Topical Administration of Manuka Oil Prevents UV-B Irradiation-Induced Cutaneous Photoaging in Mice

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013:2013:930857. doi: 10.1155/2013/930857. Epub 2013 May 26.


Manuka tree is indigenous to New Zealand, and its essential oil has been used as a traditional medicine to treat wounds, fever, and pain. Although there is a growing interest in the use of manuka oil for antiaging skin care products, little is known about its bioactivity. Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the primary environmental factor causing skin damage and consequently premature aging. Therefore, we evaluated manuka oil for its effects against photoaging in UV-B-irradiated hairless mice. Topical application of manuka oil suppressed the UV-B-induced increase in skin thickness and wrinkle grading in a dose-dependent manner. Application of 10% manuka oil reduced the average length, depth, and % area of wrinkles significantly, and this was correlated with inhibition of loss of collagen fiber content and epidermal hyperplasia. Furthermore, we observed that manuka oil could suppress UV-B-induced skin inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. Taken together, this study provides evidence that manuka oil indeed possesses antiphotoaging activity, and this is associated with its inhibitory activity against skin inflammation induced by UV irradiation.