Krill Oil's Protective Benefits against Ultraviolet B-Induced Skin Photoaging in Hairless Mice and In Vitro Experiments

Mar Drugs. 2023 Aug 30;21(9):479. doi: 10.3390/md21090479.


Krill oil (KO) shows promise as a natural marine-derived ingredient for improving skin health. This study investigated its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-wrinkle, and moisturizing effects on skin cells and UVB-induced skin photoaging in hairless mice. In vitro assays on HDF, HaCaT, and B16/F10 cells, as well as in vivo experiments on 60 hairless mice were conducted. A cell viability assay, diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity test, elastase inhibition assay, procollagen content test, MMP-1 inhibition test, and hyaluronan production assay were used to experiment on in vitro cell models. Mice received oral KO administration (100, 200, or 400 mg/kg) once a day for 15 weeks and UVB radiation three times a week. L-Ascorbic acid (L-AA) was orally administered at 100 mg/kg once daily for 15 weeks, starting from the initial ultraviolet B (UVB) exposures. L-AA administration followed each UVB session (0.18 J/cm2) after one hour. In vitro, KO significantly countered UVB-induced oxidative stress, reduced wrinkles, and prevented skin water loss by enhancing collagen and hyaluronic synthesis. In vivo, all KO dosages showed dose-dependent inhibition of oxidative stress-induced inflammatory photoaging-related skin changes. Skin mRNA expressions for hyaluronan synthesis and collagen synthesis genes also increased dose-dependently after KO treatment. Histopathological analysis confirmed that krill oil (KO) ameliorated the damage caused by UVB-irradiated skin tissues. The results imply that KO could potentially act as a positive measure in diminishing UVB-triggered skin photoaging and address various skin issues like wrinkles and moisturization when taken as a dietary supplement.

Keywords: krill oil; marine-derived ingredients; skin photoaging; ultraviolet.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Euphausiacea*
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Skin
  • Skin Aging*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Collagen
  • Ascorbic Acid