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. 2021 Aug;11(4):1385-1394.
doi: 10.1007/s13555-021-00566-0. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging

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Free PMC article

Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging

Zoe Diana Draelos et al. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2021 Aug.
Free PMC article

Abstract

Introduction: Hyaluronic acid (HA) acts as a biologic humectant, thus retaining water in the skin, making HA useful as a topical moisturizing ingredient. The goal of the research was to evaluate the ability of a HA facial serum to deliver skin benefits.

Methods: Forty females 30-65 years of age with Fitzpatrick skin types I-VI who exhibited photoaging used the HA facial serum twice daily with sunscreen. The dermatologist investigator evaluated smoothness, plumping, hydration, fine lines/wrinkles, and global appearance issues on a 5-point ordinal scale. The subjects assessed product tolerability in terms of stinging, itching, and burning. Corneometry was undertaken, with assessments performed at baseline, immediately after application, and at weeks 2, 4, and 6. Facial swabbing and photography were performed at the same intervals on a subset of 15 subjects.

Results: The HA serum demonstrated excellent tolerability and produced an increase in skin hydration (as measured by corneometry) immediately after application of 134% (p < 0.001), with a sustained increase of 55% (p < 0.001) at week 6. At week 6, there was also improvement (p ≤ 0.001) in all evaluated attributes: smoothness (64%), plumping (60%), hydration (63%), fine lines (31%), wrinkles (14%), and overall global assessment (43%). Facial swabbing confirmed an increase in topical HA at week 6 (p = 0.04), accounting for the enhanced skin appearance, but there was no statistically significant increase in IL-1a, indicating no product irritation.

Conclusion: Topical HA in a serum formulation provides excellent skin hydration, as demonstrated through clinical, photographic, chemical, and instrumental assessments.

Keywords: Corneometry; Facial aging; Humectant; Moisturizer; Transepidermal water loss.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Investigator assessments. Percent improvements from baseline immediately after application and at week 2, week 4, and week 6 are shown. Note the cumulative improvement over time with continued use of the product
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Before treatment (a front of face, b right of face, c left of face) and after 6 weeks of treatment (d front of face, e right of face, f left of face) of Fitzpatrick type II skin. This Caucasian female photographically demonstrated increased light reflection from the face (seen as facial shine) after treatment. This increased light reflection is due to smoothing of the skin surface and a reduction in fine facial lines
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Before treatment (a front of face, b right of face, c left of face) and after 6 weeks of treatment (d front of face, e right of face, f left of face) of Fitzpatrick type V skin. This African-American female demonstrated increased light reflection from the face, especially from the medial cheeks, improving overall skin tone
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
In vivo clinical hyaluronic acid analysis based on skin surface swabs. Skin surface swabs were collected and extracted using PBS with protease inhibitor cocktails. HA concentrations were analyzed by ELISA for all four time points (baseline, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks). Average HA concentrations from 40 subjects are shown, and statistical tests were performed for weeks 2, 4, and 6 using the baseline for comparison. The increases in HA from the skin at weeks 2, 4, and 6 are shown
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
In vitro hyaluronic acid analysis using EpiDermFT. EpiDermFT was treated with Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum (Serum) or left untreated (Untreated) for comparison. Proteins for the epidermis and the dermis were separately extracted using the RIPA lysis buffer with protease inhibitor cocktails, and ELISAs were run to evaluate the HA concentrations in these tissue samples. The HA ELISA results were normalized to the total protein concentrations in the same samples and are represented as the HA concentration per mg protein. The epidermis results and the dermis results are shown separately. Increased dermal hyaluronan was detected in these samples. The increase in dermal hyaluronan was from the boosting effects of the Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum (HABS)

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