Skin photoprotective and antiageing effects of a combination of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) polyphenols

Food Nutr Res. 2016 Jul 1:60:31871. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v60.31871. eCollection 2016.


Background: Plant polyphenols have been found to be effective in preventing ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced skin alterations. A dietary approach based of these compounds could be a safe and effective method to provide a continuous adjunctive photoprotection measure. In a previous study, a combination of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) extracts has exhibited potential photoprotective effects both in skin cell model and in a human pilot trial.

Objective: We investigated the efficacy of a combination of rosemary (R. officinalis) and grapefruit (C. paradisi) in decreasing the individual susceptibility to UVR exposure (redness and lipoperoxides) and in improving skin wrinkledness and elasticity.

Design: A randomised, parallel group study was carried out on 90 subjects. Furthermore, a pilot, randomised, crossover study was carried out on five subjects. Female subjects having skin phototype from I to III and showing mild to moderate chrono- or photoageing clinical signs were enrolled in both studies. Skin redness (a* value of CIELab colour space) after UVB exposure to 1 minimal erythemal dose (MED) was assessed in the pilot study, while MED, lipoperoxides (malondialdehyde) skin content, wrinkle depth (image analysis), and skin elasticity (suction and elongation method) were measured in the main study.

Results: Treated subjects showed a decrease of the UVB- and UVA-induced skin alterations (decreased skin redness and lipoperoxides) and an improvement of skin wrinkledness and elasticity. No differences were found between the 100 and 250 mg extracts doses, indicating a plateau effect starting from 100 mg extracts dose. Some of the positive effects were noted as short as 2 weeks of product consumption.

Conclusions: The long-term oral intake of Nutroxsun™ can be considered to be a complementary nutrition strategy to avoid the negative effects of sun exposure. The putative mechanism for these effects is most likely to take place through the inhibition of UVR-induced reactive oxygen species and the concomitant inflammatory markers (lipoperoxides and cytokines) together with their direct action on intracellular signalling pathways.

Keywords: Citrus paradisi; Rosmarinus officinalis; antiageing; clinical study; photoprotection; plants extracts.