Burdock fruit is the latest ingredient to join the fight against skin ageing

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Collagen, Inflammation

Burdock fruit extract holds potential as an anti-ageing ingredient according to scientists at Beiersdorf.

Researchers at the Germany-based personal care giant identified the potential of Arctium lappa​ fruit extract when searching for active ingredients that might fight against chronic inflammation leading to skin ageing.

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The arctium lappa​ (active ingredient arctiin) extract can, according to the study published in this month’s Journal of Cosmetics Dermatology, help protect against chronic tissue inflammation and at the same time stimulate the synthesis of connective tissues such as collagen.

‘Inflamm-ageing’ (ageing caused by chronic inflammation) is a popular theory to explain the changes that occur in ageing skin for example the loss of dermal elasticity and resilience and the wrinkled appearance.

Acute tissue injury, for instance that can be caused by UV radiation, can become independent of its primary cause and progress to chronic damage as mast cells, cytokines and other factors get involved, explained the researchers.

This can ultimately lead to the deterioration of the connective tissue leading to wrinkle development and loss of skin elasticity.

The scientists performed both in vitro ​and in vivo ​tests on arctiin in order to test its effect on the inflammatory response as well as on skin appearance.

Anti-inflammatory impact

Primarily in vitro​ studies were performed using dendritic cells which had been stimulated by adding a pro-inflammatory substance. The extract was then added and the researchers reported that arctiin inhibited the release of TNF-alpha and IL-6 – two cytokines actively involved in the inflammatory response.

A further in vitro ​study investigated the effect of arctiin on collagen synthesis. Human dermal fibroblasts were treated with arctiin and according to the team collagen neogenesis was increased in a significant dose dependent way.

In vivo​ tests followed where the researchers investigated not only the effect of the extract on collagen synthesis in the skin, but also the visual reduction of wrinkles in the crows feet area around the eyes.

Procollagen synthesis

In the first study volunteers applied the test formulation containing 1.2 percent burdock fruit extract (with 0.25 per cent arctiin) twice daily to the forearm. After treatment over a 12 week period procollagen content in the treated area had increased 1.3 fold compared to the vehicle.

In addition, the hyaluronan levels (another chief component of the extracellular matrix) also increased compared to the vehicle control.

The team then performed a further 4 week study on 40 female volunteers who applied the arctiin containing cream to one side of the face and the vehicle to the other. Facial wrinkles were significantly reduced, according to the study authors, compared with the vehicle.

Commenting on the results the researchers state: “we hypothesise arctiin counteracts the chronic inflammation in ageing skin offering the first cosmetics treatment option that targets these subclinical processes in ageing skin.”

Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology​Volume 7, pages 281-289Arctium lappa fruit extract and its cosmetic relevance​Anja Knott, Katja Reuschlein, Heiko Mielke, Ursula Wensorra, Christopher Mummert, Urte Koop, Martina Kausch, Ludger Kolbe, Nils Peters, Franz Stäb, Horst Wenck, Stefan Gallinat

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