Multi-functional Botanicals for Topical Applications

Part 4.1.5, Harry’s Cosmeticology (9th Edition), 2015; p. 675–78.
Any damage or deterioration in the appearance or function of the skin due to chronic exposure to the sun (i.e. UV exposure) is termed as photo damage or photo aging, and is different from the natural aging process. Prolonged UV exposure of skin could lead to a sallow complexion with roughened surface texture, variable degrees of dyspigmentation, telengiectasias, wrinkling and skin laxity. Hence, process of photo aging could be delayed by avoiding prolonged sun exposure and/or applying proper sunscreens.

Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (THCs) are color-free compounds derived from the yellow curcuminoids extracted from rhizomes of Curcuma longa. They reported to be exhibiting potent antioxidant property combined with known COX-2 and tyrosinase inhibitory effects, thus making them useful natural ingredients in anti-aging and topical formulations designed to maintain general skin health and integrity.

Cosmoperine® is a cosmaceutical that augments the efficacy of topically co-administered compounds by making them more permeable.



To compare the efficacy of topical cream containing THCs and Cosmoperine® with that of another cream containing only THCs on photo-damaged skin in healthy volunteers.

Study Design:

  • In this 3-month, prospective, randomized, double-blind, non-crossover, comparative clinical study, 20 participants (both male and female; age: 25–65 years) with mild-to-moderate photo-damaged skin were included
  • Subjects were randomized into 2 groups, one group receiving cream containing 0.5% THCs and 0.1% Cosmoperine® (X), and the other group receiving cream containing 0.5% THCs (Y)
  • A total of 5 visits to the clinic were scheduled, i.e. visit 0 (week 0), baseline visit/visit 1 (week 1) and follow-up visits (visit 2, 3 & 4 on week 3, 6 & 9, respectively), and the final visit at week 12
  • Efficacy assessment of both the creams was done on the basis of both patient’s and doctor’s global evaluations (i.e. overall appearance of the skin) and histopathological parameters like reduction in hyperkeratosis, collagen density and lymphocytic infiltration

Results and Discussion:

  • The patient’s and doctor’s global evaluation for overall appearance of the forearm skin (based on roughness, thickness, hyperpigmentation and wrinkling) at the baseline visit and the final visit revealed that cream X had shown better efficacy than cream Y (Fig. 1A and Fig. 1B, respectively)
  • Similarly, a significant reduction in hyperkeratosis, collagen density and lymphocyte infiltration was seen in the group that applied cream X compared to cream Y


Overall, it was concluded that cosmoperine® in the THCs cream is beneficial in treating photo-damaged skin with no local systemic side effects.

Read More…