Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Acne Effects of Hamamelis virginiana Bark in Human Keratinocytes

Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Jun 5;11(6):1119. doi: 10.3390/antiox11061119.


Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) is recognized as one of the main triggers of the cutaneous inflammatory response in acne vulgaris, a chronic skin disorder with a multifactorial origin. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.) is a plant widely used for skin inflammatory conditions, with some preliminary anti-inflammatory evidence on the skin, but lacking data on acne conditions. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a glycolic extract from Hamamelis virginiana bark (HVE) versus C. acnes-induced inflammation in human keratinocytes (HaCaT). Phytochemical investigations of HVE identified hamamelitannin (HT) and proanthocyanidins as the most abundant compounds (respectively, 0.29% and 0.30% w/wextract). HVE inhibited C. acnes-induced IL-6 release (IC50: 136.90 μg/mL), by partially impairing NF-κB activation; however, no antibacterial or antibiofilm activities were found. In addition, HVE showed greater anti-inflammatory activity when TNF-α was used as a proinflammatory stimulus (IC50 of 38.93 μg/mL for IL-8 release), partially acting by antioxidant mechanisms, as shown for VEGF inhibition. The effects of HVE are primarily based on the proanthocyanidin content, as HT was found inactive on all the parameters tested. These results suggest further investigations of HVE in other inflammatory-based skin diseases.

Keywords: Cutibacterium acnes; Hamamelis virginiana; acne; hamamelitannin; keratinocytes; proanthocyanidins; skin inflammation.

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