Moringa oleifera has gained increasing popularity as a food supplement but not in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic area. The aim of this study was the preparation, characterization, and evaluation of extracts from the leaves of Moringa oleifera as a herbal sun care phytocomplex. Three different extracts of Moringa oleifera leaves, from Senegal, have been prepared and chemically characterized in the phenolic fraction by HPLC-DAD and Folin-Ciocalteu test. To explore photoprotective properties, an extensive evaluation of UV filtering, antioxidant (DPPH, FRAP, ORAC, PCL), and anti-hyperproliferative (human melanoma Colo38 cells) capacities have been conducted. Furthermore, a formulation study regarding cosmetic prototypes has been carried out in order to determine the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), which was assessed in vitro. The extracts were demonstrated to confer significant values of protection, with an SPF 2, that corresponds to a 50% protection against UV-B rays, at concentrations as low as 2% to 4%. Finally, the evaluation on potential irritation of the finished formulations was conducted by Patch Test and no significant irritant potential was observed. These evidence enlarged the already significant number of activities and potential uses of this plant, which is well-known for its importance in the medicinal and nutritional fields.
Keywords: Moringa oleifera; SPF determination; anti-proliferative activity; dermo-cosmetic safety; natural sunscreen; sustainable sources.