Efficacy of Cream-Based Novel Formulations of Hyaluronic Acid of Different Molecular Weights in Anti-Wrinkle Treatment

September 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 9 | Original Article | 990 | Copyright © September 2011

Tatjana Pavicic,b Gerd G. Gauglitz,b Peter Lersch,a Khadija Schwach-Abdellaoui,c Birgitte Malle,c Hans Christian Korting,b Mike Farwickaa

aEvonik Goldschmidt GmbH, Essen, Germany bDepartment of Dermatology and Allergology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany cNovozymes Biopharma DK A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark


Background: Due to its strong water-binding potential, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a well-known active ingredient for cosmetic applications. Native HA is proposed to help the skin to retain and maintain elasticity, turgor and moisture.
Objective: To observe the efficacy of topical application of 0.1% hyaluronan formulations of different molecular weights (MW) (50, 130, 300, 800 and 2000 kDa, respectively) in the periocular area as anti-wrinkle treatment.
Material and Methods: Seventy-six female subjects between 30 and 60 years of age with clinical signs of periocular wrinkles applied one of the formulations twice-daily to the area of interest in a randomized fashion for 60 days. Around the other eye, a vehicle control cream was applied. Measurements of skin hydration and skin elasticity were performed before treatment, 30 and 60 days thereafter. At similar time points negative replicas were taken and evaluated by semi-automated morphometry.
Results: All HA-based creams utilized in this study demonstrated a significant improvement in skin hydration and overall elasticity values (R2) when compared to placebo. Measurements of wrinkle depth using mean roughness (Ra) and maximum roughness (Rz) values revealed significant improvement in the 130 and the 50 kDa HA group after 60 days of treatment compared to placebo-treated area.
Conclusion: Topical application of all 0.1% HA formulations used in this study led to significant improvement in skin hydration and elasticity. Application of low-molecular-weight (LMW) HA was associated with significant reduction of wrinkle depth, which may be due to better penetration abilities of LMW HA.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2011;10(9):990-1000.


Evidence of the clinical signs associated with skin aging often first appears in the periorbital area and includes wrinkles, eyelid bags, circles around the eye, or a "tired" appearance.1 Very few cosmetic preparations were shown to improve this situation using objective quantitative methods.
The physiological changes observed in chronologic aging skin are barrier function impairment, xerosis, loss of elasticity, slower turnover of epidermal cells and atrophy. There is a progressive reduction in water-binding capacity and changes in cutaneous permeability for chemical substances and increased production of free radicals. Moisturizers decelerate the loss of water from the surface of skin, maintain an appropriate level of skin humidity and minimize the aspect of fine wrinkles.2
The glycosaminoglycan hyaluronic acid (HA) is a major component of the extracellular matrix of the skin and plays an important role in the metabolism of the dermis.3 HA is especially important in the skin because these macromolecules are highly hydrophilic and can bind up to 1,000 times their volume in water. In the skin, this property is likely to be relevant in controlling tissue hydration.4 Due to these characteristics, HA is often used as a moisturizing agent in cosmetic formulations.
In the skin, HA might also act as a scavenger of free radicals and antioxidants under physiological conditions. Spectroscopic studies even indicate that a double bond in the D-glucuronic acid unit can form a complex with reactive oxygen species and reduce the toxicity of radicals.5 Furthermore, it plays a major role in the exchange between fixed tissue cells and blood and in cell migration. Recent studies suggest that HA, via the CD44 receptor, is capable of increasing cell differentiation and cell motility.6 HA also has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes wound healing.7