Anti-aging Skin Care Benefits of Saccharina longicruris Extract

Mar 1, 2011 | Contact Author | By: Alain Thibodeau, PhD, Innovacos Corp.
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Title: Anti-aging Skin Care Benefits of Saccharina longicruris Extract
Saccharina longicrurisx anti-agingx cDNA array gene expressionx cellular senescencex skin surface topographyx skin barrier functionx
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Keywords: Saccharina longicruris | anti-aging | cDNA array gene expression | cellular senescence | skin surface topography | skin barrier function

Abstract: Aging triggers the modification of gene expression levels, negatively affecting skin’s ultrastructural integrity and resulting in dry, saggy skin and the appearance of wrinkles. However, an extract of Saccharina longicruris has been found to restore the expression levels of specific genes in senescent fibroblasts, in turn improving barrier function and hydration, increasing elasticity and reducing wrinkles, which are described in this article.

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A Thibodeau, Anti-aging Skin Care Benefits of Saccharina longicruris Extract, Cosm & Toil 126(3) 208 (2011)

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Skin appearance and functionality are affected by a complex combination of factors including both genetic, i.e. intrinsic, and actinic, i.e. extrinsic or environmental. Indeed, genetic and actinic factors act together to modulate the expression of key genes involved in skin homeostasis. Intrinsic aging is genetically regulated and follows a chronological clock inside of cells, while environmental factors such as UV exposure, humidity and air pollutants are responsible for actinic aging. Together, genetic and actinic aging target important metabolic pathways in skin cells that trigger the signs of aging such as skin roughness and wrinkling.

At a molecular level, it has been demonstrated that collagen synthesis is reduced in aged skin cells and in cells damaged by UV radiation.1 Similarly, the expression of various matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), which cause the degradation of collagen fibers and other skin fibrillar components, is upregulated in aged cells as well as in cells exposed to UV, infrared radiation or excessive heat.2, 3 Furthermore, reactive oxygen species are molecular agents implicated in the deleterious effects of both intrinsic and extrinsic aging.1, 4

The skin barrier also plays important roles in skin’s functioning. For instance, it prevents excessive water loss and protects against physical trauma, foreign particles such as allergens, bacteria, toxic chemicals, and also radiation. The barrier function of the skin mainly resides in the stratum corneum (SC) layer of the epidermis, where differentiated keratinocytes are embedded within a lipid matrix. With age, the ability of the barrier to repair damage from physical insults decreases.5

In an effort to develop an active to improve skin barrier repair and hydration, increase elasticity, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, the algae extract Saccharina longicruris (S. longicruris) was investigated since algae is known for its survival abilities. Specifically, it develops thickened segments to adapt to water movements and stores compounds to survive harsh environments. Thus, to gain insight into the functionality of S. longicruris extract, the author examined its efficacy to promote keratinocyte differentiation and reverse the gene expression level of senescent human fibroblasts, described here.

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Table 1. Table 1. Composition of Formulations Tested

Table 1. Composition of Formulations Tested

Twenty healthy volunteers ages 35—65 with mixed skin types were enrolled in a trial where a single-blind, split-face, randomized protocol was used to evaluate the efficacy of a placebo formulation against a formulation containing 3% S. longicruris (see Table 1).

Table 2. In vitro Effect of S. longicruris on Fibroblast Gene Expression

Table 2. In vitro Effect of S. longicruris on Fibroblast Gene Expression

In Table 2, the expression level for each gene was arbitrarily set to a value of 1 in young fibroblasts (P8).

Table 3. Skin Surface Profilometry Measurements (% variation) * p < 0.005, ** p < 0.0001

Table 3. Skin Surface Profilometry Measurements (% variation) * p < 0.005, ** p < 0.0001

The formulation containing S. longicruris significantly increased the skin surface smoothness parameter starting on day 15 (+12.2%; p < 0.0001, compared to baseline) reaching +17.8% (p < 0.0001, compared to baseline) at day 60, as shown in Table 3.

Figure 1. Stimulation of TGK activity in keratinocytes in the presence of S. longicruris

Figure 1. Stimulation of TGK activity in keratinocytes in the presence of S. longicruris

Results indicated that when added to unstimulated keratinocytes, S. longicruris increased the activation of transglutaminase by 349%, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2. Clinical efficacy of S. longicruris on TEWL

Figure 2. Clinical efficacy of S. longicruris on TEWL

An effect was observed on day 15 of the clinical trial (-8.4%, p < 0.0001) that increased up to day 60 (-13.4%, p < 0.0001), as illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 3. Clinical efficacy of S. longicruris on skin hydration level

Figure 3. Clinical efficacy of S. longicruris on skin hydration level

In relation to skin barrier function, Figure 3 shows the positive action of S. longicruris on the skin barrier function by improving the skin hydration level.

Figure 4. Digitalized images of the skin surface topography a) at baseline (day 0), and b) after treatment with S. longicruris for 60 days

Figure 4. Digitalized images of the skin surface topography a) at baseline (day 0), and b) after treatment with S. longicruris for 60 days

Image digitalizations of the skin topography before and after treatment with S. longicruris are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 5. Effect of S. longicruris on the skin visco-elastic properties

Figure 5. Effect of S. longicruris on the skin visco-elastic properties

Indeed, the application of a formulation containing S. longicruris augmented skin elasticity at all time points of the trial, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 6. Dermatological evaluations of skin smoothness, compactness and wrinkle appearance

Figure 6. Dermatological evaluations of skin smoothness, compactness and wrinkle appearance

As shown in Figure 6, dermatological evaluations revealed that these parameters were improved by 80%, 55% and 55%, respectively, for subjects that had applied the formulation containing S. longicruris for 60 days.

Footnotes (CT1103 Thibodeau)

aReGenesea (INCI: Glycerin (and) S. Longicruris extract) is a product of Innovacos, Mt. Arlington, VA, USA.
bAmersham TRK 414 is a kit manufactured by GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences AB, Uppsala, Sweden.
cThe DNA minichips are a product of BIOalternatives, Gençay, France.
d The corneometer;
e Tewameter 300;
f Cutometer; and
g Visioscan VC98 are devices manufactured by Courage + Khazaka GmbH , Köln, Germany.

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