With increasing UV radiation exposure, there is growing evidence of several skin diseases like early aging, disorders and even cancer. The skin disorders occur by UV exposure because of inflammation, oxidation, stress as well as DNA damage.
This leads to significant use of chemopreventive agents that can help in the inhibition and retardation of the harmful effects of the UV radiation. This is where plant extracted polyphenols come in.
Polyphenols are plant products and widely found in plant parts like fruits, vegetables, flowers, and barks. They have a good photoreception effect on the skin. Some of the natural polyphenols sources that act as effective chemopreventive agents are green tea, grapeseed, apples, cocoa, cherries, soy, etc.
How do polyphenols help in photoprotection?
The use of natural and organic products has extensively grown in recent years. Polyphenols are one of them. They are used for preventing the skin damage that is caused by UV rays.
Polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant as well as immunomodulatory effects for which it is widely used as a chemopreventive agent in treating varied skin disorders. It acts by suppressing or reversing the whole process of carcinogenesis.
Some of the natural polyphenols are colored pigments like purple, yellow or red that possesses the capability to absorb the UV radiation. Therefore, when they are applied topically, it prevents the penetration of harmful radiation into the skin.
Polyphenols can easily absorb complete UVB spectrum, and some part of UVA as well as UVC spectrum. This is the reason some of the natural polyphenols possess the ability to act as a sunscreen and helps in decreasing inflammation, DNA damage as well as oxidative stress.
The anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols
The erythema, induced by UV radiation and hyperplastic epithelial responses are some types of inflammation which playa key role in skin tumor development.
Expression of the gene COX-2 is induced by UVB and the enhancement of prostaglandin and metabolites production is one of the keratinocytes characteristics responses to acute exposure to UV radiation.
When there is inflammation, COX -2 as an enzyme gets induced and gets expressed rapidly. This expression leads to pathophysiological inflammation and cancer.
COX enzyme rapidly produces protein products and generates new prostaglandin metabolites from arachidonic acid. Photocarcinogeneses researches have shown that the oral polyphenol administration from the green tea helps in the prevention of UV induced skin edema along with erythema.
UV induced hyperplastic response along with enzyme myeloperoxidase activity is reduced significantly through topical treatment with polyphenols.
Antioxidant effect of natural polyphenols
The skin possesses an antioxidant system that helps in dealing with UV-induced oxidative stress. But with excess exposure to UV radiation, the antioxidant system is overloaded that results in various skin diseases, like early aging.
But natural polyphenols have been shown to have some inhibitory effect against such problems. Topical treatment before UV exposure helps in decreased nitric oxide production and hydrogen peroxide along with increased leukocyte infiltration, which in turn reduces oxidative stress.
DNA damage repair by natural polyphenols.
The DNA damage is induced by UVis one very serious problem. The damage results in immune suppression and photocarcinogenesis initiation. Topical application of polyphenols helps in damage repair by preventing the formation of CPD. When the green tea extract polyphenol is used it inhibits oxidative DNA damage.
These properties of Polyphenols make it very efficient for use in sun protection formulations and lotions for skincare. It helps in fighting with the negative effects of sun exposure and protects the skin from UV effects.
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