Skin & Healthy Ageing - Effects of a combination of botanical actives on skin health and antioxidant status in post-menopausal women: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

The present study looked at one of our botanical products comprising four medicinal herb extracts – soy isoflavones, black cohosh, chasteberry and evening primrose oil.

In this second part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2021, researchers in Dhurakij Pundit University evaluated the effects of the nutraceutical skin health and aging indicators in post-menopausal women.

A total of 110 Thai women (45-60 yrs) were recruited, including those who had stopped their menstrual period for at least 12 months and reported menstrual symptoms, and who showed type II and III fine lines and wrinkles.

Participants were randomly allocated to receive either a test product or a soybean extract (as a placebo control) capsule for 12 weeks while maintaining their usual diet and lifestyle.

Dermatologists measured a range of skin parameters at baseline, weeks 6 and 12, including wrinkles, texture, moisture level, and melanin levels in facial skin areas on the sides of both eyes.

Blood samples were also taken to determine the level of glutathione (GSH) as an indicator of antioxidant production, and malondialdehyde (MDA), a marker of lipid-based oxidative stress.

After 6 weeks, test formula users showed significant improvements in skin roughness compared to placebo. After 12 weeks, the test group also showed significant improvements in skin elasticity, roughness, smoothness, scaliness and wrinkle density.

Surprisingly, after 12 weeks, MDA levels in the blood of the test formula users were significantly decreased, while the levels of GSH were elevated, indicating an internal improvement in oxidative stress status.

There were no changes in trans-epithelial water loss (TEWL), melanin, skin gloss level or hydration levels between the two groups.

Some of the ways that the ingredients in the test formula may have induced these effects are through a combination of estrogen receptor (ER) binding effects of soy isoflavones, the barrier promoting effects of evening primrose oil fatty acids, and the antioxidant effects of chaste-berry and black cohosh polyphenols.

In summary, these results suggest that the test formula has a beneficial effect externally on aging skin while acting internally on the underlying mechanisms of oxidative stress, amongst others, that drive the aging process. This is more pronounced in post-menopausal women who no longer produce estrogen, an important regulator of skin turnover and integrity.

Reference: Tumsutti et al. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Jul 14 (ahead of print)

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Financial sponsor of study: Max Biocare Pty Ltd.