Defensin peptides may have anti-aging benefits in topical skin care, along with their wound-healing properties. In a recent article in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, researchers incorporated biomimetic alpha and beta defensin molecules into three skin care products to test whether it would improve the structure and function of aging skin.
A double blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in an outpatient setting with 44 female participants aged 41–71 years old, all with skin types I–V. Roughly 66% of participants received a three-product skin care regimen of a serum, cream and mask in the the full formula—which included alpha-defensin 5 and beta-defensin 3—while 33% received the placebo formula. Participants applied these three skin care products to their face and neck twice daily for 12 weeks, while all using the same cleanser and sunscreen.
Researchers used histopathology and immunohistochemistry on seven participants to evaluate the use of these products; fifteen additional participants were evaluated with the QuantifiCare system and Cortex measurements. Researchers also performed a clinical evaluation of the pores, superficial and deep wrinkles based on the Griffiths scale and high-resolution photography on all subjects.
Researchers observed that the non-placebo group of patients had a significantly thicker epidermis with no signs of inflammation; these participants also experienced a reduction in pores, superficial wrinkles, pigmentation and oiliness, along with improved skin evenness, elasticity and hydration. Based on these findings, the defensin-including products improved skin above the placebo.