11-30-2007, 12:01 AM
Study - Herbal Skin Cream Improves "Firmness"
Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, split-face study on the clinical efficacy of Tricutan(r) on skin firmness.
Phytomed. November 5, 2007;14(11):711-715.
Aging causes the skin to become thinner and less elastic. Exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight damages the skin and leads to wrinkles, pigment changes, and skin cancer.
Consumers are searching for safe, non-surgical treatments to make their skin look younger and healthier. Application of vitamin A derivatives (retinoids), antioxidants, or herbal extracts to the skin may be helpful in reducing the signs of aging.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a topical herbal gel on skin firmness, elasticity, and appearance in healthy women.
The study used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled design, and it was conducted at a dermatology clinic in Lindingo, Sweden. The subjects were healthy women who responded to a newspaper advertisement.
The topical herb gel, known as Tricutan(r) (Adderma AB, Stockholm, Sweden), contains rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) extract, gotu kola (Centella asiatica) extract, tetrahydrocurcumin derived from turmeric (Curcuma longa), and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE).
DMAE is a naturally occurring compound that is related to choline and is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The subjects were randomly assigned to apply Tricutan gel to either the right side of the face or the left side of the face twice daily for 4 weeks.
The subjects applied a placebo gel to the other side of the face. The women were given a mild soap and a moisturizing cream to use during the study.
Skin firmness and elasticity were assessed using a device that measures how fast a mechanical signal is transmitted through the skin. The device records resonance running time (RRTM), with lower values indicating firmer and more elastic skin.
After a clinical examination, a dermatologist evaluated skin appearance. Subjects evaluated their own skin appearance using a self-assessment form.
The facial skin treated with Tricutan gel was compared to the facial skin treated with placebo gel at the beginning of the study and after 4 weeks of treatment.
Twenty eight women ranging in age from 34 to 67 years were enrolled in the study, and 25 women completed the study. Three women discontinued treatment because they developed mild irritative dermatitis.
After 4 weeks of treatment, mean RRTM values were significantly lower for the Tricutan-treated skin compared to the placebo-treated skin (P < 0.01). Women perceived skin appearance to be significantly better for the Tricutan-treated skin compared to the placebo-treated skin (P < 0.02). The dermatologist found that Tricutan gel had a better overall effect on the skin than placebo gel (P < 0.01).
The author explains that DMAE and the herbal components of Tricutan have been shown in animal and in vitro studies to inhibit inflammatory processes in the skin, reduce skin damage caused by free radicals, increase skin collagen synthesis, and improve wound healing.