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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2008 Apr;30(2):113-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00424.x.

Efficacy of oleuropein against UVB irradiation: preliminary evaluation.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.


Oleuropein, a phenolic compound derived from olive leaves and oil, is known to possess several biological properties, many of which may be attributed to its antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities. Nevertheless, up to now, the cosmetic activity of this molecule has not been extensively investigated. The aim of this work was to evaluate the cosmetic properties of oleuropein against UVB-induced erythema. To this end, an emulsion and an emulgel containing oleuropein were prepared, applied and evaluated on healthy volunteers who had undergone UVB irradiation to investigate its protective and/or lenitive activity. Protective effect was assayed by application of topical preparations before irradiation and lenitive effect was evaluated after erythema induction. Vitamin E was used as the reference compound. Our study was carried out by using noninvasive techniques to assess specific skin parameters: barrier function, skin colour and microcirculation. Results clearly showed that oleuropein formulations highlighted lenitive efficacy by reducing erythema, transepidermal water loss and blood flow of about 22%, 35% and 30% respectively. The study allowed us to point out the lenitive property of oleuropein, opening the way to further trials to deepen our specific knowledge about this natural molecule, which could be used in association with other active ingredients in cosmetics to repair UV damages.

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