Well-aging: A new strategy for skin homeostasis under multi-stressed conditions

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Feb;19(2):444-455. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13047. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Background: Several studies evidenced significant increase of cortisol is the consequence of UV or emotional stress and leads to various deleterious effects in the skin.

Aim: The well-aging, a new concept of lifestyle, procures an alternative to the anti-aging strategy. We demonstrated that Tephrosia purpurea extract is able to stimulate well-being hormones while reducing cortisol release. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the extract could positively influence the global skin homeostasis.

Method: We evaluated the impact of the extract on cortisol, β-endorphin, and dopamine, released by normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEKs). A gene expression study was realized on NHEKs and NHDFs. The protein over-expression of HMOX1 and NQO1 was evidenced at cellular and tissue level. Finally, we conducted a clinical study on 21 women living in a polluted environment in order to observe the impact of the active on global skin improvement.

Results: The extract is able to reduce significantly the cortisol release while inducing the production of β-endorphin and dopamine. The gene expression study revealed that Tephrosia purpurea extract up-regulated the genes involved in antioxidant response and skin renewal. Moreover, the induction of HMOX and NQO1 expression was confirmed on NHDFs, NHEKs and in RHE. We clinically demonstrated that the extract improved significantly the skin by reducing dark circles, represented by an improvement of L*, a*, and ITA parameters.

Conclusion: Tephrosia purpurea extract has beneficial effects on skin homeostasis through control of the well-being state and antioxidant defenses leading to an improvement of dark circles, a clinical features particularly impacted by emotional and environmental stress.

Keywords: Tephrosia purpurea extract; antioxidant; beta-endorphin; cortisol; dopamine; healthy aging; well-aging.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / psychology
  • Cell Line
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Healthy Aging / metabolism
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Stress, Psychological / metabolism
  • Tephrosia / chemistry*
  • beta-Endorphin / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • beta-Endorphin
  • HMOX1 protein, human
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • NQO1 protein, human
  • Dopamine
  • Hydrocortisone