Ageing skin: oestrogen receptor β agonists offer an approach to change the outcome

Exp Dermatol. 2011 Nov;20(11):879-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01362.x. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Oestrogen (17β estradiol) and the dietary antioxidants resveratrol, genistein and S-equol, an isoflavone produced from the gut biotransformation of soy daidzein, are effective agents to reduce ageing in skin. It is widely held that these antioxidants scavenge free radicals to prevent skin damage. However, the evidence to date suggests that the primary mechanism of action of these antioxidants is to activate oestrogen receptor β (ERβ), which in turn enhances the expression of antioxidant enzymes and inhibits the expression of snail, a transcription factor that regulates keratinocyte cell proliferation and migration. Based on their selectivity, ERβ agents provide a treatment option for ageing skin without the potential safety issues associated with oestrogen therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / agonists*
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / physiology
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Estrogens
  • Isoflavones
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Stilbenes
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Resveratrol