Polyphenol-rich blend of ingredients may protect skin from pollutants, says recent study

April 6, 2021
Sebastian Krawiec

A recent study found that a polyphenol-enriched dietary supplement called Zeropollution may help reduce oxidative-stress induced skin damage related to air pollution in urban areas.

A recent study published in Food and Nutrition Research1 found that a polyphenol-enriched dietary supplement called Zeropollution from Monteloeder SL (Alicante, Spain) may help reduce oxidative-stress induced skin damage related to air pollution in urban areas. In the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, 100 female outdoor workers (50% Asian and 50% Caucasian) living in Milan were given either placebo or the polyphenol-rich blend of Olea europaea leaf, Lippia citriodora, Rosmarinus officinalis, and Sophora japonica every day for 12 weeks. In the dietary supplement, the Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract is standardized to 4.5% diterpenes, the Olea Europaea leaf extract is standardized to 4.5% oleuropein and 1.5% hydroxytyrosol, the Lippia citriodora leaf extract standardized to 6.5% verbascoside, and the Sophora japonica extract is standardized to 3.5% quercetin.

The primary endpoints measured by researchers were total antioxidant capacity in the saliva at baseline, 4, and 12 weeks, and oxidative damage of the skin at baseline, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after intervention. Secondary endpoints of skin moisturization, sebum content, elasticity, color, radiance, and roughness were measured at baseline, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after intervention. During the course of the study, subjects were exposed to airborne particulate matter of 10 microns or less above WHO air quality guidelines (>20 μg/m3) for 90% of the study, and above 50 μg/m3 for 36% of the study. They were also exposed to particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less above WHO healthy limits (10 μg/m3) 96% of the time and above the 25 μg/m3 limit 60% of the time.

Results showed that subjects taking the polyphenol-rich supplement experienced significantly less lipid peroxidation based on malondialdehyde (MDA) content as well as a significant increase in total antioxidant capacity of saliva, compared to placebo. The condition of subjects’ skin was also improved through supplementation, with the experimental group experiencing statistically better epidermal barrier function, a significant increase in skin moisture content, significant reductions in wrinkle depth and skin roughness, and significant improvements in skin elasticity, color, and radiance. No significant differences were found between the two ethnicities in the experimental group.

Pollution weakens the skin’s natural barrier and has been linked to premature skin aging. The study suggests that the antioxidant activities of phenolic compounds can protect our skin from pollutants, encouraging further investigation.

Reference

  1. Nobile V et al. “Antioxidant and reduced skin-ageing effects of a polyphenol-enriched dietary supplement in response to air pollution: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Food and Nutrition Research, vol. 65 (2021)