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Understanding Solar Skin Elastosis–Cause and Treatment

Journal of Cosmetic Science | Vol. 69 No. 3
Authored by Sabine Pain, Nicolas Berthélémy, Corinne Naudin, Véronique Degrave, and Valérie André-Frei


Photoageing, also called actinic ageing, is the main cause of prematurely aged skin. Our expertise in elastic fibers has led us to discover a process triggered in response to ultraviolet (UV) light and which upsets the balance of elastin fibers: there is too much elastin and insufficient lysyl oxidase (LOXL1) enzyme to form functional elastic fibers. This imbalance then leads to an accumulation of nonfunctional elastin, which forms aggregates. In addition to this imbalance, UV rays also induce elafin synthesis by fibroblasts. Known to be a marker of elastotic aggregates, elafin crystallizes the elastin fibers and stimulates the formation of aggregates that cannot be naturally eliminated by the skin. We developed a Hamamelis virginiana leaf extract that was able to restore both the balance between elastin and LOXL1 and to decrease the elafin synthesis to fight and correct the damage. This specific Hamamelis virginiana extract increased LOXL1 expression by twofold and decreased elafin synthesis. As a consequence, elastic fibers became functional and aggregates of unfunctional fibers decreased. The specific Hamamelis extract activity was confirmed in vivo with decreasing wrinkles and improving skin firmness.

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