Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector


Fats are indispensable to life not only as an energy source but also for their structural role in the skin, retina, nervous system, lipoproteins, and biologic membranes. They are also precursors of important hormones and constitute the vehicle for the absorption of liposoluble vitamins. Nutritionists recommend a balanced lipid intake orresponding to a total amount of fats equal to 25% to 30% of total calories with a ratio in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, olive oil, with its balanced fatty acid composition, is of high nutritional value. Moreover, extra virgin olive oil, extracted from a fruit, has an important value related to the antioxidant power of minor components. Extra virgin olive oil contains 98% to 99% triglycerides and 1% to 2% minor components. In the triglycerides, the main fatty acids are represented by monounsaturates (oleic), with a slight amount of saturates and an adequate amount of polyunsaturates. The minor components are α-tocopherol, phenol compounds, carotenoids, squalene, phytosterols, and chlorophyll. Factors that can influence olive oil’s composition, especially in regard to its minor components, are the cultivar, area of production, time of harvesting, and degree of technology used in its production. Therefore, an evaluation of the biologic value of extra virgin olive oil and its use as a topical raw material in cosmetic dermatology is reported.

2009 Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and

The photoprotective activity of nutraceuticals


Nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of many diseases, and the right choice of nutrients can help to prevent disorders and improve the quality of life. Epidemiologic studies suggest that there is a close relationship between ultraviolet exposure (high level of reactive oxygen species) and the intake of specific dietary factors (eg antioxidants), and the diminished risk of developing cancer, coronary heart disease, or cataracts. Free radicals and reactive oxygen species are synthesized endogenously (eg, in energy metabolism and the antimicrobial defense system of the body) or produced as reactions to exogenous exposure (eg, cigarette smoke, imbalanced diet, exhaustive exercise, environmental pollutants, and food contaminants). Human dietary intervention studies based on the use of antioxidant compounds show how they can protect from endogenous and exogenous environmental assaults, and neutralize sun-induced effects on the skin. The future challenge will be to combine the strategic use of cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals in preventing the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants on the many biologic processes involving skin aging and cancer.

2009 The photoprotective activity of nutraceuticals

Ascorbigen: chemistry, occurrence, and biologic properties


Ascorbigen (ABG) belongs to the glucosinolate family and occurs mainly in Brassica vegetables. It is formed by its precursor glucobrassicin. Glucobrassicin is enzymatically hydrolyzed to indole-3-carbinol, which in turn reacts with L-ascorbic acid to ABG. The degradation of glucobrassicin is induced by plant tissue disruption. The ABG formation depends on pH and temperature. The degradation of ABG in acidic medium causes a release of L-ascorbic acid and a formation of methylideneindolenine; in more alkaline medium, the degradation of ABG causes the formation of 1-deoxy-1-(3-indolyl)-α-L-sorbopyranose and 1-deoxy-1-(3-indolyl)-α-L-tagatopyranose. ABG may partly mediate the known anticarcinogenic effect of diets rich in Brassicacae. Furthermore, ABG is able to induce phase I and II enzymes that are centrally involved in the detoxification of xenobiotics. Cosmeceuticals containing ABG as an active principle are becoming increasingly popular, although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms regarding its potential antiaging and ultravioletprotective properties have not been fully established.

2009 Ascorbigenchemistry, occurrence, and biologic properties

Advancement in skin aging: the future cosmeceuticals


Aging is a multifactorial process defined as the accumulation of damage. The aging of the skin is characterized by specific clinical end points, the cause of which is not always thoroughly understood. The skin is exposed to environmental aggressions and the reactive oxygen species produced during cellular metabolism. Damage to the cellular and extracellular components of the skin can be avoided or removed by the appropriate topical application of active ingredients. Sunscreens are essential to avoid damage from the most important damaging environmental agent: solar radiation. Liposomes containing deoxyribonucleic acid repair enzymes and accelerate the endogenous removal of pyrimidine dimers after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Specific antioxidants reduce the rate of formation of secondary ultraviolet-induced damages, particularly those induced by singlet oxygen. Anti-inflammatory agents, immunostimulants, and enhancers of molecular and cellular detoxification could enter the panoply of new cosmeceuticals to avoid age spots, dark circles, wrinkles, and other clinical aspects of skin aging.

2008-B Advancement in skin aging the future cosmeceuticals

The cosmeceutical realm


The cosmeceutical realm is composed of functional cosmetics designed to adorn face and body without changing the structure of the human form. Although this may seems confusing, indeed cosmeceuticals have never been well defined. Cosmeceuticals developed for facial application typically claim to induce more even skin tone, improve skin texture, increase skin radiance, decrease the appearance of skin wrinkling, and provide antiaging benefits. Nondrug active ingredients are usually incorporated into moisturizing vehicles designed to accomplish the aforementioned claims. There is no doubt that cosmeceuticals represent the most rapidly expanding frontier in dermatology.

2008 The cosmeceutical realm

Cosmeceuticals: focus on topical retinoids in photoaging


Evidence from a randomized clinical trial showed that, in spite of the many surgical procedures effective in ameliorating the clinical appearance of photoaged skin, the only medical therapy with proven benefits in photoaged skin are topical retinoids, in particular tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene. The application of retinoids might not only clinically and biochemically repair photoaged skin, but their use might also prevent photoaging. Furthermore, new evidence suggests a beneficial role of topical retinoids in the treatment of intrinsically aged skin.

2008 Cosmeceuticals focus on topical retinoids in photoaging