Overall skin tone and skin-lightening-improving effects with oral supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct 7;9:325-332. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S115519. eCollection 2016.


Purpose: Carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin isomers (L/Zi), filter blue light and protect skin from environmental factors including high-energy sources. These carotenoids may be able to block the formation of melanin pathways, decrease cytokines, and increase antioxidants.

Subjects and methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial over a 12-week supplementation period. Fifty healthy people (50 healthy subjects were recruited and 46 subjects completed the study) (males and females, age: 18-45 years) with mild-to-moderate dry skin were included in this study. Skin type of the subjects was classified as Fitzpatrick skin type II-IV scale. Subjects were administered with either an oral dietary supplement containing 10 mg lutein (L) and 2 mg zeaxanthin isomers (Zi) (L/Zi: RR-zeaxanthin and RS (meso)-zeaxanthin) or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. The minimal erythemal dose and skin lightening (L*) were measured via the Chromameter®. The individual typological angle was calculated. Subjective assessments were also recorded.

Results: Overall skin tone was significantly improved in the L/Zi group compared to placebo (P<0.0237), and luminance (L*) values were significantly increased in the L/Zi group. Mean minimal erythemal dose was increased with L/Zi supplementation after 12 weeks of supplementation. L/Zi supplementation significantly increased the individual typological angle.

Conclusion: L/Zi supplementation lightens and improves skin conditions.

Keywords: individual typological angle; lutein; minimal erythemal dose; overall skin tone; skin lightening; zeaxanthin isomers.