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Scientists find photo-protective properties of turmeric could hold industry value

By Andrew McDougall , 04-Jan-2012
Last updated on 11-Jan-2012 at 09:31 GMT

Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots

Scientists in India have tested the skin recuperation properties of turmeric, commonly used as a source of flavor in food dishes, on ultraviolet radiation-damaged skin and noted that it displays skin hydration properties when topically applied.

Researchers Chanchal Deep Kaur and Swarnlata Saraf documented their findings in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, noting that the photo-protective properties of the curcuma longa extract and the hydrant, moisturizing lipid components of nano vesicles with better skin penetration lead to an improvement in skin properties and sebum content.

Cosmetic use

The aim of the study was to formulate creams having Curcuma longa extract loaded novel vesicular systems (liposomes, ethosomes, and transfersomes).

The results suggest that the herbal extract loaded nano vesicles incorporated in cream could be used as photo-protective formulations in the future.

UV radiations generate reactive oxygen species, leading to adverse effects on skin properties. It has Botanical extracts have long been studied for cosmetic applications as they display various properties such as photo-protection, anti-aging, moisturizing, antioxidant, astringent, anti-irritant, and antimicrobial activity.

In this new study, Kaur and Saraf used liposomes, ethosomes, and transfersomes loaded with different concntrations of the alcoholic curcuma longa extract.

Prepared and evaluated

Once these extracts were prepared, they were then evaluated for size, entrapment efficiency, and incorporated into the cream. Their long-term interaction with skin (tested for 6 weeks) was compared in terms of their effects on skin hydration and sebum content.

The researchers found that the novel vesicular creams enhanced sebum content and skin hydration significantly as compared to plain extract loaded conventional creams.

Among vesicular creams, the improvement was in the sequence: highest with transfersomal creams, then with ethosomal creams and liposomal creams.

“Extract loaded transfersomes are better for improving skin properties than ethosomes and liposomes. Photoprotective herbal extract loaded vesicles incorporated in the creams could be highly beneficial as photoprotectives with enhanced skin hydration and sebum level,” the researchers said in their findings.

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