A Hibiscus Abelmoschus seed extract as a protective active ingredient to favour FGF-2 activity in skin

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Dec;31(6):419-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00538.x.


In the skin, heparin, heparan sulphate and heparan sulphate proteoglycans control the storage and release of growth factors and protect them from early degradation. We developed a cosmetic active ingredient containing Hibiscus Abelmoschus seed extract (trade name Linefactor) that can maintain the FGF-2 content in the skin by mimicking the protective effect of heparan sulphate proteoglycans. By preventing the natural degradation of FGF-2, Hibiscus Abelmoschus seed extract maintains the bioavailability of this growth factor for its target cells, i.e. skin fibroblasts. Our in vitro evaluations showed that this ingredient exhibited heparan sulphate-like properties and dose-dependently protected FGF-2 from thermal degradation. We could also show that, in turn, the protected FGF-2 could stimulate the synthesis of sulphated GAGs, the natural protective molecules for FGF-2, thus providing a double protection. Finally, the in vitro results were confirmed in vivo thanks to a clinical study in which skin biomechanical properties and reduction in wrinkles were assessed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Hibiscus / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Surface Properties


  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2