Nutraceuticals for Skin Care: A Comprehensive Review of Human Clinical Studies

Nutrients. 2018 Mar 24;10(4):403. doi: 10.3390/nu10040403.


The skin is the body's largest organ, it participates in sensitivity and offers protection against microorganisms, chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Consequently, the skin may suffer alterations such as photo-ageing, immune dysfunction and inflammation which may significantly affect human health. Nutraceuticals represent a promising strategy for preventing, delaying, or minimising premature ageing of the skin and also to alleviate certain skin disorders. Among them, bioactive peptides and oligosaccharides, plant polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids are the most widely used ingredients. Supplementation with these products has shown evidence of having an effect on the signs of ageing and protection against UV radiation ageing in several human trials. In this review, the most relevant human studies on skin nutraceuticals are evaluated and the statistical resolution, biological relevance of their results, and, the trial protocols are discussed. In conclusion, quality and rigorousness of the trials must be improved to build credible scientific evidence for skin nutraceuticals and to establish a cause-effect relationship between the ingredients the beneficial effects for the skin.

Keywords: natural compound; nutraceutical; polyphenols; skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Care / adverse effects
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Sunlight / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects