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Can bakuchiol be used as an alternative agent for sun protection?

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Abstract

Bakuchiol is an extract derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant. It is widely used to treat acne, melasma, photoaging and hyperpigmentation. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol helps to make skin less sensitive to the sun´s rays. It is also reported that bakuchiol has chemo-preventive properties. Bakuchiol might be used as alternative agent for sun protection, but more research is necessary.
1
Can bakuchiol be used as an alternative agent for sun protection?
Domina Petric, MD
Bakuchiol is an extract derived from the leaves and seeds of the babchi plant. It is widely used
to treat acne, melasma, photoaging and hyperpigmentation. Unlike retinol, bakuchiol helps to
make skin less sensitive to the sun´s rays. It is also reported that bakuchiol has chemo-
preventive properties. Bakuchiol might be used as alternative agent for sun protection, but
more research is necessary.
Bakuchiol is an extract derived from the
leaves and seeds of the babchi plant
(Psoralea corylifolia
1
). Bakuchiol has
become a popular ingredient in skincare
products. It has widely been marketed to
treat acne, melasma, photoaging, and
hyperpigmentation. Studies have shown
functional similarities to retinoids without
the limiting side effects, such as erythema,
burning, and stinging
2
.
Bakuchiol is a
phytochemical that has demonstrated
cutaneous antiaging effects when applied
topically. Results of a study (Dhaliwal et
al, 2019) demonstrate that bakuchiol is
comparable with retinol in its ability to
improve photoaging and is better tolerated
than retinol. Unlike retinol which can make
the skin more sensitive to the sun,
bakuchiol helps to make skin less sensitive
to the sun´s harmful rays
3
.
Another study (Kim et al, 2016) results
report the chemopreventive properties of
bakuchiol, which acts by inhibiting
epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced
neoplastic cell transformation. Bakuchiol
also decreased viability and inhibited
anchorage-independent growth of A431
human epithelial carcinoma cells.
Bakuchiol reduced A431 xenograft tumor
growth in an in vivo mouse model. Using
kinase profiling, authors identified Hck,
Blk and p38 mitogen activated protein
kinase (MAPK) as targets of bakuchiol,
which directly bound to each kinase in an
ATP-competitive manner. Bakuchiol also
inhibited EGF-induced signaling pathways
downstream of Hck, Blk and p38 MAPK,
including the MEK/ERKs, p38
MAPK/MSK1 and AKT/p70S6K
pathways. These findings indicate that
bakuchiol exhibits potent anticancer
activity by targeting Hck, Blk and p38
MAPK
4
.
2
Classic sunscreens often contain some
toxic chemicals, which can paradoxically
increase the risk of skin cancer, instead of
lowering that risk.
Examples of toxic chemicals
5-13
found in
sunscreens are:
1. Derivatives of benzophenone, such as
benzophenone-2 (BP2) and oxybenzone
(benzophenone-3 or BP3) are common
ingredients in sunscreen.
Benzophenone is persistent,
bioaccumulative and toxic
.
2. Ethanolamine compounds can also be
found in suncreens. The European
Commission prohibits
diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics, to
reduce contamination from carcinogenic
nitrosamines that are formed after the
reaction of DEA with other ingredients.
3. Homosalate is a widely used chemical in
sunscreens and skin care products with sun
protecting factor (SPF). It is a potential
endocrine disruptor (impacts androgen and
progesterone systems) and it may enhance
the absorption of pesticides in the body.
In human breast cancer cells homosalate
exposure led to 3.5 times more cell growth
and multiplication
.
4. Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic,
mercury, aluminum, zinc, chromium and
iron can also be found in some sunscreens.
5.
Octinoxate is an UV filter found in hair
color products and shampoos, sunscreens,
lipsticks, nail polish, and skin creams.
Octinoxate increases cell proliferation in
cells that grow in response to estrogen
exposure what can increase the risk of
breast cancer
.
6. PABA (para-amino benzoic acid) and
PABA derivatives are commonly used in
sunscreens as ultraviolet B (UVB) filters.
UV radiation is more likely to damage
DNA in the presence of PABA, and DNA
damage to the skin increases the risk of
skin cancer.
7. Styrene acrylates copolymer and related
styrene-based polymers are most often
found in nail polish, sunscreen (SPF
greater than 30), sunscreen moisturizers,
body wash/cleansers, shampoos and
eyeliners. These products can be
contaminated with styrene which is
possible human carcinogen.
8. Titanium dioxide is used in a variety of
personal care products, including
sunscreens, pressed powders, and loose
powders, as a UV filter or whitening
agent. Inhalable titanium dioxide (in
powders) is considered to be possible
human carcinogen (IARC).
3
HYPOTHESIS
Considering the results of available studies
on bakuchiol, which demonstrated its sun-
protective and chemo-preventive
properties, bakuchiol might be used as an
alternative agent for sun protection, but
more research is necessary.
REFERENCES
1. Burcham C, reviewed by Nazarian R. Bakuchiol:
The New, Natural Alternative to Retinol. January
15, 2020. Retrieved from (July 23, 2020)
https://www.byrdie.com/what-is-bakuchiol
2. Wang JV, Schoenberg E, Saedi N. Bakuchiol as
a Trendy Ingredient in Skincare: Recent
Evidence. Skinmed. 2019;17(3):188-189.
3. Dhaliwal S, Rybak I, Ellis SR, et al. Prospective,
randomized, double-blind assessment of topical
bakuchiol and retinol for facial photoageing. Br J
Dermatol. 2019;180(2):289-296.
4. Kim JE, Kim JH, Lee Y, et al. Bakuchiol
suppresses proliferation of skin cancer cells by
directly targeting Hck, Blk, and p38 MAP
kinase. Oncotarget. 2016;7(12):14616-14627.
5. Chemicals of concern. Campaign for safe
cosmetics. Retrieved from (July 23, 2020)
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chem-
of-concern/
6. Brooks AC, Gaskell PN, Maltby LL.
Importance of prey and predator feeding behaviors
for trophic transfer and secondary poisoning.
Environ Sci Technol. 2009;43(20):7916–7923.
7. Kim S, Choi K. Occurrences, toxicities, and
ecological risks of benzophenone-3, a common
14 component of organic sunscreen products: A
minireview. Environment International
2014;70:143-57.
8. Jiménez-Díaz I, Molina-Molina JM, ZafraGómez
A, et al. Simultaneous determination of the
UV-filters benzyl salicylate, phenyl salicylate, octyl
salicylate, homosalate, 3-(4-methylbenzylidene)
camphor and 3-benzylidene camphor in human
placental tissue by LC-MS/MS. Assessment of
their in vitro endocrine activity. J Chromatogr B
Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2013;1(936):80-7.
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10. Schlumpf M, Schmid P, Durrer S, et al.
Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of
cosmetic UV filters-an update. Toxicology
2004;205(1):113-122.
11. Hodges ND, Moss SH, Davies DJ. The
sensitizing effect of a sunscreening agent,
paminobenzoic acid on near UV induced damage in
a repair deficient strain of Escherichia coli.
Photochem Photbiol. 1977;26(5):493-8.
12. Hodges ND, Moss SH, Davies DJ. Elucidation
of the nature of genetic damage formed in the
presence of the sunscreening agent, para-amino
benzoic acid, during irradiation with near
ultraviolet light. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1977;29:72.
13. Osgood PJ, Moss SH, Davies DJ. The
sensitization of near-ultra violet radiation killing of
mammalian cells by the sunscreen agent para
17 amino benzoic acid. J Invest Dermatol.
1982;79(6):354-7.
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Article
Full-text available
Bakuchiol is a meroterpene present in the medicinal plant Psoralea corylifolia, which has been traditionally used in China, India, Japan and Korea for the treatment of premature ejaculation, knee pain, alopecia spermatorrhea, enuresis, backache, pollakiuria, vitiligo, callus, and psoriasis. Here, we report the chemopreventive properties of bakuchiol, which acts by inhibiting epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced neoplastic cell transformation. Bakuchiol also decreased viability and inhibited anchorage-independent growth of A431 human epithelial carcinoma cells. Bakuchiol reduced A431 xenograft tumor growth in an in vivo mouse model. Using kinase profiling, we identified Hck, Blk and p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) as targets of bakuchiol, which directly bound to each kinase in an ATP-competitive manner. Bakuchiol also inhibited EGF-induced signaling pathways downstream of Hck, Blk and p38 MAPK, including the MEK/ERKs, p38 MAPK/MSK1 and AKT/p70S6K pathways. This report is the first mechanistic study identifying molecular targets for the anticancer activity of bakuchiol and our findings indicate that bakuchiol exhibits potent anticancer activity by targeting Hck, Blk and p38 MAPK.
Article
Recently, bakuchiol has become a popular ingredient in skincare products. It has widely been marketed to treat acne, melasma, photoaging, and hyperpigmentation. Studies have shown functional similarities to retinoids without the limiting side effects, such as erythema, burning, and stinging. Clinicians should be aware of this trendy ingredient, including its recent claims in marketing material and current evidence in the literature, especially as its use continues to expand in available skincare products.
Article
Background Bakuchiol is a phytochemical that has demonstrated cutaneous anti‐aging effects when applied topically. Early studies have suggested that bakuchiol is a functional analog of topical retinoids, as both compounds have been shown to induce similar gene expression in the skin and lead to improvement of cutaneous photodamage. No in vivo studies have compared the two compounds for efficacy and side effects. Objectives To compare the clinical efficacy and side effect profiles of bakuchiol to retinol in improving common signs of cutaneous facial aging. Methods This was a randomized, double‐blind, 12‐week study in which 44 subjects were asked to apply either 0.5% bakuchiol cream twice daily or 0.5% retinol cream daily. A facial photograph and analysis system was used to obtain and analyze high‐resolution photographs of subjects at 0, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Subjects also completed tolerability assessment questions to review side effects. During study visits, a board‐certified dermatologist, blinded to study group assignments, graded pigmentation and redness. Results Bakuchiol and retinol both significantly decreased wrinkle surface area and hyperpigmentation, with no statistical difference between the compounds. The retinol users reported more facial skin scaling and stinging. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that bakuchiol is comparable to retinol in its ability to improve photoaging and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is promising as a more tolerable alternative to retinol. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Benzophenone-3 (BP-3) has been widely used in sunscreens and many other consumer products, including cosmetics. The widespread use of BP-3 has resulted in its release into the water environment, and hence its potential impact on aquatic ecosystem is of concern. To better understand the risk associated with BP-3 in aquatic ecosystems, we conducted a thorough review of available articles regarding the physicochemical properties, toxicokinetics, environmental occurrence, and toxic effects of BP-3 and its suspected metabolites. BP-3 is lipophilic, photostable, and bioaccumulative, and can be rapidly absorbed via oral and dermal routes. BP-3 is reported to be transformed into three major metabolites in vivo, i.e., benzophenone-1 (BP-1), benzophenone-8 (BP-8), and 2,3,4-trihydroxybenzophenone (THB). BP-1 has a longer biological half-life than its parent compound and exhibits greater estrogenic potency in vitro. BP-3 has been detected in water, soil, sediments, sludge, and biota. The maximum detected level in ambient freshwater and seawater is 125ng/L and 577.5ng/L, respectively, and in wastewater influent is 10,400ng/L. The major sources of BP-3 are reported to be human recreational activities and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. BP-3 and its derivatives have been also detected in fish lipid. In humans, BP-3 has been detected in urine, serum, and breast milk samples worldwide. BP-1 has also been detected in placental tissues of delivering women. While sunscreens and cosmetics are known to be major sources of exposure, the fact that BP-3 has been detected frequently among young children and men suggests other sources. An increasing number of in vitro studies have indicated the endocrine disrupting capacity of BP-3. Based on a receptor binding assay, BP-3 has shown strong anti-androgenic and weak estrogenic activities but at the same time BP-3 displays anti-estrogenic activity as well. Predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) for BP-3 was derived at 1.32μg/L. The levels observed in ambient water are generally an order of magnitude lower than the PNEC, but in wastewater influents, hazard quotients (HQs) greater than 1 were noted. Considering limited ecotoxicological information and significant seasonal and spatial variations of BP-3 in water, further studies on environmental monitoring and potential consequences of long-term exposure in aquatic ecosystem are warranted.
Best practice & research clinical endocrinol & metabol
  • P D Darbre
Darbre PD. Environmental estrogens, cosmetics and breast cancer. Best practice & research clinical endocrinol & metabol. 2006;20(1):121-143.
Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters-an update
Endocrine activity and developmental toxicity of cosmetic UV filters-an update. Toxicology 2004;205(1):113-122.