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Anti-skin ageing phytochemicals in cosmetics: An appraisal


*Corresponding author
1. Department of Cell Biology, Discovery Sciences Group, 
2. Department of Phytochemistry
3. Chief Scientific Officer Research and Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore, India


Skin is a vital organ of the body; primarily composed of three layers continuously exposed to external environment. Exposure to pollution, chemicals, UV radiation etc. damages the epidermis leading to skin ageing. Skin ageing is a natural phenomena which, happens due to intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Since ancient times, people have used different herbs or plant extracts to combat ageing. Curcumin, resveratrol, epicatechin, ellagic acid and apigenin are used in cosmetic formulations to combat skin ageing. These phytochemicals produced by plants reduce the physiological signs of ageing by reduction of ROS, protecting and stimulating matrix-associated proteins, absorption of UV rays, and maintaining the water-balance in the skin. This review highlights the anti-ageing phytochemicals for combating skin ageing influenced by external environment.


Skin is a protective barrier against the external environment. Its function is to regulate temperature, fluid balance, to protect from harmful microbes, and UV radiation in sunlight (1). The skin is composed of three layers: epidermal, dermal, and subcutaneous, out of which epidermis is adversely affected by extrinsic factors. Ageing phenomena starts from the moment we are born and is markedly visible on the skin in progressive years. The inherent desire of people is to live longer and look younger for a long period of time (2). The modern science and technology provides plastic surgery, laser rejuvenation, and many more invasive techniques. Noninvasive techniques do not involve any risks or complications and mostly free of side effects as compared to the invasive techniques which is more painful and laborious. Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the use of herbal extracts or phytochemicals in cosmetics to reduce the ageing process. Plants produce a large number of secondary metabolites with simple to complex structures such as terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds (3). People from China, India and Egypt u ...

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