Can Plant Phenolic Compounds Protect the Skin from Airborne Particulate Matter?
Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Sep 6 ;8(9). Epub 2019 Sep 6. PMID: 31500121
Yong Chool Boo
The skin is directly exposed to the polluted atmospheric environment, and skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and acne vulgaris, can be induced or exacerbated by airborne particulate matter (PM). PM can also promote premature skin aging with its accompanying functional and morphological changes. PM-induced skin diseases and premature skin aging are largely mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the harmful effects of PM may be ameliorated by safe and effective natural antioxidants. Experimental studies have shown that the extracts and phenolic compounds derived from many plants, such as cocoa, green tea, grape, pomegranate, and some marine algae, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on PM-exposed cells. The phenolic compounds can decrease the levels of ROS in cells and/or enhance cellular antioxidant capacity and, thereby, can attenuate PM-induced oxidative damage to nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. They also lower the levels of cytokines, chemokines, cell adhesion molecules, prostaglandins, and matrix metalloproteinases implicated in cellular inflammatory responses to PM. Although there is still much research to be done, current studies in this field suggest that plant-derived phenolic compounds may have a protective effect on skin exposed to high levels of air pollution.