Plant polyphenols and human skin: friends or foes
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012
© 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1259, Environmental Stressors in Biology and Medicine pages 77–86, July 2012
How to Cite
Korkina, L., De Luca, C. and Pastore, S. (2012), Plant polyphenols and human skin: friends or foes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1259: 77–86. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06510.x
- Issue published online: 3 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012
- human skin;
- plant polyphenols;
- UV irradiation;
- xenobiotic metabolism
In response to abiotic and biotic stressors, numerous polyphenols (PPs) are synthesized from phenylalanine by higher plants, amid many other plants that are poisonous for insects, birds, animals, and humans. PPs are also widely recognized by botanical dermatology as major plant constituents inducing allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, phytodermatoses, and photophytodermatoses. Notwithstanding these clinical observations, thousands of cosmetic/dermatological preparations based on PP-containing plant extracts or pure PPs emerge yearly with the claims of photoprotection, chemoprevention of skin tumors, anti-aging, wound healing, etc. However, because of their peculiar physical, chemical, and biological properties, PPs could be a double-edged sword for human skin, exerting both protective and damaging actions. Here, we distinguish direct and indirect anti- and pro-oxidant properties of PPs, their interactions with major xenobiotic metabolic systems and sensors/receptors of environmental hazards, anti- and proinflammatory potential, and photoprotection versus photosensitization.