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Protection and detox of the skin by bioinspired molecules


*Corresponding author
Lipotec SAU, Gavà, Spain


The skin is exposed to staggering amounts of chemical substances or xenobiotics that accumulate and generate reactive species. These can be based on oxygen (ROS), nitrogen (RNS) or carbonyl (RCS) and, when at too high levels they damage skin cells causing the appearance of aging signs.

The skin possesses a defensive system, including low-molecular-weight antioxidants and enzymatic detoxification pathways that allow the neutralization and removal of reactive species and xenobiotics. 

A powerful antioxidant was developed based on the structure of vitamin E. Its effectiveness was widely demonstrated, showing that it can be used as a cosmetic active ingredient. The molecule confers protection from reactive species, preventing damage by ROS, RNS and RCS and modulates gene expression suggesting it may aid in detoxification of toxic substances. Results of a clinical test showed an improvement in the appearance of aging signs and better antioxidative properties of the skin.


As an interface between the body and the environment, the skin is constantly exposed to external chemical substances, the number of which has grown tremendously in the past decades. These substances, present in food, consumer products, environmental pollution, or even plant pollen, are foreign to the organism and are therefore xenobiotics. They accumulate over time, causing alterations and generating several reactive species that lead to oxidative damage in the cells (1).

Reactive species have high chemical reactivity and can be based on oxygen (ROS), nitrogen (RNS) or carbonyl (RCS). Too high concentrations of these substances occur when there is an imbalance between them and the skin’s antioxidative defenses, and damage skin cells and structural components, being involved in the development of signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, loss of elasticity and age spots.

To avoid the deleterious effects of xenobiotics and reactive species, the skin possesses a system of endogenous defenses. It consists of low-molecular-weight antioxidants, like coenzyme Q10 and vitamins C and E, that directly quench ROS (2). Additionally, the small proli ...

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