Oral and Topical Echium Oil for Skin Benefits

Jan 1, 2010 | Contact Author | By: Bhaven Chavan, PhD, and Graham Pennick, Croda Consumer Care Europe, East Yorkshire, England
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Title: Oral and Topical Echium Oil for Skin Benefits
echium oilx photoagingx dry skinx anti-inflammatoryx
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Keywords: echium oil | photoaging | dry skin | anti-inflammatory

Abstract: In the present article, the oral administration of echium oil is shown to increase collagen levels in the skin as well as barrier functioning and skin conductance. When applied topically, the oil increases dermal structural proteins, which results in a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, and inhibits UV-induced inflammation.

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B Chavan and G Pennick, Oral and topical echium oil for skin benefits, Cosm & Toil 125(1) 28-36 (Jan 2010)

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The skin is the human body’s largest organ, covering an area of nearly 1.8 m2. It functions as a metabolically active biological barrier by separating internal homeostasis from the external environment. Aside from providing cover, the skin also prevents water loss, regulates the body’s temperature, absorbs mechanical energy, protects against UV light and acts as an antimicrobial defense system. Therefore, maintenance of the skin is critical for normal homeostasis.

A series of publications in the 1920s and 30s discussed a new disease caused by the prolonged exclusion of fat from the diet, which resulted in epidermal hyperplasia, scaly skin and an increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL).1 Interestingly, upon consumption of linoleic acid (LA), all the characteristics of this deficiency could be alleviated.2, 3 It was therefore recognized that LA was an essential fatty acid (EFA) required for normal bodily function. In addition, a pioneering link was made between the importance of EFAs and cutaneous skin biology.

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Figure 1. Structures of linolenic acid and α-linolenic acid

Figure 1. Structures of linolenic acid and α-linolenic acid

LA and α-linolenic acid (ALA) are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that can be further grouped depending on the position of the carbon-carbon double bond.

Figure 2. The change in collagen with treatment of echium oil vs. placebo for 6 and 12 weeks

Figure 2. The change in collagen with treatment of echium oil vs. placebo for 6 and 12 weeks

When compared with the placebo group, the increase observed with the echium oil was significantly higher.

Figure 3. The change in TEWL after an SLS challenge with echium oil vs. placebo

Figure 3. The change in TEWL after an SLS challenge with echium oil vs. placebo

Both groups of panelists saw a decrease in barrier performance after 12 weeks of supplementation.

Figure 4. Skin conductance with intake of echium oil or placebo

Figure 4. Skin conductance with intake of echium oil or placebo

In addition to barrier function, an increase in skin hydration was shown by skin conductance measurements. These values significantly increased between weeks 6 and 12 by approximately 20% in the echium group, compared with the placebo group.

Figure 5. Mean skin staining with topical application of echium oil vs. placebo

Figure 5. Mean skin staining with topical application of echium oil vs. placebo

Results demonstrated that fibrillin-1, pro-collagen-1 and decorin levels, which are integral to providing the skin with strength and support to maintain a youthful appearance, increased significantly compared with the untreated sit.

Figure 6. Wrinkle depth and roughness after application of echium oil vs. placebo

Figure 6. Wrinkle depth and roughness after application of echium oil vs. placebo

Results showed that echium oil significantly decreased the mean depth of one identified main wrinkle by an average of 30.63%.

Figure 7. 3D representation of the skin surface before and after echium oil treatment

Figure 7. 3D representation of the skin surface before and after echium oil treatment

Results showed that echium oil significantly decreased the mean depth of one identified main wrinkle by an average of 30.63%.

Figure 8. UBC-induced inflammation of echium oil vs. other oils

Figure 8. UBC-induced inflammation of echium oil vs. other oils

The results demonstrated that echium oil decreased PGE2 levels after UV exposure more than the other oils applied.

Footnotes [Chavan (125(1)]

a SiaScope is a device manufactured by Astron Clinica, Cambridge, UK.

b This study was conducted by the University of Manchester, Dermatological Sciences Research Group, School of Translational Medicine.

c Crodamol IPM (INCI: Isopropyl Myristate) is a product of Croda USA, Edison, NJ, USA.

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