Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the whitening and antioxidant activities of essential oils from Cryptomeria japonica by determining their tyrosinase inhibition, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activities.
Methods: Essential oils of C. japonica leaves were extracted with distilled water, and after condensation of volatile constituents, the condensates were extracted with ethyl acetate. Crude essential oils of C. japonica were divided into six fractions by thin layer chromatography and open column chromatography, and their chemical analysis was performed by GC/MS. Major compounds of fractions were composed of kaurene, bornyl acetate, nezukol, (-)-4-terpineol, δ-cadinene, α-terpineol, γ-eudesmol, α-eudesmol and elemol.
Results: For tyrosinase inhibitory activity using two substrates, l-tyrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA), kaurene, bornyl acetate and nezukol were highly effective. In antioxidant activity, (-)-4-terpinenol and δ-cadinene showed high DPPH radical scavenging activity, and bornyl acetate and nezukol indicated extremely high SOD-like activity.
Conclusion: Therefore, bornyl acetate and nezukol fractionated from C. japonica essential oil, which showed highly active whitening and antioxidant activities, have potential applications in cosmeceutical materials.
Keywords: Cryptomeria japonica; antioxidant activity; bornyl acetate; essential oils; nezukol; whitening activity.
© 2013 Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Société Française de Cosmétologie.