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Bourgeois C., Leclerc É. A., Corbin C., Doussot J., Serrano V., Vanier J.-R., Seigneuret J.-M., Auguin D., Pichon C., Lainé É. and Hano C.

Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) as a source of antioxidant and anti-aging phytochemicals for cosmetic applications

Comptes Rendus Chimie (2016) 19 (9) 1090-1100

par Frapart - publié le

Abstract :

Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is a herbaceous perennial that has been used for centuries in folk medicine. More recently, nettle extracts have also been used in cosmetics because of the many benefits of their topical application for skin health. Their potential anti-aging action is of particular interest and is primarily ascribed to their antioxidant capacity. Here, using an experimental design approach and a clustering analysis, we linked the phytochemical composition of nettle extracts to their biological activities. This approach confirmed the antioxidant capacity of nettle extracts as well as providing the first evidence of another mechanism for their anti-aging potential involving the inhibition of enzyme activities, such as elastase and collagenase. We attributed these inhibitory effects to ursolic acid and quercetin present in the nettle extracts. Our results also demonstrated the possibility of extracting ursolic acid, quercetin and other phenolic compounds differentially to obtain an extract with a strong antioxidant capacity and anti-aging activities toward both elastase and collagenase. This could be of particular interest for cosmetic applications of nettle extracts.