Malaysian researchers formulate and test skin lightening cream containing betel leaf extract in human subjects

Piper betleL is a leaf native to Malaysia also known as sireh. It is believed that its skin lightening effect is due to a compound named hydroxychavicol (1-allyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzene).

Currently, most skin lightening agents are based on chemicals such as hydroquinone, arbutin, tretinoin, and alpha hydroxy acids (kojic acid, gycolic acid, and lactic acid). These work by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, which decreases the production of melanin from melanin, leading to a depigmenting or whitening effect.

However, these agents tend to cause unwanted effects such as skin irritation and contact dermatitis. This has therefore sparked interest in finding alternative skin lightening agents from natural sources such as plant extracts, with the belief that they are safer to use than synthetic chemical agents.

In this study, the researchers formulated a cream containing Piper betleExtract of L., which could potentially be a new alternative in the field of skin lightening. The results were published in the Beauty productsnewspaper.

In vivo studyIn addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Researchers from the International Islamic University of Malaysia and the National University of Malaysia have formulated an oil-in-water cream containing Piper betleL. extract, and a base cream without the extract.

Both creams contain lecithin, pectin, xanthan gum, and beeswax as emulsifying agents that help stabilize the cream, preventing it from separating into its oily and watery components.

Both formulations also have a small particle size, ultra fine for the base cream and fine for the test cream, which promotes better viscosity and stability.

It was then tested on human volunteers to study its properties and benefits.

A total of 30 participants were recruited and divided into two groups. Subjects with skin diseases, including eczema, psoriasis or severe acne, were excluded from the study.

One group received the cream containing betle extract, and the other the base cream.

They were instructed to apply the cream twice a day to part of the left forearm (between the wrist and the elbow), for four weeks. The amount of cream applied was 0.1 ml for a skin surface area of ​​approximately 20 cm2.

After four weeks, the researchers measured the melanin content, skin tone, hydration and elasticity of their skin.

Skin lighteningIn addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The results showed a significant reduction in melanin content in the group using the cream containing betel extract but not the base cream users.

The cream with betel extract reduced the melanin content from ∑ = 37.14 at week 0 to ∑ = 33.48 at week 4. In the base cream, the melanin content remained stagnant throughout the four weeks, starting with ∑ = 36.1 initially and 36 = 36.02 at the final reading.

The researchers said that the lowering effect of melanin may be contributed by a bioactive compound (hydroxychavicol) in Piper betleL., which has a skin lightening effect exerted by its anti-tyrosinase activity.

This compound inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby reducing the production of melanin and providing a skin lightening effect. The results also prove that while there are other ingredients with skin lightening potential in the formulation, such as ascorbic acid, tocopherol acetate and chitosan, their content is not. strong enough to cause a skin lightening effect, as the results of the base cream show.. “

For skin tone, cream with betel extract showed a significant reduction (p= 0.003), from -40.06 (classified as dark) initially, to -31.8 (classified as brown) in the fourth week.

The changes in skin tone for the base cream group were not significant. Week 4 baseline values ​​fluctuated between -36.38 and -39.59 while remaining within the dark skin classification.

Elasticity and hydration In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Skin elasticity also improved significantly in both user groups.

Initial baseline values ​​for both groups ranged from 550 to 800 msec, placing them in the 30-50 year age category. After four weeks, the values ​​decreased to 300 to 550 ms, indicating that the skin had become more elastic, placing them in the 20 to 30 age range.

Researchers believe that hydroxychavicol and other ingredients in the formulation such as ascorbic acid and tocopherol acetate have antioxidant activities that help scavenge reactive oxygen species and slow aging, improving aging. elasticity of the skin.

Additionally, betel extract contains phenols and flavonoids, which are antioxidants.

For hydration, there were no significant improvements for the two creams.

The researchers explained that collecting hydration data can be difficult with many external factors affecting skin hydration.

One of the many factors includes water intake, which can cause very dehydrated skin when not taken enough. Apart from this, environmental factors, such as sun exposure, can also lead to dehydration of the skin, as the skin is one of the main routes for water loss through perspiration. Other variables that can influence skin hydration are the weather on the day of the test (relative humidity) and skin exposure to water (showering, washing hands) which can lead to inconsistencies in the data. ‘hydration collected.. “

Based on these results, the researchers conclude that its formulation is suitable for topical use to reduce melanin content and improve skin tone and elasticity.

Source: Cosmetics

Lightening effect of skin lightening cream containing Piper betle L. extract in human volunteers

Authors: Sharifah Shakirah Syed Omar, et al.

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