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Working together: Synergistic antioxidant combination treats signs of aging, photoaging


A combination of three potent antioxidants proves to be very efficient in the treatment of wrinkles and other signs of aging and photoaging.

Key Points

Research has shown that many antioxidants are effective in reducing the damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), including powerful oxidants such as hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite. And though antioxidants may all be effective individually, certain combinations can prove to be even more effective when used together, as their synergistic effect can achieve even higher potency and efficacy levels.

"We experimented with many well-known combinations of antioxidants, evaluating their strengths and synergistic effects, and found that the topical combination of proanthocyanidins, gamma tocotrienol and niacinamide (AOX, Puig S.A.) to be extremely effective in the treatment of wrinkles and photodamaged and aging skin," says David Panyella, Ph.D., head of research at Puig Beauty and Fashion Group, Barcelona, Spain.

In the in vitro study, HaCaT keratinocyte cell lines were mixed with the combination of antioxidants and then exposed to 5, 10 and 100 mJ/cm2 of UVB irradiation. Cell renewal and UVB cell protection and DNA damage (using the comet assay) were evaluated after 24 hours of mixture treatment on the cell culture.

In the in vivo study, 50 women aged 40 to 50 years applied the antioxidant combination cream (PAYOT AOX) to the face twice a day for one month, each participant completing self-assessment questionnaires. Another group of 10 women using the same daily regimen for one month underwent biomedical tests evaluating skin hydration, skin biomechanical properties and anti-wrinkle efficacy.


The results of the in vitro study showed a synergistic HaCaT keratinocyte proliferation with the mixture as well as an improved cell protection against 50 mJ/cm2 UVB radiation. The DNA protection on the pretreated cells exposed to UVB was 37 percent at 100 mJ/cm3.

According to Dr. Panyella, the increased protection here is important because it was achieved without the use of any UV filter. If a filter were used, the protection from harmful UV rays would be much higher.

Results of the in vivo study showed there was a fast or flash hydration of the skin of patients, which lasted approximately six hours. At the one-month follow-up, the different biophysical parameters in regard to the visco-elasticity of the skin showed that the elasticity was improved, and the extensibility of the skin and wrinkles were reduced.

"After a twice-a-day, one-month treatment with this oil-in-water antioxidant combination cream, not only was the skin more elastic, but the strength of the skin was increased, as seen in a tighter skin tone, likely due to a strengthening of the elastic and collagen fibers in the dermis," says Francisco Balaguer, head of skincare development at Puig.

According to Dr. Panyella, the antioxidant combination proved to stimulate the renewal of cells including keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Also, the formulation had a very effective anti-wrinkle effect, as the surface of the skin in patients was much smoother after one month of treatment.

"The antioxidants in this unique combination each individually have different effects on the skin. More than just being free radical scavengers, they also stimulate collagen formation. Ultrasound examinations of treated skin have demonstrated a denser extra-cellular matrix, which is likely due to an increase in the collagen fibers after only one month of treatment," says Mar Recasens, Ph.D., head of the biocellular laboratory at Puig S.A. and co-author of the study.

Disclosures: This study was sponsored by Puig S.A.

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