Topical vesicular formulations of Curcuma longa extract on recuperating the ultraviolet radiation–damaged skin


S Saraf, PhD, University Institute of Pharmacy, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University Raipur, 492010, Chhattisgarh, India. E-mails:;


Background  Ultraviolet radiations generate reactive oxygen species, leading to adverse effects on skin properties. Botanical extracts are multifunctional in nature having various properties like photoprotection, anti-aging, moisturizing, antioxidant, astringent, anti-irritant, and antimicrobial activity.

Aims  The aim of this study was to formulate creams having Curcuma longa extract loaded novel vesicular systems (liposomes, ethosomes, and transfersomes) and study their photoprotective effect by assessment of skin hydration (Cutometer) and sebum content (Sebumeter).

Methods  The alcoholic C. longa extract loaded liposomes, ethosomes, and transfersomes having 0.5–2.0% w/w extract were prepared, evaluated for size, entrapment efficiency, and incorporated into the cream. Their long-term interaction with skin (6 weeks) was compared in terms of their effects on skin hydration and sebum content.

Results  Vesicular size obtained was in the range 167.3 ± 3.0 to 262.4 ± 2.4 nm with low polydispersity index (0.2–0.3) and high entrapment efficiency. The efficacy was in the order C. longa extract loaded transfersomal creams > C. longa extract loaded ethosomal creams > C. longa extract loaded liposomal creams > C. longa extract loaded creams > Empty transfersome loaded cream > Empty ethosome loaded cream > Empty liposome loaded cream > Base cream.

Conclusions  The photoprotective properties of the constituents of C. longa extract and hydrant, moisturizing lipid components of nano vesicles with better skin penetration resulted in improvement in skin properties like skin hydration and sebum content. The herbal extract loaded nano vesicles incorporated in cream could be used as photoprotective formulations.