Published: 15 June, 2021 | Volume 5 - Issue 1 | Pages: 022-029
Background: The plant Artemisia annua has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for many years. Rich in bioactive molecules, the A. annua plant is used to extract the anti-malaria compound artemisinin (< 1%), which results in most of the plant being unutilized. One byproduct of artemisinin extraction is artemisia naphtha (AN), which has yet to be studied extensively.
Aims: Study the activity of a novel AN oil extract against microbes, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and dermatological endpoints that are key for eczema and acne pathogenesis to determine if an effective A. annua extract for these skin conditions can be developed.
Methods: Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was performed to determine the composition of AN oil. P. acnes, S. aureus, M. furfur, and C. albicans were cultured to determine minimal inhibitory concentration. in vitro studies utilizing keratinocytes and macrophages were treated with AN oil and gene expression measured by quantitative RT-PCR. A 13-subject clinical trial was performed with 1% AN oil Gel to assess its potential benefits for sensitive and acne prone skin.
Results: AN oil upregulates filaggrin gene expression and possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity inhibiting LPS, S. aureus and "Th2 induced" pro-inflammatory mediator release (IL-6, IL-8 and TSLP). Clinical assessment of 1% AN Gel shows it reduces acne blemishes and the appearance of redness.
Conclusion: Previously an underutilized and unpurified byproduct, AN is now the source to develop the first topical AN oil for cosmetic use with an activity profile that suggests it is effective for those with sensitive and/or acne prone skin.
Anti-inflammatory; Antimicrobial; Acne; Eczema; Sensitive skin; Cosmetic