Red ginseng oil promotes hair growth and protects skin against UVC radiation

J Ginseng Res. 2021 Jul;45(4):498-509. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2020.12.008. Epub 2021 Jan 16.


Background: A wide range of environmental factors, such as diseases, nutritional deficiencies, ageing, hormonal imbalances, stress, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, may affect the structure and function of the skin that covers the entire surface of the human body. In this study, we investigated roles of red ginseng oil (RGO) in enhancing skin functions, including hair growth and skin protection, using mouse models.

Methods: For hair growth experiment, shaved dorsal skins of C57BL/6 mice were topically applied with vehicle, RGO, RGO's major compounds, or minoxidil for consecutive 21 days and skin tissues were examined the hair growth promoting capacity. For skin protection experiment, SKH-1 hairless mice were topically applied with vehicle or RGO twice a day for three days prior to exposure to UVC radiation at 20 kJ/cm2. Skin tissues were collected to evaluate skin protective effects of RGO.

Results: Topical application of RGO to C57BL/6 mice effectively promoted hair regeneration by inducing early telogen-to-anagen transition and significantly increasing the density and bulb diameter of hair follicles. Major compounds, including linoleic acids and β-sitosterol, contributed to RGO-promoted hair growth. Treatment with RGO as well as its major components upregulated expression of hair growth-related proteins. Furthermore, in SKH-1 hairless mice, RGO had a protective effect against UVC-induced skin damage by inhibiting inflammation and apoptosis, as well as inducing cytoprotective systems.

Conclusion: These data suggest that RGO may be a potent agent for improving skin health and thereby preventing and/or treating hair loss and protecting skin against UV radiation.

Keywords: Hair growth; Red ginseng oil; Skin protection; UV radiation.