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Curcuma for anti-ageing: ‘Inside-out’ supplement + topical most effective, finds study

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Skin moisture, firmness and elasticity, collagen content and the overall appearance of wrinkles improved most with a combined supplement and topical curcuma approach [Getty Images]
Skin moisture, firmness and elasticity, collagen content and the overall appearance of wrinkles improved most with a combined supplement and topical curcuma approach [Getty Images]

Related tags curcuma supplements ingestible beauty beauty from within inside-out beauty active beauty Skin care Ageing wrinkles Skin health

Curcuma supplements in combination with a curcuma-based topical show most promise in targeting ageing signs like wrinkles versus just using a cream, say researchers.

Writing in Phytotherapy Research​, researchers from Italy investigated the potential of curcuma in edible and topical format to target signs of ageing, including wrinkles. The researchers evaluated how each product could be used to improve skin moisture, firmness and elasticity, collagen and the overall appearance of wrinkles, and whether use in combination was more effective.

Supplement + cream ‘more significant’ results

In vivo findings showed that use of a curcuma nutricosmetic product, or supplement, in combination with a topical cream showed potential in targeting moisturising, anti-ageing and anti-wrinkling “better than” the curcuma cosmeceutical, or topical, alone.

“Although many works boast the nutricosmetic approach more than the cosmeceutical one, only a few experimental studies confirm this claim,” the researchers wrote.

“This work evaluated the anti-ageing potential of a nutricosmetic product and a cosmeceutical cream. Our results showed that both cosmetic formulations have moisturising, anti-age, and anti-wrinkle effects in the test period. However, the effects related to the use of the nutricosmetic product are more significant than those obtained when the cosmeceutical cream was administered alone.”

Looking ahead, the researchers said it was hoped more experimental studies could be conducted, “to establish unequivocally which approach (nutricosmetic or cosmeceutical) produces the best cosmetic performances”.

Curcuminoid power – study details

The in vivo clinical study conducted took place over four weeks amongst 60 Caucasian females aged 40-65 with “dull and relaxed faces marked by ageing with wrinkles, fine lines of expression, and uneven skin texture”.

One group of 20 applied the topical cream and took the oral supplement; a second group of 20 applied the topical cream; and the third control group of 20 just applied a placebo cream.

The active cream developed for the study contained 0.02% curcumin, enough to impart an effect but a chosen dose that did not colour the skin. The extract in the cream had been taken from a curcuma source containing 21.3% curcuminoids. The curcuma supplement used in the experiment contained a curcuminoid dose of 70mg per cap.

Results showed that Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) reduced more with the nutricosmetic and topical versus just the cosmeceutical cream. Total skin elasticity and firmness “significantly” improved with the combined treatment and similarly, an epidermal assessment on dermal thickness and density showed better improvement with both the supplement and topical in combination.

“Our study showed a positive effect of both cosmetic products (cosmeceutical cream and nutricosmetic product) on the volume and area of the fine and deep wrinkles, probably related to the antioxidant potential of the curcuminoid molecules,” the researchers said.

Skin hydration improved equally after four weeks following both treatments.


Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.7705
Title: “Dermocosmetic evaluation of a nutricosmetic formulation based on Curcuma”
Authors: R. Di Lorenzo et al.

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