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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2008 Jun;30(3):183-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00442.x.

Preparation and characterization of herbal creams for improvement of skin viscoelastic properties.

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Institute of Pharmacy, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh 03132002, India.


The aim of this study was to formulate and evaluate herbal cosmetic creams for their improvement of skin viscoelastic and hydration properties. The cosmetic cream formulations were designed by using ethanolic extracts of Glycyrriza glabra, Curcuma longa (roots), seeds of Psorolea corlifolia, Cassia tora, Areca catechu, Punica granatum, fruits of Embelica officinale, leaves of Centella asiatica, dried bark of Cinnamon zeylanicum and fresh gel of Aloe vera in varied concentrations (0.12-0.9%w/w) and characterized using physicochemical and physiological measurements. The ethanolic extracts of herbs were incorporated in a cream base that is prepared by a phase inversion emulsification technique. The cream base was prepared by utilizing oil of Prunus amagdalus, Sesamum indicum, honey, cetyl alcohol, stearic acid, polysorbate monoleate, sorbitan monostearate, propylene glycol and glycerin. Physicochemical assessments and microbiological testing were completed for all formulations according to the methods of the Indian Standard Bureau. The studies were carried out for 6 weeks on normal subjects (6 males and 12 females, between 22 and 50 years) on the back of their volar forearm for evaluation of viscoelastic properties in terms of extensibility via a suction measurement, firmness using laboratory fabricated instruments such as ball bouncing and skin hydration using electric (resistance) measurement methods. The physicochemical parameters of formulations CAA1-CAA6, i.e. pH, acid value, saponification value, viscosity, spreadability, layer thickness microbial count and skin sensitivity were found to be in the range of 5.01 +/- 0.4-6.07 +/- 0.6, 3.3-5.1 +/- 0.2, 20-32, 5900-6755 cps, 60-99%, 25-50 mum, 31-46 colony-forming units (CFU) and a 0-1 erythema score. The formulations, CAA4 and CAA5, showed an increase in percentage extensibility (32.27 +/- 1.7% and 29.89 +/- 1.64%, respectively), firmness (28.86 +/- 0.86% and 29.89 +/- 2.8%, respectively) and improved skin hydration (15.97 +/- 0.55 and 18.27 +/- 0.99%, respectively) and were found more effective compared with the control product (C7) after the 6- week study.

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