A novel treatment option for photoaged skin

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Mar;7(1):15-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00356.x.


Background: DNA damage as a result of ultraviolet (UV) exposure plays an important role in the progression of cutaneous aging. Both folic acid and creatine have been linked to the process of DNA protection and repair.

Aims: This study aims to investigate the effects of a commercially available folic acid- and creatine-containing formulation to fight the clinical signs of premature skin aging.

Patients/methods: Both in vitro and in vivo home-in-use studies using a folic acid- and creatine-containing formulation were performed aiming to elucidate the efficacy in terms of improvement of skin regeneration, protection from UV-induced DNA damage (Comet assay), reduction of wrinkle volume, and skin visco-elasticity. Furthermore, clinical evaluation and photography were carried out to determine the improvement of clinically graded parameters after treatment.

Results: Cultured full-thickness epidermal skin models supplemented with folic acid and creatine after epithelial perturbation showed an accelerated skin regeneration compared to untreated control models. Similarly, application of a folic acid- and creatine-containing formulation significantly improved epidermal turnover in vivo as evidenced by smaller corneocytes derived from the treated sites relative to the vehicle-treated sides. In addition, topical in vivo application of this formulation significantly protected from UV-induced DNA lesions, increased skin firmness, and reduced wrinkle volume compared to untreated control areas. Expert grading confirmed a significant decrease of fine and coarse wrinkles in the periocular region as well as overall wrinkles, tactile roughness, and laxity.

Conclusions: Taken together, these results show that the combination of folic acid and creatine significantly accelerates epidermal skin regeneration in vitro and in vivo. Together with the finding of improved biomechanical skin properties, we conclude that the described topical formulation provides an effective treatment option for (photo)-aged skin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Comet Assay
  • Creatinine / administration & dosage
  • Creatinine / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Elasticity / drug effects
  • Electric Impedance
  • Epidermis / drug effects*
  • Epidermis / physiology
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Folic Acid
  • Creatinine