries. CS is rich in chemical compounds known to benefit human health and is also a remedy for infectious diseases and has anti-proliferative effects on human cancer cell lines. In the present study, CS extract has been evaluated for its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-tyrosinase activities and its phytochemical composition. The higher total phenolic and flavonoid contents were found in the ethanolic extract of corn silk (CSA), at 28.27 ± 0.86 mg gallic acid equivalent/g extract and 4.71 ± 0.79 mg quercetin equivalent/g extract, respectively. Moreover, the antioxidant content of CSA was found at 5.22 ± 0.87 and 13.20 ± 0.42 mg gallic acid equivalent/g extract using DPPH and reducing power assays. Furthermore, the ethanolic extract of corn silk showed tyrosinase inhibition with an IC50 value of 12.45 µg/mL. The bacterial growth inhibition of CSA was tested using agar disc diffusion and broth dilution assays against Cutibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. It was found that CSA inhibited C. acnes and S. epidermidis with an inhibition zone of 11.7 ± 1.2 and 9.3 ± 0.6 mm, respectively. Moreover, the CSA showed MIC/MBC of 15.625 mg/mL against C. acnes. The following phytochemical compounds were detected in CSA: cardiac glycosides; n-hexadecanoic acid; hexadecanoic acid, ethyl ester; oleic acid; and 9,12-octadecadienoic acid, ethyl ester. After the corn silk cream product was formulated, the product demonstrated stability without phase separation. This research is beneficial for promoting effective ways to use agricultural waste while utilizing the antioxidant, anti-tyrosinase, and antibacterial activities of corn silk. Moreover, the use of technology and innovation to obtain high-value CS extract will benefit the development of commercial cosmetic products by providing safe, natural, and quality ingredients to the consumer.
... In Europe, medicinal plants such as Zingiber officinale (ginger) and Curcuma longa (turmeric) are widely commercialized as food flavours and health supplements (CBI, 2019). Similarly, Southeast Asia shows an increasing trend of medicinal plant commercialization into health supplements and herbal drinks (Narayanaswamy & Ismail 2015). Malaysia on the other hand, has several commonly commercialized medicinal plants including Orthosiphon aristatus (Misai Kucing), Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah), Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali), Ficus deltoidea (Mas Cotek) and Clinacanthus nutans (Belalai Gajah) (Ahmad et al. 2015). ...
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Medicinal plants are used for various purposes, however, the presence of microorganisms in them is the main safety risk. The study aimed to evaluate the effects of gamma irradiation on microbial contaminants and phytochemical constituents of Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq. The plant was irradiated using doses of 3, 6, 9, and 12 kGy and the microbial contamination was assessed using phenotypic and genotypic analyses. The qualitative screening using chemical tests was performed to identify the presence of important phytochemical constituents including alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, steroids and triterpenes. Results showed that the total microbial counts in O. aristatus were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) following irradiations at 3-and 6 kGy. Pathogenic bacteria were not detected in O. aristatus after irradiation at 6 kGy while the phytochemical constituents were conserved. In conclusion, gamma irradiation has significantly reduced and eliminated microbial contaminants and preserved the phytochemical constituents of O. aristatus. This study highlights the use of a low and specific dose, 6 kGy that is effective to reduce and eliminate microbial contaminants in O. aristatus. ABSTRAK Tumbuhan ubatan telah digunakan untuk pelbagai tujuan, namun, kandungan mikroorganisma dalam tumbuhan tersebut merupakan risiko keselamatan utama. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk menilai kesan sinaran gamma terhadap kandungan mikrob dan kandungan fitokimia dalam Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq. Blume (Miq.). Tumbuhan tersebut telah didedahkan kepada sinaran gamma menggunakan dos iaitu 3, 6, 9 dan 12 kGy dan kandungan mikrob telah dinilai menggunakan analisis fenotip dan genotip. Ujian kualitatif menggunakan ujian kimia telah dijalankan untuk menentukan kandungan fitokimia utama termasuklah alkaloid, saponin, flavonoid, tannin, steroid dan triterpin. Keputusan menunjukkan bahawa jumlah mikrob dalam O. aristatus telah berkurang secara ketara (P < 0.05) selepas penyinaran pada 3-dan 6-kGy. Bakteria patogen tidak dikesan dalam O. aristatus selepas penyinaran pada 6 kGy, sementara kandungan fitokimianya dapat dikekalkan. Sebagai kesimpulan, penyinaran gamma telah dapat mengurang dan menghapuskan kandungan mikrob dan mengekalkan kandungan fitokimia dalam O. aristatus. Kajian ini memfokuskan penggunaan dos yang rendah dan khusus iaitu 6 kGy yang berkesan untuk mengurangkan dan menghapuskan kandungan mikrob dalam O. aristatus.
... Value, affordability, accessibility, and compatibility. The global market for herbal cosmetics is experiencing a rapid increase in demand, showcasing the priceless treasures bestowed upon us by Mother Nature [7]. ...
... However, many of the natural preservatives cannot be considered for cosmetic products without the extensive research work and high quality formulation studies. 14 Most of herbs used in Nepal for cosmetic purpose are locally available Ayurvedic herbs. Manufacturers are using such herbs in different forms such as decoction, infusion, distilled oil etc. Herbal soap and shampoo preparation are much popular in Nepal but it is found that there are very limited R&D on such products. ...
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Introduction: The beauty product preparation from natural ingredients reaches is historical. People of rural area where the practice of modern cosmetic products are not accessible, they mostly use and depend upon the locally available ingredients in their own formulations. The inclusion of extracts in topical formulations can minimize the skin damage of oxidative stress, which has been associated with delaying the aging process. Therapeutic benefits by addition of plant-based active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acid, retinoic acid, ferulic acid, ascorbic acid, and coenzyme Q10 are common. Natural preservatives are also in priority but it is equally important to carry research for their efficacy and assurance. Methods: An independent approach was used to conduct the literature review. Major well-known bibliometric information sources studied are the Web of Science, Scopus, Mendeley and Google Scholar. Several keywords like name of plants, skin whitening, anti-acne, herbal cosmetics, Ayurvedic herbs, skin cancer, moisturizer etc were chosen to obtain a large range of papers to be analyzed. Local news papers, research reports and official websites were also studied. Results: The results obtained from this review showed that, there are numerous herbs which are effective and safe for cosmetic purpose. Herbal based cosmetic factories are started in Nepal but their research part not much strong and found frequently lead by non-pharmacist or non-chemist human resources. Herbs are rich in vitamins, phenolics and carotenoids which have mainly anti-aging, revitalizing and rejuvenating properties. Herbs have vitamins, saponins and flavanoids which supply various nutrients to hair and help to darkening of hair. Different literatures available prove that the heavy metals are also mixed in large quantity in cosmetics found in Nepalese market. There is an immediate need to execute strong guidelines regarding the quality of cosmetic products in Nepal. Conclusions: The current review on herbal cosmetics focuses on the natural sources of cosmetics, their medicinal benefits, mechanism of action, key chemical constituents and their advantages along with safety.
... However, many of the natural preservatives cannot be considered for cosmetic products without the extensive research work and high quality formulation studies. 14 Most of herbs used in Nepal for cosmetic purpose are locally available Ayurvedic herbs. Manufacturers are using such herbs in different forms such as decoction, infusion, distilled oil etc. Herbal soap and shampoo preparation are much popular in Nepal but it is found that there are very limited R&D on such products. ...
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Introduction: The beauty product preparation from natural ingredients reaches is historical. People of rural area where the practice of modern cosmetic products are not accessible, they mostly use and depend upon the locally available ingredients in their own formulations. The inclusion of extracts in topical formulations can minimize the skin damage of oxidative stress, which has been associated with delaying the aging process. Therapeutic benefits by addition of plant-based active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acid, retinoic acid, ferulic acid, ascorbic acid, and coenzyme Q10 are common. Natural preservatives are also in priority but it is equally important to carry research for their efficacy and assurance.
... Eczema patients who experience stress may aggravate symptoms associated with the condition as stress hormones stimulate the release of IL-1 and IL-6, which induce inflammation and other conditions such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (Callender et al., 2011;Elenkov et al., 2005). Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an increase in melanin production, due to the overstimulation of tyrosinase (Narayanaswamy and Ismail, 2015;Parvez et al., 2007). Nedoszytko et al. (2014) showed that the itchy sensation, associated with eczema, may be due to an increase in histamine and neuropeptides located near the skin. ...
Eczema is considered a worldwide concern as more people, particularly children, are affected each year. Side effects of eczema include hyperpigmentation and wrinkle formation. Due to the overexpression of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6, large quantities of the tyrosinase enzyme are released causing hyperpigmentation, whereas during wrinkle formation elastase is produced. This study examined the antityrosinase, anti-elastase and immune-modulatory potential of 22 succulent plant extracts. These extracts were prepared from the leaves and gels of 10 plant species, which included four aloes, Bulbine frutescens (L.) Willd. and five aloe hybrids. Five extracts displayed tyrosinase inhibition at a concentration of 200 µg/mL, which included Aloe arborescens gel (AG) (41.38 ± 0.94 %), A. vera leaf (VL) (26.64 ± 1.50 %), Aloe X principis (2) leaf (XL) (33.11 ± 1.29 %), (A. chabaudii x A. petricola) x A. zubb pure leaf (CPL) (18.70 ± 1.40 %) and A. ferox x A. zubb leaf (FZL) (21.82 ± 1.12 %), however, these extracts displayed no elastase inhibition at the highest tested concentration. Furthermore, these extracts displayed no antiproliferative activity on human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, with fifty percent inhibitory concentrations (IC50) >400 µg/mL. The AG and XL extracts, which showed the highest tyrosinase inhibition, were selected for cytokine modulatory activity using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC's) to evaluate the effect on interleukin-8 (IL-8), 1β, 6, 10, 12p70 and TNF-α production. Aloe arborescens gel inhibited IL-8 (54.69 ± 3.42 pg/mL) and IL-1β (8.78 ± 0.80 pg/mL) production at a concentration of 3.125 µg/mL, while Aloe X principis (2) leaf reduced the production of all the cytokines at the highest concentration (50 µg/mL). In conclusion, this study showed that Aloe X principis (2) leaf extract, which inhibited tyrosinase and cytokine production, should be considered for further investigation as a potential treatment for side effects associated with eczema.
... Pharmacological study reports revealed this plant possess antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, refrigerant, antioxidant, antihyperglicemia, ant hyperuricemia, burn healing, depressant effect, gastro protective, hypotensive, cytotoxic, ant sickling cell, lipase inhibitory, fibrinolytic and thrombolytic, antidiarrheal, and ant osteoporotic activities. In addition, there are also claims that the suruhan plant also has cosmetic benefits [2][3][4]. ...
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Peperomia pellucida (L.) is an herbaceous plant belonging Piperaceae family believed by traditional communities in many Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia as a medicinal plant efficacious for treating various diseases. This traditional belief has also been strengthened by various pharmacological and phytochemical research findings. However, pharmacological research on this plant is still limited to common diseases. Therefore, we conducted research to examine other pharmacological properties of the plant that are abundantly growing wild in the suburbs of Bandar Lampung. As a result, Peperomia pellucida plant extract has benefits in promoting hair growth, ameliorating male libido, recovering male fertility, and ameliorating renal cells damages.
... Some examples include Camellia oleifera, which is used to produce edible and essential oils, and the leaves of Camellia sinensis for the production of different varieties of tea (Garcia-Jares et al., 2017). With respect to C. japonica, the seeds have been exploited for the production of the essential "tsubaki oil", traditionally used in Eastern regions as an ingredient in cosmetic formulations for skin and hair protection and nutrition (Lim, 2014;Tanaka, 1976), as a result of its anti-inflammatory (Kim et al., 2012), anti-ageing and skin barrier stabilizer properties (Jung et al., 2007;Narayanaswamy & Ismail, 2015). In addition, C. japonica leaves show a potential application in tea production (Mizutani & Masaki, 2014), or as an edible vegetable in the food industry (Kunkel, 1984;Tanaka, 1976), together with the flowers (Way et al., 2009). ...
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In response to the increased popularity of medicinal plants, a number of conservation groups are recommending the investigation on poorly characterized and widely distributed species, as it is the case of camellias. In particular, Camellia japonica L. is a widespread species found in Galicia (NW Spain), where it has been largely exploited with ornamental purposes. Recent findings on its phytochemical characterization showed thousands of bioactive ingredients, mostly represented by phenolic compounds, together with terpenoids, and fatty acids. These molecules present associated biological activities, acting as antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer agents. This review is aimed at describing the main bioactive compounds of C. japonica, as well as the health-enhancing properties attributed to this medicinal plant. Novel strategies are needed to implement an efficient industrialization process for C. japonica, ranging from small-scale approaches to the establishment of large plantations, thus involving important sectors, such as the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
This study investigates the characteristics of an antioxidant cream made from the methanol extract of Piper sarmentosum leaves, which is locally known as the wild betel or pokok kadok in Malay. The secondary metabolites of the leaves were subjected to phytochemical tests to detect the presence of natural compounds. Antioxidant activity was described by its total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC), which was assessed by 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. A phase diagram was constructed to find a possible region to formulate an antioxidant cream. In phytochemical screening, the methanolic extract showed positive presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids and tannins. In quantitative analysis of antioxidative components, besides having significantly higher TFC content compared with quercetin (P<0.0001), the extract of P. sarmentosum leaves also displayed high phytochemical content and was proven to be an efficient free radical scavenger and reducing agent compared with ascorbic acid (p=0.0121). It was observed that the phytochemical compounds in the leaf extract like alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids and tannins were the major contributors of antioxidant activity. The leaf extract was also a suitable ingredient to produce a cream with good spreadability, homogeneity, consistency, appearance and pH.
Thai Traditional medicine was developed more than 700 years ago, dating back to Sukhothai (1238–1438 CE), an officially recognized healing system alongside conventional medicine in Thailand. Thai Traditional medicine is defined as “the medicinal procedures concerned with examination, diagnosis, therapy, treatment or prevention of, or promotion and rehabilitation of the health of humans or animals, obstetrics, traditional Thai massage, and also includes the production of traditional Thai drugs and the invention of medicinal devices, base on knowledge or text that has been passed on from generation to generation.” Thai Traditional medicine is diverse and intricate system of health and well-being. It bears a high resemblance in treatment philosophy and medicinal plants used in Ayurveda, the ancient science of life developed in India. Presently, there are around 17,001 practitioners in Thai Traditional medicine; 23,409 practitioners in Thai traditional pharmacy; 5735 practitioners in Thai traditional midwifery; 332 practitioners in Thai massage and 660 practitioners in Applied Thai traditional medicine. Moreover, 74 herbal remedies are implemented in the National List of Essential Medicines 2018 and divided into two categories: (1) Thai Traditional Remedy and (2) Herbal Product. Therefore, the development of medicinal plants for use in primary health care is needed to be concerned. In 2018, Thai Herbal Pharmacopoeia was established providing 80 monographs on herbal drugs and herbal drug preparations. Thai Traditional medicine is gaining popularity and has become a part of the National Health Development Plan. The Ministry of Public Health has taken important steps toward the development, promotion, and protection of traditional medicine in Thailand.
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Extracts of the plant Cassia alata are used in cosmetic and/or dermatological skin care preparations. These preparations possess antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and exhibit preventive and curative effect on skin aging.
Acne is an inflammatory disease of sebaceous follicles of skin. The present study was conducted to formulate and evaluate the topical anti acne formulation of coriander aqueous extract. The antibacterial activity of aqueous extract of coriander against Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis was investigated using disc diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentration was determined by agar dilution method. The topical formulations were developed and tested for physical parameters, drug content uniformity, spreadibility, extrudability and in-vitro diffusion. The results revealed that coriander aqueous extract showed the MIC values of 1.7 mg/ml and 2.1 mg/ml against P.acne and S. epidermidis respectively. It was revealed from the results that formulation Fa 1 showed the maximum drug content (94%), in-vitro diffusion (93%), maximum stability and the zone of inhibition among all the formulations.
Background: Reduced production of melanin and decreased or absence of melanocytes leads to various hypopigmentation disorders. Melanin synthesis is regulated by melanogenic proteins such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TRP-1) and tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP -2), as well as their transcription factors. Objectives: This study elucidated the effects of xanthoxylin on melanin content, dendriticity, melanogenic protein expression and its signal transduction pathways in mouse B16F10 melanoma cells (B16F10 cells). Methods: Melanin production of B16F10 cells was measured by using a melanin content assay. The effect of xanthoxylin on the dendriticity of B16F10 cells was determined by a melanocyte dendricity assay. RT-PCR was used to investigate the effects of xanthoxylin on the melanogenic protein expression. Results: We found that xanthoxylin increased melanin production, number of dendrites, tyrosinase, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression in cultured B16F10 cells. In addition, PKA and PKC inhibitor decreased melanin production, tyrosinase, and MITF expression in xanthoxylin-treated cells. However, xanthoxylin did not inhibit TRP-1 and TRP-2 expression. Conclusion: These results indicated that xanthoxylin induces melanogenesis mainly via cAMP-mediated PKA activation. Other signaling pathways may also play a role in xanthoxylin-induced melanogenesis.