Gynura procumbens is a medicinal plant commonly found in tropical Asia. It is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, anti photoaging and antioxidant abilities. Antioxidants are known for their protective effect on the skin as they protect it from oxidative damage. Researches have shown that due to the high percentage of phenolic compounds found in Gynura procumbens, it exhibits natural antioxidant activity1, therefore making it a powerful natural antioxidant for the skin. Previous studies have shown that UV irradiation induces degradation of collagen in the skin2. Researches have shown that properties of Gynura procumbens inhibit the expression of the proteins responsible for the degradation of collagen induced by UV irradiation3.
rich in Gly-Pro-Hyp
Collagen has been shown to improve healing chronic wounds in randomised clinical trials4.
Collagen is the unique, triple helix protein molecule, which forms the major part of the extracellular dermal matrix (ECM) of the dermis in the skin. Together with the glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, laminin, fibronectin, elastin and cellular components are responsible for fibroblast migration, survival and metabolism5. Collagen type I, II and III acts as a scaffold in connective tissue that is deposited early in wound healing by the fibroblasts to help with the wound healing progress6-7. Marine derived collagen I has been previously shown to promote wound healing in wound models and clinical studies8-10.
Ganoderma lucidum has been shown to potentially inhibit inflammatory skin conditions and promote keratinocyte proliferation11.
Ganoderma lucidum has numerous pharmacological and therapeutic properties that make it an excellent antiallergic, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, and antiinflammatory ingredient12. Terpenoids and polysaccharides in Ganoderma, are being extensively studied for their antimicrobial properties on skin as it has been shown that they act on the bacterial cytoplasmic membranes13. Polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma show an antioxidant activity and protect tissues from reactive oxygen species toxicity14. In addition, extracts of Ganoderma show anti inflammatory activity as it has been shown to suppress cytokines responsible for inflammation such as IL-615.
rich in vitamins and minerals
Glucomannan has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, tissue regeneration acceleration, and antibacterial properties16.
Aloe vera has been used for centuries to treat skin injuries such as burns and eczemas because of its anti-inflammatory17, antimicrobial18 and wound healing properties19. The active ingredients found in the aloe vera leaf extract consist of tocopherols, organic acids, fatty acids, sugars – mannan, and phenolic compounds. Even though polysaccharides are the main constituent of aloe vera it was shown that the biological activity of aloe vera are a result of a synergistic action of a variety of compounds16. In a clinical study performed on 60 Head and Neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy as a treatment it was shown that aloe vera delayed radiation induced dermatitis20.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural polysaccharide and a key component of the extracellular matrix and is known to be involved in several mechanisms of the wound healing process such as decreasing inflammation, regulating tissue remodeling and enhancing angiogenesis22. Skin aging, both intrinsic and extrinsic (ie. by UV irradiation), is associated with loss of moisture in the skin. One key molecule responsible for maintaining the moisture in the skin is hyaluronic acid with its unique ability to bind and retain water molecules23, thus it plays a vital role in skin aging.
In a clinical trial studying wound healing in acute wounds of patients, it has been shown that hyaluronic acid was able to help decrease the wound by 70% in size, 10 days after application21. In 2012, a systematic review was published, which collected clinical trials on the usefulness of hyaluronic acid derivatives in the treatment of a wide variety of wounds: burns (including radiodermatitis), superficial surgical wounds (dermabrasion) and chronic wounds (venous ulcers and diabetic foot)24.
Cannabis seed oil
rich in cannabidiol
A valuable source of biologically active substances that reduce oxidative stress, inhibit skin aging processes and positively affect the viability of skin cells25.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are pharmacologically active ingredients produced by cannabis sativa. Humans have an endocannabinoid system that is used to regulate several processes i.e. the production of proteins26. Over 200 terpenoids are identified in C.sativa, and those are associated with medicinal properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflamatory amongst other27.Cannabis sativa seed extract impedes the mediators of inflammation that occur during wound healing28. Cannabis sativa extract, also known as hemp extract is a valuable source of biologically active substances that reduce oxidative stress, inhibit skin aging processes and positively affect the viability of skin cells25.
excellent antioxidant properties (gallic acid)
Its antioxidant properties may be beneficial to protect the skin against radiation-induced free radicals29.
Grapeseed extract has a high composition of proanthocyanidins that have the ability to trigger the release of vascular endothelial growth factor and therefore a topical application can cause wound contraction and closure faster than the normal rate. The effect on skin lesions of the topical application of the grape seed extract increased cell density and the deposition of connective tissue at the wound30. Grape seed extract has proven anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are due to high content of polyphenols, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol31. Polyphenolic compounds found in grape seed extract, specifically catechin and epicatechin, it is due to those compounds that the cell viability was increased and as a result protected the cells from UVA damage32.
Panthenol is very important in normal epithelial function. When applied topically, it is readily absorbed and rapidly converted enzymatically to pantothenic acid, a constituent of coenzyme A3. It acts as a moisturiser by improving hydration in the upper layers of the skin and preventing transepidermal water loss but it has also been shown to be involved in wound healing33. As a result, panthenol has been extensively studied both for its skin moisturising/restoring abilities and for its beneficial effects in wound healing. A research group studying the effect of dexpanthenol on the skin barrier, has shown that treatment for 7 days has improved epidermal hydration and reduced transepidermal water loss34.
Another clinical study focused on the efficacy of dexpanthenol in protecting skin against irritation. Their results suggest that dexpanthenol is able to protect the skin by preserving the hydration levels in the epidermis even in the presence of an irritant agent35. The effectiveness of dexpanthenol in wound healing has been shown by different studies, one of which focused on the topical application of dexpanthenol in in vivo models of minor skin trauma, which showed a significantly faster wound healing36. Stettler et al, researched the effects of dexpanthenol in an anti scar gel in hypertrophic scars. Their results show that after 8 weeks the scars were significantly less vascularized, less pigmented, softer, thinner, flattened and more elastic37.
Orange peel extracts main constituent is polymethoxyflavonoid (PMFs) which have shown to protect the skin against UV damage39. Citrus peel extracts have been used for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties40. Dominant compound of the peel oil are monoterpene hydrocarbons specifically limonene41. D-Limonene and its metabolite perillyl alcohol contributes significantly as an anti-inflammatory agent in murine dermal inflammation and wound-healing. D-limonene, amongst other activities assisting the wound healing process, decreases the cytokine production contributing to the reconstruction of the epidermal barrier38.
rich in naphthoquinones
Naphthoquinones found in Balsam oil possess remarkable wound healing and anti-inflammatory activities42.
Hypericum perforatum has been used both orally and topically for healing wounds and burns probably due to its antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties43. A clinical study showed that topical application of the extract on cesarean sections promoted healing and epithelial reconstruction44. Another clinical study has shown an increase in hydration and a reduction in transepidermal water loss when hypericum was applied topically in comparison to the control group44. In addition, St John’s Wort has been shown to aid with wound healing of burn wounds. When applied topically, it aided acceleration of healing of second and third degree burn wounds 3 times faster than conventional methods45.
excellent anti-inflammatory (xanthophyll)
Xanthophyll has a role in treating minor inflammation of the skin and assisting the healing process of minor wounds46.
Calendula officinalis flower extract has been widely used for the treatment of minor wounds, and it has been approved by the European Medicine Agency to be used in products that aim to reduce inflammation in the skin. In a study using scratch assays, it has been shown that Calendula had an effect on the inflammatory phase of wound healing by activating a pathway that increases IL-8 in the keratinocytes thus increasing wound closure47. Preethi et al, has found that when the calendula extract was used in an in vivo wound healing model, it led to reduced proinflammatory markers and reduced edema48. Calendula also improves distensibility, firmness and viscoelasticity in the skin49.
excellent source of fatty acids (fatty acids)
Fatty acids are the main component of shea butter that play a role in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties50-52.
Shea butter is the solid fat extracted from mature fruits of the sheu tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). 90% of its constituents are triglycerdes and 10% non-triglycerides such as oil soluble tocopherols, triterpenes, phenols, allantoin, polyphenols and karitene. Shea butter is a rich source of fatty acid, more common to found stearic, oleic, palmitic, linoleic and arachidic53.Topical use of Shea butter has shown anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties54. The anti-inflammatory properties of shea butter were proved by the inhibition of iNOS, COX-2 and cytokines55.
excellent antioxidant properties (vitamin C)
Rich in Vitamin C, it stimulates collagen synthesis and assists in antioxidant protection and photodamage56.
Cucumis sativus extract has shown antioxidant and analgesic activity. Compounds found in the extract responsible for those activities are flavonoids and tannins57. The extract is also rich in vitamin C which stimulates collagen synthesis and assists in antioxidant protection and photodamage58-59. Cucumber is used not only for its soothing effects on skin irritation but also reduces swelling. Cucumis sativus extracts have shown pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, antiwrinkle and antiaging and antimicrobial. Lactic acid an ingredient found in cucumber juice is used for dry skin, ichthyosis56. A topical skin care cream produced with cucumber extract was proven to increase trans-epidermal water loss and acts as a whitening agent60.
rich in bisaboloids (a-bisabolol molecule)
Has a role in faster reepithelialisation and wound-breaking strength61.
Chamomile, a medicinal plant, contains levomenol, bisaboloids, chamazulene, and flavonoids, which are responsible for its anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties62. It has been shown that when it is applied topically as a gel, it delays the onset of radiation dermatitis in a study conducted with head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy63. Another study by Nayak et al has shown that when chamomile extract was applied topically on the wound, it was able to reepithelialise faster and had a significantly higher wound-breaking strength in comparison to the control group61.
Lavender essential oil
rich in monoterpenes (linalool molecule)
Due to its high monoterpene content, it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties64.
Lavender oil owes its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity to its main components monoterpenes such as linalool and linalyl acetate64. It was shown in a study performed on rat models that topical application of lavender oil increased collagen synthesis by fibroblasts65. It was proven that lavender essential oil is an inhibitor of the synthesis of 4 pro-inflammatory cytokines characterizing the oil for anti-inflammatory treatment66.
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