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J Ginseng Res. 2018 Jul;42(3):327-333. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 21.

Applications of Panax ginseng leaves-mediated gold nanoparticles in cosmetics relation to antioxidant, moisture retention, and whitening effect on B16BL6 cells.

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Graduate School of Biotechnology and Ginseng Bank, College of Life Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Republic of Korea.
Department of Oriental Medicinal Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Republic of Korea.



Bioactive compounds in plant extracts are able to reduce metal ions to nanoparticles through the process of green synthesis. Panax ginseng is an oriental medicinal herb and an adaptogen which has been historically used to cure various diseases. In addition, the P. ginseng leaves-mediated gold nanoparticles are the value-added novel materials. Its potential as a cosmetic ingredient is still unexplored. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant, moisture retention and whitening properties of gold nanoparticles (PgAuNPs) in cosmetic applications.


Cell-free experiments were performed to evaluate PgAuNP's antioxidant and moisture retention properties and inhibition activity on mushroom tyrosinase. Furthermore, in vitro cell cytotoxicity was evaluated using normal human dermal fibroblast and murine B16BL6 melanoma cells (B16) after treatment with increasing concentrations of PgAuNPs for 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. Finally, in vitro cell assays on B16 cells were performed to evaluate the whitening effect of PgAuNPs through reduction of cellular melanin content and tyrosinase activity.


In vitro DPPH radical scavenging assay results revealed that PgAuNPs exhibited antioxidant activity in a dose-dependent manner. PgAuNPs exhibited moisture retention capacity and effectively inhibited mushroom tyrosinase. In addition, 3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide results revealed that PgAuNPs were not toxic to human dermal fibroblast and B16 cells; in addition, they significantly reduced melanin content, tyrosinase activity, and mRNA expression of melanogenesis-associated transcription factor and tyrosinase in B16 cells.


Our study is the first report to provide evidence supporting that P. ginseng leaves-capped gold nanoparticles could be used as multifunctional ingredients in cosmetics.


Panax ginseng leaves; antioxidant; antityrosinase activity; gold nanoparticles; moisture retention

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