Skin improvement and stability of Echinacea purpurea dermatological formulations

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2010 Oct;32(5):340-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00559.x.


Echinacea purpurea contains many beneficial constituents for protection of skin from oxidative stress and for improving hydration of skin. This study aimed to investigate the stability and dermatological efficacy of E. purpurea cream and gel. Echinacea purpurea extract was incorporated into suitable cream and gel bases. Stability of the extract in the formulations was investigated by determining its residual total phenolic content and antioxidant activity after storage at 4°C, 30°C and 40°C for 6 months. The effect of those formulations on skin irritation, hydration level and wrinkle reduction was evaluated in 10 healthy volunteers, aged 25-40 years. The shelf lives of E. purpurea cream and gel in terms of total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were only 2 and 4 months respectively at 4°C and could be extended up to 7 months by incorporation of α-tocopherol or disodium editate. The corneometer hydration indices increased up to 10.6 AU and 11.4 AU, and the wrinkles decreased 9.47% and 14.92% because of the application of E. purpurea cream and gel for 1 month. Both formulations showed no irritation to skin. Echinacea purpurea cream and gel developed in this study were effective in improving skin hydration and reducing wrinkle, but showed low storage stability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Echinacea / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Plant Extracts