According to the Clinical Centre of Nis, certain plant extracts may have the ability to scavenge free radicals, to protect the skin matrix through the inhibition of enzymatic degradation, or to promote collagen synthesis in the skin, affect skin elasticity and tightness(a).
Other suggested that free radicals induced domino effects in production of reactive oxygen species, can react with DNA, proteins, and fatty acids, causing oxidative damage and impairment of antioxidant system, leading injuries damage regulation pathways of skin, including wrinkles, roughness, appearance of fine lines, lack of elasticity, and de- or hyperpigmentation marks(b).
Certain herbal medicne have been found to be effective in protect the skin against natural aging, including aloe vera and turmeric
1. Aloe vera
Aloe Vera is species of succulent plant in the genus Aloe, belongings to the Family Xanthorrhoeaceae, native to Sudan. It has become very popular for commercial cultivation due to its health benefits.
Aloe vera has been used in herbal medicine in treating many kinds of disease, including wound, burn healing, minor skin infections, sebaceous cysts, diabetes, and elevated of cholesterol, etc. It is also one of many popular herb studied in scientific ways with some conflicted results.
In a study of a total of 30 healthy female subjects over the age of 45 recruited and received 2 different doses (low-dose: 1,200 mg/d, high-dose: 3,600 mg/d) of aloe vera gel supplementation for 90 days, aloe gel significantly improved 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(1).
In skin condition in the elderly caused by several incurable, but treatable, chronic diseases, researchers suggested that the use of lanolin, aloe vera, and parabens may contribute to delayed hypersensitivity reaction and aging process(2).
In photo aging, combination of sodium selenite and aloin in a certain range of concentration have shown protective effects against ultraviolet radiation induced fibroblast proliferation inhibition, oxidative injury, and decreased collagen synthesis(3).
2. Green tea
Green tea containing more amount of antioxidants than any drinks or food with the same volume, is the leaves of Camellia sinensis, undergone minimal oxidation during processing, originated from China. Green tea has been a precious drink in traditional Chinese culture and used exceptional in socialization for more than 4000 thousand years.
Because of their health benefits, green tea have been cultivated for commercial purposes all over the world.
Oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a major role in skin aging. Green tea extracted showed to inhibit the toxic ROS-induced skin death, through protection from H(2)O(2)-induced necrosis in a dose-dependent manner(4)(4a), improvement of the anti-wrinkle effects, through its antioxidant activity(5), skin roughness, through moisturizing effects and enhancement of skin microrelief(6) and inhibition of skin inflammation for managing allergic contact dermatitis without skin toxicity(7).
Combination of topical application of green tea and lotus, exhibited an anti aging effect on skin roughness (SEr), scaliness (SEsc), smoothness (SEsm), and wrinkling (SEw)(8) and composition of a formulation containing 20 % green tea extract and 5 % rose oil, exhibited a skin barrier function for maintaining skin hydration, and protecting against anti-agingprocess(9).
Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, the genus Panax, belongings to the family Araliaceae.
Depending to the climate where it grows, ginseng can be classified mainly into Panax ginseng Asian ginseng (root), Red ginseng, wild ginseng, American ginseng (root).
In vivo, Korean red ginseng showed to enhance extension of lifespan, increase resistance to most forms of disease, through regulation of organisms' metabolism(10), and reduce wrinkle formation through inhibition of collagen degradation rather than increased collagen synthesis(11), protect against skin photodamage, through increasing the production of profilaggrin and filaggrin(12).
Ginsenoside Rd, a chemical constituent of Ginseng also exerted its anti-oxidative effects through activation of anti-oxidant enzymes and anti-inflammatory effects through down-regulation of NF-κB and the consequent expressional suppressions of iNOS and COX-2(13).
On gene expression at the level of mRNAs and proteins in human skin cells, extracted from the roots of the Chinese herb Sanchi (Panax notoginseng, showed a significant positive effects against facial wrinkles and other symptoms of facial skin aging(14).
In the study of red ginseng (RG) and fermented red ginseng (FRG) effects on aging skin, researchers at the Department of Food and Nutrition, Korea University found that FRG offers increased anti-wrinkle efficacy, whitening efficacy, and reduced toxicological potency compared to RG(15).
Turmeric is a perennial plant in the genus Curcuma, belongings to the family Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine as anti-oxidant, hypoglycemic, colorant, antiseptic, wound healing agent, and to treat flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss, ulcers, eczema, inflammations, etc.
Curcumin, a major chemical compound found in turmeric, showed to have a protective effect against photo-damage on aging process(16).
Antioxidantly, curcumin scavenged free radicals from skincells, prevented trans-epidermal water loss, included a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher contribute to protect skin from wrinkles, leading to glowing and healthy younger skin(17) and induced cellular stress responses in normal human skin fibroblasts through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway and redox signaling(18).
5. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Gotu Kola also known as centella, is a annual plant of the genus, belongings to the family Mackinlayaceae, native to India, Sri Lanka, northern Australia, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treatnervous disorders, epilepsy, senility, premature aging,....
Asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside, found in the titrated extract of Centella asiatica (TECA), showed to inhibit UVB-mediated damage in NHDFs through changes in the expression of specific miRNAs(19)(20).
Preparation including asiaticoside found in Guto kota extract in a treatment of temporal periorbital wrinkles tested on 27 female volunteers by applied the cream twice a day to the region of interest for 12 weeks, showed a significant improvement of the periorbital wrinkles in majority of the volunteers(21). lipstick containing asiaticoside also found to improve lip-wrinkle in in a double-blind placebo-controlled fashion of a total of 50 women(22).
According to 1LVMH Recherché, asiaticoside also stimulated collagen secretion which is the major components of skindermis(23).
6. Sanguisorba officinalis
Sanguisorba officinalis is a genus Sanguisorba, belongings to the family Rosaceae, native to throughout the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The herb has been used in folk medicine to stop bloody dysentery, nosebleeds, and topically to treat burns and insect bites.
Ziyuglycoside I isolated from a Sanguisorba officinalis root extract reduced skin aging through increased the expression of type I collagen in a dose-dependent manner(24).
In chronic Ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiation causes of skin aging, the extract of Sanguisorba officinalis L. inhibited wrinkle formation, maintained skin elasticity, and inhibited the decrease of dermal elastic fiber linearity in the rat hind limb skin in a dose-dependent manner(25).
7. Magnolia ovovata
Magnolia ovovata also known as Japanese Bigleaf Magnolia is the genus of Ovovata, belonging to the family Magnoliaceae, native to Japan. The herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine
to treat various digestive problems, relieve stress, promote neuro-health, etc.
According to Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences , Magnolia ovovata extract inhibited NF-kappaB mediated gene expression, thus preventing skin photoaging processes through keratinocyte hyperproliferation and degradation of collagen fibers in mice skin(26)(27).
8. Rhus verniciflua (Toxicodendron vernicifluum)
Rhus verniciflua is a genus Toxicodendron, belongings to the family Anacardiaceae, native to China
and the Indian subcontinent.
The herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat internal parasites and stop bleeding.
Rhus verniciflua Stokes (RVS), a most common used herbal plant in herbal medicine with various
biological properties was found to be effective in free radical scavengers due to contained flavonoid
derivatives, including fustin, quercetin, butein, and sulfuretin(29) which may protect the skin from
The ioactive phenolics in detoxified Rhus verniciflua Stokes (DRVS), including Gallic
acid showed to protect skin from aging through its antioxidative properties and by down-regulating
MMP-1 expression(28) and inhibited the degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM)(30).
Chamomile is also known as camomile, common name of many species daisy-like plants in the family Asteraceae.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine as antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory
constituents and to treat menstrual cramps and sleep disorders, reduce cramping and spastic pain in
the bowels, relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestine, etc.
Chemical compounds bisabolol, silymarin, and ectoin found in chamomile and milk thistle may consist the property to modulate the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced upregulation of ROS free radicals in normal human skin fibroblasts(31).
According to University of Copenhagen, oral administration of composition extract including chamomile improved skin lesion of forehead, periocular and perioral wrinkles, mottled pigmentation, laxity, sagging, under eye dark circles and overall appearance(32).
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of tree, native to South East Asia, of over 300 species of the genus Cinnamomum, belongings to the family Lauraceae.
The herb has been use in herbal and traditional medicine as anti-fungal and bacteria level to improve reproductive organ, prevent flatulence and intestinal cramping, treat indigestion, diarrhea, bad breath, headache, migraine, etc.
According to Osaka Prefecture University, Cinnamon inhibited the breakdown of collagenous networks with aging results in hypoactive changes in the skin, through up-regulated both mRNA and protein expression levels of type I collagen without cytotoxicity.
Cinnamaldehyde, a major active component, significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of the insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and its downstream signaling molecules such as insulin receptor substrate-1 and Erk1/2 in an IGF-I-independent manner(33).
11. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is oldest living tree species, genus Ginkgo, belongings to the family Ginkgoaceae, native to China, and from temperate zone to subtropical zone and some parts of north America.
It Has been used in traditional herbal medicine in treating impotence, memory loss,respiratory diseases, circulatory disorders and deafness as well as preventing drunkenness, and bedwetting.
The study in the comparison of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), a mixture of tea and rooibos (Camellia sinensis and Aspalathus linearis) and soybean (Glycine soja) for their effects in potentiation in reduced skin wrinkle, showed that ginkgo biloba, is most effective in increased skinmoisturization (27.88%) and smoothness (4.32%) and reduced roughness (0.4%) and wrinkles (4.63%)(34).
Rosmarinus, belongings to the family Lamiaceae. Its fresh and dried leaves has been used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine and as flavor foods while barbecuing.
Rosnary has been used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic, antioxidant, and antispasmodic agent to treat circulatory problem, eczema, rheumatism, muscle pain, etc.
Rosemary containing flavonoid compounds with phenolic structures may potentiate in reduced reactive oxygen species and biologic macromolecules, to neutralize free radicals or initiate biological effects to prevent skin damage(35).
According to University of Catania, natural extract isolated from rosemary leaves, showed to be effective in antiaging skin management due to its endogenous antioxidant
14. Grape seed extract
Grape Seed Extract is the commercial extracts from whole grape seeds that contains many
concentrations, including vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, oligomeric proanthocyanidins(OPCs),
The herb has been used in traditional medicine as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agents and to treat
skin wounds with less scarring, allergies, macular degeneration, arthritis, enhance circulation of blood
vessels, lower cholesterol, etc.
Grape seed extract may be beneficial in promoting youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility
because of its antioxidant effect to bond with collagen(37).
According to Dr. Bojanowski K., grape seed extract may have a potential in anti-aging effects
throughout all skin compartments, including dermal and epidermal layers because of its induced signal transduction pathways in facial hypodermis(38). In a study of a total of men from 35 to 60 years of age, phototypes I to III, indictaed a positive effect in counteract skin photoaging, in daily application of mixture containing lycopene, acerola extract, grape seed extract and Biomarine ComplexT(39).
native to Asia.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treat painful bruises and aches,
to relieve various neuralgic pains, sprains, rheumatism, etc.
Suggestion of Lavender aromatherapy may potentiate to ease anxiety in patients undergoing minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures(40).
In photodegradation and photooxidation, chemical composition and bioactive properties of Lavandula
angustifolia Miller essential oil, used conjunction with bee oglue showed that bee glue expresses a
highly protected lavender oil secondary metabolites from degradation and also preserved their
antiradical properties, both in in vitro antioxidant assays and in cell oxidative damage evaluations(41).
16. Huang Qi (Radix astragali)
The study of non-fermented (HQNB) and fermented preparations (HQB) of Radix astragali on
hyaluronic acid (HA) production in primary human skin cells, showed that HQB significantly
stimulated HA production in both cultured primary human epidermal keratinocytes and human dermal fibroblasts and increased the expression of hyaluronan synthase 3 and hyaluronan synthase 2 mRNA in HaCaT cells and human fibroblasts, respectively in dose-dependent manners(42).
17. Puerariae Radix (Ge Gen)
Ge Gen is also known as Kudzuvine Root. The acrid, sweet and neutral herb has been used in TCM as anti-arrhythmia, anti cancers, anti-oxidation, anti platelet coagulation, etc. and to lower blood sugar, relax the blood vessels, improve memory, treat diarrhea, etc., as it raises Yang; clears Heat,
promotes generation of Body Fluids, etc., by enhancing the functions of spleen and stomach channels.
The study of the effect of Puerariae Radix (PR), a Chinese herb and a popular food in Asia in
Hyaluronic acid (HA) concentrations in the intercellular spaces of the epidermis and the
connective tissues of the dermis, showed to stimulate the HA production of normal human epidermal
keratinocytes (NHEK), in dose-dependent, due to its rich in isoflavone glycosides like genistin and
18. Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah)
In skin aging, phytochemicals found in the herbal extract of Labisia pumila, protected against
natural aging process and accelerated by UV radiation through promoting the production of skin collagen synthesis(43) and attenuation of UVB-induced MMP-9 expression in phtoaging(44).
Taken altogether, certain herbs have been found to enhance the protection of skin against natural
aging through protection in the degradation of epidermal and dermal layers of the extracellular
matrix (ECM), via their antioxidant and stimulative effects. Futher studies are necessary to identify
theirs effective ingredients to improve the clinical viability.
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(a) Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies by Binic I1, Lazarevic V, Ljubenovic M, Mojsa J, Sokolovic D.(PubMed)
(b) Phytoconstituents as photoprotective novel cosmetic formulations by Saraf S1, Kaur CD.(PubMed)
(1) Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo by Cho S1, Lee S, Lee MJ, Lee DH, Won CH, Kim SM, Chung JH.(PubMed)
(2) Dry skin in the elderly: complexities of a common problem by White-Chu EF1, Reddy M.(PubMed)
(3) [The protective effects of sodium selenite and aloin against ultraviolet A radiation].
[Article in Chinese]by Guo Y1, Ji R, Lü X, Wan YF, Jiang X.(PubMed)
(4) Green tea extract protects human skin fibroblasts from reactive oxygen species induced necrosis by Silverberg JI1, Jagdeo J, Patel M, Siegel D, Brody N.(PubMed)
(5) Tannase-converted green tea catechins and their anti-wrinkle activity in humans by Hong YH1, Jung EY, Shin KS, Yu KW, Chang UJ, Suh HJ.(PubMed)
(6) The use of green tea extract in cosmetic formulations: not only an antioxidant active ingredient by Gianeti MD1, Mercurio DG, Campos PM.(PubMed)
(7) Human skin safety test of green tea cell extracts in condition of allergic contact dermatitis by Kim HK1, Choi SY, Chang HK, Baek SY, Chung JO, Rha CS, Kim BJ, Kim MN.(PubMed)
(8) Combined topical application of lotus and green tea improves facial skin surface parameters by Mahmood T1, Akhtar N.(PubMed)
(9) Design and in vivo evaluation of emulgel formulations including greentea extract and rose oil by Yapar EA, Ynal O, Erdal MS.(PubMed)
(10) Korean Red Ginseng Tonic Extends Lifespan in D. melanogaster by Kim MS.(PubMed)
(11) Effects of red ginseng extract on UVB irradiation-induced skin aging in hairless mice by Kang TH1, Park HM, Kim YB, Kim H, Kim N, Do JH, Kang C, Cho Y, Kim SY.(PubMed)
(12) Enzyme-processed Korean Red Ginseng extracts protects against skin damage induced by UVB irradiation in hairless mice by Hwang E1, Sun ZW, Lee TH, Shin HS, Park SY, Lee DG, Cho BG, Sohn H, Kwon OW, Kim SY, Yi TH.(PubMed)
(13) Ginsenoside Rd inhibits the expressions of iNOS and COX-2 by suppressing NF-κB in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells and mouse liver by Kim DH1, Chung JH, Yoon JS, Ha YM, Bae S, Lee EK, Jung KJ, Kim MS, Kim YJ, Kim MK, Chung HY.(PubMed)
(14) Hormesis-based anti-aging products: a case study of a novel cosmetic by Rattan SI1, Kryzch V, Schnebert S, Perrier E, Nizard C.(PubMed)
(15) Fermenting red ginseng enhances its safety and efficacy as a novel skin care anti-aging ingredient: in vitro and animal study by Lee HS1, Kim MR, Park Y, Park HJ, Chang UJ, Kim SY, Suh HJ.(PubMed)
(16) Inhibitory effect of encapsulated curcumin on ultraviolet-induced photoaging in mice by Agrawal R1, Kaur IP.(PubMed)
(17) Bioactive compounds from natural resources against skin aging by Mukherjee PK1, Maity N, Nema NK, Sarkar BK.(PubMed)
(18) Curcumin induces heme oxygenase-1 in normal human skinfibroblasts through redox signaling: relevance for anti-aging intervention by Lima CF1, Pereira-Wilson C, Rattan SI.(PubMed)
(19) Titrated extract of Centella asiatica provides a UVB protective effect by altering microRNA expression profiles in human dermal fibroblasts by An IS1, An S, Kang SM, Choe TB, Lee SN, Jang HH, Bae S.(PubMed)
(20) Centella asiatica protects against UVB-induced HaCaT keratinocyte damage through microRNA expression changes by An IS1, An S, Choe TΒ, Kang SΜ, Lee JH, Park IC, Jin YW, Lee SJ, Bae S.(PubMed)
(21) Evaluation of the effects of a preparation containing asiaticoside on periocular wrinkles of human volunteers by Lee J1, Jung E, Lee H, Seo Y, Koh J, Park D.(PubMed)
(22) Improving lip wrinkles: lipstick-related image analysis by Ryu JS1, Park SG, Kwak TJ, Chang MY, Park ME, Choi KH, Sung KH, Shin HJ, Lee CK, Kang YS, Yoon MS, Rang MJ, Kim SJ.(PubMed)
(23) [Comparative activity of asiaticoside and madecassoside on type I and III collagen synthesis by cultured human fibroblasts].[Article in French] by Bonté F1, Dumas M, Chaudagne C, Meybeck A.(PubMed)(24) Anti-wrinkle activity of ziyuglycoside I isolated from a Sanguisorba officinalis root extract and its application as a cosmeceutical ingredient by Kim YH1, Chung CB, Kim JG, Ko KI, Park SH, Kim JH, Eom SY, Kim YS, Hwang YI, Kim KH.(PubMed)
(25) Inhibitory effect of an extract of Sanguisorba officinalis L. on ultraviolet-B-induced photodamage of rat skin by Tsukahara K1, Moriwaki S, Fujimura T, Takema Y.(PubMed)
(26) Magnolia ovovata extract and its active component magnolol prevent skin photoaging via inhibition of nuclear factor kappaB by Tanaka K1, Hasegawa J, Asamitsu K, Okamoto T.(PubMed)
(27) Protecting skin photoaging by NF-kappaB inhibitor by Tanaka K1, Asamitsu K, Uranishi H, Iddamalgoda A, Ito K, Kojima H, Okamoto T.(PubMed)
(28) Protective effect of detoxified Rhus verniciflua stokes on human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts against oxidative stress and identification of the bioactive phenolics by Liu CS1, Nam TG, Han MW, Ahn SM, Choi HS, Kim TY, Chun OK, Koo SI, Kim DO.(PubMed)
(29) Identification of Rhus verniciflua Stokes compounds that exhibit free radical scavenging and anti-apoptotic properties by Lee JC1, Lim KT, Jang YS.(PubMed)
(30) Bioactive compounds from natural resources against skin aging by Mukherjee PK1, Maity N, Nema NK, Sarkar BK.(PubMed)
(31) The active natural anti-oxidant properties of chamomile, milk thistle, and halophilic bacterial components in human skin in vitro by Mamalis A1, Nguyen DH, Brody N, Jagdeo J.(PnbMed)
(32) Effect of a novel dietary supplement on skin aging in post-menopausal women by Skovgaard GR1, Jensen AS, Sigler ML(PubMed)
(33) Cinnamon extract promotes type I collagen biosynthesis via activation of IGF-I signaling in human dermal fibroblasts by Takasao N1, Tsuji-Naito K, Ishikura S, Tamura A, Akagawa M.(PubMed)
(34) Clinical efficacy comparison of anti-wrinkle cosmetics containing herbal flavonoids by Chuarienthong P1, Lourith N, Leelapornpisid P.(PubMed)
(35) Green tea and the skin by Hsu S.(PubMed)
(36) Biochemical studies of a natural antioxidant isolated from rosemary and its application in cosmetic dermatology by Calabrese V1, Scapagnini G, Catalano C, Dinotta F, Geraci D, Morganti P.
(37) enolics in grape seeds-biochemistry and functionality by Shi J1, Yu J, Pohorly JE, Kakuda Y.by (PubMed)
(38) Hypodermal delivery of cosmetic actives for improved facial skinmorphology and functionality by Bojanowski K.(PubMed)
(39)Clinical, biometric and ultrasound assessment of the effects of daily use of a nutraceutical composed of lycopene, acerola extract, grape seed extract and Biomarine Complex in photoaged human skin by Costa A1, Lindmark L, Arruda LH, Assumpção EC, Ota FS, Pereira Mde O, Langen SS.(PubMed)
(40) Effects of lavender olfactory input on cosmetic procedures by Grunebaum LD1, Murdock J, Castanedo-Tardan MP, Baumann LS.(PubMed)
(41) Biochemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Lavandulaangustifolia Miller Essential Oil are Shielded by Propolis Against UV Radiations by Angelo G1, Lorena C, Marta G, Antonella C.(PubMed)
(42) Stimulating effects of Bacillus subtilis natto-fermented Radix astragalion hyaluronic acid production in human skin cells by Hsu MF1, Chiang BH.(PubMed)
(43) Comparison of Puerariae Radix and its hydrolysate on stimulation of hyaluronic acid production in NHEK cells by Wen KC1, Lin SP, Yu CP, Chiang HM.(PubMed)
(44) eview on Labisia pumila (Kacip Fatimah): bioactive phytochemicals and skin collagen synthesis promoting herb by Chua LS1, Lee SY, Abdullah N, Sarmidi MR.(PubMed)
(45) Labisia pumila extract protects skin cells from photoaging caused by UVB irradiation by Choi HK1, Kim DH, Kim JW, Ngadiran S, Sarmidi MR, Park CS.(PubMed)