Background: Despite an abundance of nutritional supplements, very few well-controlled trials have assessed their beneficial effect on the skin, such as hydration, antioxidant levels, texture or appearance. The objective of the following placebo-controlled, double-blind study was to determine the effects of the Skin Health Experimental Product (SHEP) on skin health.
Methods: The study enrolled healthy men and women aged 30 years or older. Subjects were randomized to receive a twice-daily regimen of SHEP or placebo. The effects SHEP had on overall skin appearance and health were assessed by measuring improvements in: (1) skin hydration using a closed-aperture transepidermal water-loss moisture meter and a vapometer; (2) skin texture using silicon profilometry; (3) skin carotenoid concentration using Raman spectrometry; and (4) reported self-image assessments using the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (GAIS).
Results: SHEP-treated subjects demonstrated a significant reduction in fine lines compared to the placebo-treated group. Raman spectroscopy showed that SHEP increased carotenoids at some measurement sites. Based on the GAIS, SHEP-treated subjects were three times more likely to perceive an improvement in their appearance compared to placebo-treated subjects (P>0.049).
Conclusion: The orally-administered SHEP nutritional supplement improves skin texture, carotenoid levels in specific areas of the hand, and improves patients' perception of skin health.