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- 06/13/2023

Dermocosmetic evaluation of a nutricosmetic formulation based on Curcuma

AgroFOOD Industry Hi Tech


Endogenous and exogenous factors have the potential to modify the skin layer and appearance, influencing the process of skin aging. The derivatives and isolated compounds derived from food matrices can be utilized in the creation of “healthy” anti-aging cosmetics. There are two distinct approaches in the realm of cosmetics that can be employed to achieve the desired anti-aging outcome. One option involves the use of topical products containing extracts from food sources (cosmeceutical approach), while the other involves the consumption of food supplements along with the application of topical cosmetic products containing food extracts on the target area (nutricosmetic approach).

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa from the Zingiberaceae family, is an aromatic herb belonging to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The Curcuma longa plant comprises curcuminoids (including curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and cyclocurcumin), which are secondary metabolites possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These curcuminoids are capable of scavenging hydroxyl radicals (ROS) and superoxide anions, chelating heavy metals, increasing glutathione levels, as well as stabilizing glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, and superoxide dismutase enzymes.

A study, published in May in Phytotherapy Research, compares the anti-aging effects of a nutricosmetic formulation (consisting of a supplement and cream) containing Curcuma extract with the effects obtained solely from the application of the cosmeceutical cream. The aim of the study is to determine whether the “in and out” approach, involving the combination of internal and external treatments, is more effective than the use of only cosmeceutical products in preventing the detrimental effects associated with skin aging.

The choice of the commercial Curcuma extract to be used for experimental purposes was based on the curcuminoid content determined by an HPLC test.  Many commercial Curcuma extracts were evaluated.

The evaluated parameter to define the most efficient treatment in vivo were the Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL), moisturizing effect, skin firmness and elasticity, the collagen index, and the wrinkles analysis. 

The results showed that the nutricosmetic treatment more than the cosmeceutical cream’s application reduced TEWL values, significantly increased moisturizing, improved volunteers’ face roughness, making skin smoother, lifted, and firmer over time.

The nutricosmetic product showed a better potential as moisturizing, anti-age, and anti-wrinkle action than the cosmeceutical product alone. The authors strongly believe that more and more experimental studies are needed to definitively determine which approach (nutricosmetic or cosmeceutical) yields superior cosmetic outcomes.