The study was conducted by a team of Thai researchers from Khon Kaen University and Naresuan University. Writing in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the team sought to explore the anti-ageing effects of topically applied sunscreen with grapeseed extract.
A sunscreen containing 3% of grapeseed extract was applied twice daily to 27 Asian females aged 35 to 59 years for six weeks in a six-week single-blinded trial.
The inclusion criteria required participants with Fitzpatrick skin type III-V, meaning skin that rarely or never burns, and tans easily. Two weeks before the baseline measurement of skin condition, volunteers were asked to stop using other cosmetic products on the tested area during the study.
Compared to the control sunscreen, the sunscreen formulation with grapeseed extract showed more significant improvements in skin melanin, erythema, and colour parameters, as measured by Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage (CIE) L*a*b* colorimetric parameters, after two weeks of application.
The researchers attributed the skin lightening effect of sunscreen with grapeseed extract to the high content of polyphenols in grapeseed extract, which are capable of inhibiting tyrosinase enzyme involved in melanin synthesis and skin pigmentation.
It was noted that skin elasticity was difficult to determine given intrinsic and extrinsic factors including age.
“The age of the participants in the present study was 35 to 59 years age group, and the difference in skin elasticity varied greatly due to the individuality of the intrinsic ageing process which may be exacerbated by sun exposure to a different extent as well as other lifestyles issues.”
The researchers suggested that in the future, skin elasticity studies with participants in their mid-forties and above should be conducted, “when photodamage to the skin is cumulative, and signs of morphologic changes are more prominent or established.”
An ‘anti-ageing agent’
These improvements were also noticeable to the volunteers as evidenced by their satisfaction with the product after six weeks of use.
“This study concludes that twice daily application of the sunscreen containing 3% [grapeseed extract] improved overall skin tone and clearly demonstrated positive skin changes at the ages from 35 to 59 years in Asians.”
According to the response on the satisfaction questionnaire, the highest satisfaction with immediate and long-term benefits to the skin was observed after the use of the sunscreen.
Participants noted a healthier, firmer, softer, brighter, and overall younger appearance of the skin with an even tone and improved colour, which was attributed to the astringent properties of grapeseed extract.
Furthermore, they noted there was a skin mattifying effect that did not accentuate the fine lines.
The researchers noted that overall, the sunscreen with grapeseed extract met consumer requirements in terms of skin appearance and feel.
“The balancing potential of [grapeseed extract] on the skin, combined with the photoprotective properties of UV filters demonstrated an added value as an anti-ageing agent and proved efficacy for both photoaged and chronologically aged Asian skin.”
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Clinical study of Asian skin changes after application of a sunscreen formulation containing grape seed extract
Yarovaya et al.