A Double-Blind Randomized Pilot Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Topical MEP in the Facial Appearance Improvement of Estrogen Deficient Females

J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 Nov 1;17(11):1186 - 1189.


Facial skin aging is accelerated in postmenopausal females due to decreased collagen, reduced hydration, and loss of skin elasticity constituting the characteristics of estrogen deficient skin (EDS). The presence of estrogen receptors on dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes confirms the role of estrogen in skin health. This research examined the efficacy and tolerability of topical methyl estradiolpropanoate (MEP) as an anti-aging cosmeceutical with estrogen like cutaneous effects in postmenopausal women who had never taken hormone replacement therapy (HRT). MEP was applied to the face twice daily for 14 weeks but was metabolized in the skin to an inactive compound avoiding estrogen side effects, as demonstrated by the safety study. The efficacy study investigator noted MEP induced statistically significant improvement from baseline at week 14 in dryness (P<0.001), laxity (P=0.001), atrophy (P=0.003), and dullness (P<0.001) as compared to vehicle. Four of nine subjects in the biopsy sub study demonstrated an increase in fibroblasts estrogen receptor staining. The novel concept of a safe and efficacious soft estrogen facial cosmeceutical may provide appearance benefits for postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Estradiol / therapeutic use*
  • Estrogens / deficiency*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postmenopause*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Estrogens
  • Estradiol