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Cosmetics 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/cosmetics3040035

Topical Retinol Restores Type I Collagen Production in Photoaged Forearm Skin within Four Weeks

Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan, R6447 Med Sci I, 1150 W Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5609, USA
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Academic Editor: Enzo Berardesca
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 26 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
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Abstract

Production of type I collagen (COL1), the major structural protein of the skin, declines during aging, leading to skin thinning and becoming fragile, which increases the risk of bruising and wound healing disorders in the elderly. Topical treatments that can restore COL1 synthesis and ultimately COL1 content in aged skin hold promise to improve skin health. Much effort has been spent on developing agents that can safely and effectively enhance COL1 synthesis in aged skin. However, how fast and to what extent COL1 production in aged skin can be enhanced by a topical treatment remains unclear. Herein, we investigated a four-week topical retinol (ROL) treatment. A one-day occlusion of ROL (0.4%) or vehicle was applied on photoaged forearms of elderly (>65 years old) subjects once a week for four weeks. Vehicle was also applied on forearms of young (23–33 years) subjects in the same manner. Skin samples were obtained one week after the last treatment and analyzed for COL1 synthesis. We found that the ROL treatment increased the level of COL1 mRNA (2.3-fold) and proCOL1 protein (1.8-fold) in photoaged forearms to levels similar to that of young forearms within four weeks. Our study proves the concept that reduced COL1 production in aged skin can be readily restored. In addition, our study provides an evidence-based foundation for developing COL1-enhancing topical agents, and establishes a reliable and practical efficacy test for evaluating such agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: retinol; type I collagen; skin aging retinol; type I collagen; skin aging
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, M.; Wang, P.; Sachs, D.; Xu, Y.; Xu, Y.; Voorhees, J.J.; Fisher, G.J.; Li, Y. Topical Retinol Restores Type I Collagen Production in Photoaged Forearm Skin within Four Weeks. Cosmetics 2016, 3, 35.

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