Ageing is the phase of gradual decline of body efficiency and metabolic activities after reaching a maturity stage. Free radicals cause oxidative alterations in collagen, elastin material and changes in membrane characteristics and induce polymerization reactions. Use of topical antioxidants can overcome some of these effects and retard actinic ageing. Herbal products are popular due to their minimum risk of side-effects with maximum efficacy. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antiageing potential of Benincasa hispida fruit extract as not many scientific studies have been carried out to explore its utility as skin renewal enhancer and as an antioxidant. After removing the outer layer and the seeds, the fruit pulp was dried. The dried fruit pulp was extracted successively with petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate and methanol by Soxhlation for 2 days. Methanol was recovered under vacuum and a dry extract was obtained (yield 4.2% w/w), which was stored in a desiccator. Suitable topical cream base for effective carriage of fruit extract was developed and its in vitro evaluation for skin renewal activity was tested by application to the stratum corneum of human cadaver skin and by dansyl chloride fluorescence method. The results show that the cream prepared from Benincasa fruit extract may prove as an antiageing preparation and can be used for retarding the symptoms of ageing.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Benincasa hispida; antiageing; dansyl chloride; wax gourd.