Olive trees (Olea europaea) and their processed products, such as olive oil, play a major role in the Mediterranean way of life. Their positive impact on human health is being intensely investigated. One research topic is the identification of new application areas of olive mill wastewater (OMWW). OMWW is characterized by the high content of polyphenols possessing many positive health effects. Thus, the phenol-enriched OMWW extract offers the potential for the treatment of skin disorders and for cosmetic application. The aim of the present study was to evaluate cell viability and proliferation, the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of a phenol-enriched OMWW extract on an immortal keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT cells). Moreover, the influence on the growth of various microorganisms was investigated; furthermore, the effects on normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) and human melanoma cells (A375) were studied in a commercially available tumor invasion skin model. The phenol-enriched OMWW extract showed excellent antimicrobial activity. Moreover, a noticeable reduction in reactive oxygen species formation as well as Interleukin-8 release in HaCaT cells were observed. Finally, the inhibited growth of A375 melanoma nodules in the melanoma skin model could be shown. Our results indicate that the OMWW extract is a promising ingredient for dermal applications to improve skin health and skin protection as well as having a positive impact on skin ageing.
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