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    Active ingredients derived from natural sources are widely utilized in many industries. Cosmetic active ingredients are largely derived from various plants. In this study, we examined whether a mixture of plant extracts obtained from agrimonia, houttuynia, licorice, peony, and phellodendron (hereafter AHLPP), which are well-known for their effects on skin, could affect skin barrier function, inflammation, and aging in human skin cells. We also determined whether AHLPP extracts sterilized using γ-irradiation (to avoid preservatives) retained their skin cell regulating activity. The AHLPP mixture could downregulate representative pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL 1-β and IL 7. Procollagen peptide synthesis was also increased by AHLPP treatment along with mRNA upregulation of barrier proteins such as filaggrin and desmoplakin. The AHLPP mixture showed an anti-aging effect by significantly upregulating telomerase activity in human keratinocytes. We further observed TERT upregulation and CDKN1B downregulation, implying a weakening of pro-aging signal transduction. Co-cultivation of a hydrogel polymer containing the AHLPP mixture with human skin cells showed an alteration in skin-significant genes such as FLG, which encodes filaggrin. Thus, the AHLPP mixture with or without γ-irradiation can be utilized for skin protection as it alters the expression of some significant genes in human skin cells.


    Kyung-Ha Lee, Jeong Pyo Lee, Wanil Kim. Effects of a complex mixture prepared from agrimonia, houttuynia, licorice, peony, and phellodendron on human skin cells. Scientific reports. 2020 Dec 17;10(1):22132

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    PMID: 33335246

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