New insights into collagen I and multiplexin collagen XVIII


1. BASF Personal Care & Nutrition GmbH, Germany
2. BASF Beauty Care Solutions S.A.S, France


During the ageing process, the skin’s various layers undergo significant structural changes. The dermis loses its firmness and elasticity, while the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) flattens out, leading to an increase in pores and fine lines and more visible wrinkles. Collagen I and collagen XVIII are key structural components of fibre and basement membrane networks present in the skin and, as a result, reduced collagen synthesis is a typical feature of chronologically aged skin. Collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinases, which are responsible for collagen fragmentation, are gradually upregulated in chronological ageing, as 3D structure and functionality gradually deteriorate. Our studies have found that a specific extract from marjoram leaves enhances the expression of pro-collagen, of enzymes involved in fibre function and assembly and, last but not least, of collagen I. The age-related depletion of collagen XVIII can be counteracted using an extract of African Mahogany bark.


In chronologically aged skin, 3D structure and functionality gradually deteriorate. Large, structure-building substances such as hyaluronic acid, elastic fibres and collagens are among the affected elements. In particular, the various collagens play a key role in skin structure, occurring in almost all layers of the skin. Consumers are familiar with the term “collagen”, and largely view it positively. The fibre structure of collagen is easy to depict visually and consumers understand that it lends tear resistance to the skin. Meanwhile, cosmetic manufacturers have succeeded in emphasizing that personal care products can have an impact on the various types of collagen.

In this study, we investigated collagen structures and functionalities, in particular collagen I and XVIII, on skin biopsies and reconstructed dermis.

As these collagens decrease with age, we searched for plant extracts able to specifically reverse the aging process of these two collagens.

Collagen structures and functionalities

Due to its high volume in skin, collagen I plays a key role in skin structure. Although collagen fibre ...