Evaluation of the antioxidative capability of commonly used antioxidants in dermocosmetics by in vivo detection of protein carbonylation in human stratum corneum

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2012 Jul 2:112:7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2012.03.013. Epub 2012 Apr 7.


We present an in vivo test platform to evaluate the antioxidative capability of seven frequently used dermocosmetic antioxidants on the human stratum corneum (SC). It has been reported that the protein carbonylation could be used as a biomarker for oxidative stress. The current study detects the change of the level of exposed protein carbonyl group in the most outer layer of human SC. The concentration of the antioxidant in each subject emulsion formulation was 0.5% (w/w). The data indicated that alpha-tocopherol (α-Vit E) and ascorbic acid (Vit C) have excellent antioxidative capability and α-Vit E-acetate possesses better than the average antioxidative capability. The bioconversion of α-Vit E-acetate to α-Vit E may occur in the human SC during a less than 2 weeks time course test. Lipoic acid possessed moderate antioxidative capability. Ascorbyl 6-palmitate had a low antioxidative capability. Ascorbic acid 2-glucoside represented an insignificant antioxidative capability. Glutathion (GSH) had no effect on reducing oxidative damage to human SC proteins, implying that the GSH recycling system could be absent in human SC. This test platform is an useful tool to evaluate the antioxidative efficiency of antioxidants on human SC proteins.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cosmetics / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Carbonylation / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Thioctic Acid / pharmacology
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Cosmetics
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • ascorbic acid 2-O-glucoside
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • 6-O-palmitoylascorbic acid