Resveratrol has a variety of bioactivities that include its anti-melanogenic effects, but its use in cosmetics has been challenging partly because of its chemical instability. Resveratryl triacetate (RTA) is a prodrug that can enhance stability. The purpose of this study was to examine the skin safety and whitening effects of RTA in human subjects. The primary skin irritation potentials of RTA and resveratrol were tested at 0.1 and 0.5 % on human subjects. Resveratrol at a concentration of 0.5 % induced weak skin irritation, whereas RTA did not induce any skin responses. The skin-whitening efficacy of a cosmetic formulation containing 0.4 % RTA was evaluated in two different test models. In the artificial tanning model, the test product and the control product were applied twice daily to the skin of the forearms of 22 human subjects after pigmentation induction by ultraviolet irradiation. Applying the test and the control products to the artificial tanning model for 8 weeks increased the individual topology angles (ITA°) by 17.06 and 13.81 %, respectively, a difference that was statistically significant (p < 0.05). In the hyperpigmentation model, the test product and the control product were applied twice daily to the faces of 21 human subjects. The averaged intensity of the hyperpigmented spots decreased by 2.67 % in the test group and 1.46 % in the control group, a difference that was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Therefore, RTA incorporated into cosmetic formulations can whiten human skin without inducing skin irritation.
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This study was supported by the Korea Health Technology R&D Project of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (Grant no. HN12C0051).
J. H. Ryu and J. K. Seok contributed equally.
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Ryu, J.H., Seok, J.K., An, S.M. et al. A study of the human skin-whitening effects of resveratryl triacetate. Arch Dermatol Res 307, 239–247 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-015-1556-0