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Int J Cosmet Sci. 1998 Aug;20(4):223-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.176608.x.

Study of the refirming effect of a plant complex.

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1
Provital S.A. Pol. Ind. Santiga, Talleres 6, Barberádel Vallés, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

Loss of skin elasticity is one of the main problems of ageing. This is a mechanical property influenced by elastin, a protein in the dermis which, together with collagen and glycosaminoglycans, makes up the connective tissue. This tissue is affected by a large number of events (such as cutaneous ageing, pregnancy, slimming processes and cellulitis) which eventually cause it to change. At the same time, the metabolism of the proteins of the connective tissue decreases and there is an ever greater presence of enzymes, principally elastases and collagenases, which are responsible for breaking down the elastin and the collagen. One way to prevent such a loss of elasticity is to use active ingredients that are able to inhibit elastase enzymes. A plant complex was prepared using the following plants: lady's thistle (Silybum marianum GAERTN), alchemilla or yarrow (Alchemilla vulgaris L.), horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) as well as germinated seeds (Glycine soja Siebold and Zucc., Triticum vulgare Vilars, Medicago sativa L., Raphanus sativus L.). The complex was standardized to give the corresponding active principles, silybin, tannins, silicon and peptides, respectively, and in vitro enzymatic tests were carried out to establish its ability to inhibit elastase. The study of enzymatic inhibition was carried out using two enzymes: (1) porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE), and (2) human leukocyte elastase (HLE). The results showed that the plant complex presents non-competitive inhibition in the order of 41.0% against PPE and 50.0% against HLE. An in vivo test was made alongside the in vitro test using an SEM 474 Cutometer (Courage & Khazaka) to study the elasticity of the skin, and positive effects were obtained when applying a cosmetic formulation containing 5% of the plant complex. Image analysis of duplicates of the cutaneous surface, before and after treatment began with a product containing 5% of plant complex and showed that wrinkles were decreased by 36.7%.

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