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Biomed Pharmacother. 1999 May;53(4):181-92.

Skin antioxidants: their role in aging and in oxidative stress--new approaches for their evaluation.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


Skin is a highly metabolic tissue which possesses the largest surface area in the body and serves as the protective layer for internal organs [1]. Skin is also a major candidate and target of oxidative stress. It is designed to give both physical and biochemical protection, and is equipped with a large number of defense mechanisms. The skin tissue is exposed to a variety of damaging species which originate in the outer environment, in the skin itself, and in various endogenous sources [2, 3]. The structure of skin is quite complex being composed of several layers, each of which plays a specific role and carries out different functions [4]. Each layer is equipped with its own arsenal of defense molecules, and the various systems differ from each other based on the layer's susceptibility to oxidative stress and its function. It is generally agreed that one of the major and important contributions to skin aging, skin disorders and skin diseases results from reactive oxygen species (ROS) [1, 5]. Due to the high occurrence of potential biological targets for oxidative damage, skin is very susceptible to such reactions. For example, skin is rich in lipids, proteins, and DNA, all of which are extremely sensitive to the oxidation process [6-8]. Elucidation of the mechanisms involved in skin oxidation and the examination of the defense systems may contribute to the understanding of skin aging and of the mechanisms involved in the various pathological processes of skin. This review addresses the antioxidant defense mechanism of the skin, the role it plays during the aging process, and the role skin has following exposure to oxidative stresses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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