Bioactive substances in food and their actions on anti-aging skin: a narrative review of literature




Bioactive compound; Antioxidant; Integumentary system; Aging.


The skin is the largest organ of the human body and its state closely reflects the state of health in which the complex human organism finds itself. In addition, the skin is exposed daily to environmental damage that can lead to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, dehydration and even skin diseases such as cancer. Along with the increase in life expectancy, alternatives have been increasingly sought that allow the maintenance of skin health, in order to protect it against harmful environmental damage or symptoms of cellular degeneration, with consequent hyperpigmentation, photoaging and even skin cancer. In view of this, the sciences of nutrition together with aesthetic medicine are present together, since the skin is shown as a sensitive indicator of nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, in order to maintain healthy skin, it is necessary to nourish it with important nutrients for the body through a diversified and balanced diet. Many compounds act effectively in preventing skin aging, with evidence using in vitro, animal, and human models. The objective of this study, therefore, was to review the literature to demonstrate how the bioactive substances present in the diet influence the aging process and their importance in the physical aspects of the skin such as hydration, elasticity, color, firmness and wrinkles.

Author Biography

Juliana Alves Diniz, Universidade Federal de Alfenas

Mestranda pelo Programa de Pós-graduação em Nutrição e Longevidade, Universidade Federal da Alfenas, Brasil e Especialista em Cosmetologia e Estética Avançada, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos, Brasil


Abraham, A., Kattoor, A. J., Saldeen, T., & Mehta, J. L. (2019). Vitamin E and its anticancer effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 59(17), 2831–2838.

Afaq, F., Saleem, M., Krueger, C. G., Reed, J. D., & Mukhtar, H. (2004). Anthocyanin- and hydrolyzable tannin-rich pomegranate fruit extract modulates MAPK and NF-?B pathways and inhibits skin tumorigenesis in CD-1 mice. International Journal of Cancer, 113(3), 423–433.

Aguilar-Toalá, J. E., Hernández-Mendoza, A., González-Córdova, A. F., Vallejo-Cordoba, B., & Liceaga, A. M. (2019). Potential role of natural bioactive peptides for development of cosmeceutical skin products. Peptides, 122, 170170.

Aguilar-Toalá, J. E., Santiago-López, L., Peres, C. M., Peres, C., Garcia, H. S., Vallejo-Cordoba, B., González-Córdova, A. F., & Hernández-Mendoza, A. (2017). Assessment of multifunctional activity of bioactive peptides derived from fermented milk by specific Lactobacillus plantarum strains. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(1), 65–75.

Antille, C., Tran, C., Sorg, O., Carraux, P., Didierjean, L., & Saurat, J.-H. (2003). Vitamin A Exerts a Photoprotective Action in Skin by Absorbing Ultraviolet B Radiation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 121(5), 1163–1167.

Araújo, L. A. de, Addor, F., & Campos, P. M. B. G. M. (2016). Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia, 91(3), 331–335.

Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from anex vivomodel and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(4), 291–301.

Barel, A., Calomme, M., Timchenko, A., Paepe, K. De., Demeester, N., Rogiers, V., Clarys, P., & Vanden Berghe, D. (2005). Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin. Archives of Dermatological Research, 297(4), 147–153.

Balić, & Mokos. (2019). Do We Utilize Our Knowledge of the Skin Protective Effects of Carotenoids Enough? Antioxidants, 8(8), 259.

Botelho, L. L. R., Cunha, C. C. A., & Macedo, M. (2011). O método da revisão integrativa nos estudos organizacionais. Gestão e Sociedade, 5(11), 121-136

Borkow, G. (2015). Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin. Current Chemical Biology, 8(2), 89–102.

Borkow, G., & Gabbay, J. (2005). Copper as a Biocidal Tool. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 12(18), 2163–2175.

Boguszewska-Czubara, A., & Pasternak, K. (2011). Silicon in medicine and therapy. Journal of Elemntology, 3/2011.

Bouilly-Gauthier, D., Jeannes, C., Maubert, Y., Duteil, L., Queille-Roussel, C., Piccardi, N., Montastier, C., Manissier, P., Piérard, G., & Ortonne, J.-P. . (2010). Clinical evidence of benefits of a dietary supplement containing probiotic and carotenoids on ultraviolet-induced skin damage. British Journal of Dermatology, 163(3), 536–543.

Butt, H., Mehmood, A., Ali, M., Tasneem, S., Tarar, M. N., & Riazuddin, S. (2019). Vitamin E preconditioning alleviates in vitro thermal stress in cultured human epidermal keratinocytes. Life Sciences, 239, 116972.

Cao, C., Xiao, Z., Wu, Y., & Ge, C. (2020). Diet and Skin Aging—From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients, 12(3), 870.

Chiu, A. E., Chan, J. L., Kern, D. G., Kohler, S., Rehmus, W. E., & Kimball, A. B. (2006). Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Green Tea Extracts in the Clinical and Histologic Appearance of Photoaging Skin. Dermatologic Surgery, 31, 855–860.

Cosgrove, M. C., Franco, O. H., Granger, S. P., Murray, P. G., & Mayes, A. E. (2007). Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(4), 1225–1231.

Devi, B.C., Nandakishore, T., Basar, G., Devi, N., Jamir, S., & Singh, M. (2014). Zinc in Human health. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, 13(7), 18–23.

Estrela, C., (2018). Metodologia Científica: Ciência, Ensino, Pesquisa. Editora Artes Médicas

Faghihi, G., Iraji, F., Shahingohar, A., & Saidat, A. (2008). The efficacy of “0.05% Clobetasol + 2.5% zinc sulphate” cream vs. “0.05% Clobetasol alone” cream in the treatment of the chronic hand eczema: a double-blind study. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 22(5), 531–536.

Favrot, C., Beal, D., Blouin, E., Leccia, M. T., Roussel, A. M., & Rachidi, W. (2018). Age-Dependent Protective Effect of Selenium against UVA Irradiation in Primary Human Keratinocytes and the Associated DNA Repair Signature. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2018, 1–9.

Fuller, B., Smith, D., Howerton, A., & Kern, D. (2006). Anti-inflammatory effects of CoQ10 and colorless carotenoids. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 5(1), 30–38.

Godswill, A. G., Somtochukwu, I. V., Ikechukwu, A. O., & Kate, E. C. (2020). Health Benefits of Micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) and their Associated Deficiency Diseases: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Food Sciences, 3(1), 1–32.

Grass, G., Rensing, C., & Solioz, M. (2010). Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(5), 1541–1547.

Heinrich, U., GärtnerC., Wiebusch, M., Eichler, O., Sies, H., Tronnier, H., & Stahl, W. (2003). Supplementation with β-Carotene or a Similar Amount of Mixed Carotenoids Protects Humans from UV-Induced Erythema. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(1), 98–101.

Hong, Y. H., Chang, U. J., Kim, Y. S., Jung, E. Y., & Suh, H. J. (2017). Dietary Galacto-Oligosaccharides Improve Skin Health: A Randomized Double Blind Clinical Trial. Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 26(4), 613–618.

Ichihashi, M., Funasaka, Y., Ohashi, A., Chacraborty, A., Ahmed, N. U., Ueda, M., & Osawa, T. (1999). The inhibitory effect of DL-alpha-tocopheryl ferulate in lecithin on melanogenesis. Anticancer Research, 19(5A), 3769–3774.

Kasai, K., YosHIMURA, M., Koga, T., Arii, M., & Kawasaki, S. (2006). Effects of Oral Administration of Ellagic Acid-Rich Pomegranate Extract on Ultraviolet-Induced Pigmentation in the Human Skin. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 52(5), 383–388.

Katiyar, S. K., Afaq, F., Perez, A., & Mukhtar, H. (2001). Green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate treatment of human skin inhibits ultraviolet radiation-induced oxidative stress. Carcinogenesis, 22(2), 287–294.

Khalil, S., Bardawil, T., Stephan, C., Darwiche, N., Abbas, O., Kibbi, A. G., Nemer, G., & Kurban, M. (2017). Retinoids: a journey from the molecular structures and mechanisms of action to clinical uses in dermatology and adverse effects. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 28(8), 684–696.

Khalifa E., S., Adil A., N., & Nabeel O., K. (2008). Topical therapy of xeroderma pigmentosa with 20% zinc sulfate solution., 231–236.

Khan, N., Syed, D. N., Pal, H. C., Mukhtar, H., & Afaq, F. (2012). Pomegranate Fruit Extract Inhibits UVB-induced Inflammation and Proliferation by Modulating NF-κB and MAPK Signaling Pathways in Mouse Skin†. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 88(5), 1126–1134.

Kim, Y.-M., Jung, H.-J., Choi, J.-S., & Nam, T.-J. (2015). Anti-wrinkle effects of a tuna heart H2O fraction on Hs27 human fibroblasts. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 37(1), 92–98.

Lin, P.-H., Sermersheim, M., Li, H., Lee, P., Steinberg, S., & Ma, J. (2017). Zinc in Wound Healing Modulation. Nutrients, 10(1), 16.

Linder, M. C., Wooten, L., Cerveza, P., Cotton, S., Shulze, R., & Lomeli, N. (1998). Copper transport. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(5), 965S971S.

Mahoney, M. G., Brennan, D., Starcher, B., Faryniarz, J., Ramirez, J., Parr, L., & Uitto, J. (2009). Extracellular matrix in cutaneous ageing: the effects of 0.1% copper-zinc malonate-containing cream on elastin biosynthesis. Experimental Dermatology, 18(3), 205–211.

Manela-Azulay, M., & Bagatin, E. (2009). Cosmeceuticals vitamins. Clinics in Dermatology, 27(5), 469–474.

Meléndez-Martínez, A. J., Stinco, C. M., & Mapelli-Brahm, P. (2019). Skin Carotenoids in Public Health and Nutricosmetics: The Emerging Roles and Applications of the UV Radiation-Absorbing Colourless Carotenoids Phytoene and Phytofluene. Nutrients, 11(5), 1093.

Michalak, M., & Kiełtyka-Dadasiewicz, A. (2018). Oils from fruit seeds and their dietetic and cosmetic significance. Herba Polonica, 64(4), 63–70.

Michalak, M., Pierzak, M., Kręcisz, B., & Suliga, E. (2021). Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review. Nutrients, 13(1), 203.

Muta-Takada, K., Terada, T., Yamanishi, H., Ashida, Y., Inomata, S., Nishiyama, T., & Amano, S. (2009). Coenzyme Q10protects against oxidative stress-induced cell death and enhances the synthesis of basement membrane components in dermal and epidermal cells. BioFactors, 35(5), 435–441.

Ogawa, Y., Kinoshita, M., Shimada, S., & Kawamura, T. (2018). Zinc and Skin Disorders. Nutrients, 10(2).

Oliveira, L. de M., Teixeira, F. M. E., & Sato, M. N. (2018). Impact of Retinoic Acid on Immune Cells and Inflammatory Diseases. Mediators of Inflammation, 2018.

Pan, W.-J., Ding, Q.-Y., Wang, Y., Wang, D.-D., Lu, Y.-M., Yang, W.-W., Cai, Z.-N., Cheng, X.-D., Zhang, W.-N., & Chen, Y. (2018). A bioactive polysaccharide TLH-3 isolated from Tricholoma lobayense protects against oxidative stress-induced premature senescence in cells and mice. Journal of Functional Foods, 42, 159–170.

Pérez-Sánchez, A., Barrajón-Catalán, E., Herranz-López, M., & Micol, V. (2018). Nutraceuticals for Skin Care: A Comprehensive Review of Human Clinical Studies. Nutrients, 10(4), 403.

Piérard-Franchimont, C., Castelli, D., Cromphaut, I. V., Bertin, C., Ries, G., Cauwenbergh, G., & Piérard, G. E. (1998). Tensile properties and contours of aging facial skin. A controlled double-blind comparative study of the effects of retinol, melibiose-lactose and their association. Skin Research and Technology, 4(4), 237–243.

Proksch, E., Schunck, M., Zague, V., Segger, D., Degwert, J., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 27(3), 113–119.

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866.

Rhodes, L. E., Friedmann, P. S., O’Farrell, S., & Jackson, M. J. (1994). Dietary Fish-Oil Supplementation in Humans Reduces UVB-Erythemal Sensitivity but Increases Epidermal Lipid Peroxidation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 103(2), 151–154.

Rhodes, L. E. (2003). Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers. Carcinogenesis, 24(5), 919–925.

SHARQUIE, K. E., AL-MASHHADANI, S. A., & SALMAN, H. A. (2008). Topical 10% Zinc Sulfate Solution for Treatment of Melasma. Dermatologic Surgery, 34(10), 1346–1349.

Sharquie, K., Al-Mashhadani, S., Noaimi, A., & Hasan, A. (2012). Topical zinc sulphate (25%) solution: A new therapy for actinic keratosis. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 5(1), 53.

Sharquie, K. E., Najim, R. A., & Al-Salman, H. N. (2006). Oral zinc sulfate in the treatment of rosacea: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. International Journal of Dermatology, 45(7), 857–861.

Sharquie, K. E. (2014). Oral Zinc Sulphate in Treatment of Alopecia Areata (Double Blind; Cross-Over Study). Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research, 3(3).

Subedi, L., Lee, T. H., Wahedi, H. M., Baek, S.-H., & Kim, S. Y. (2017). Resveratrol-Enriched Rice Attenuates UVB-ROS-Induced Skin Aging via Downregulation of Inflammatory Cascades. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 1–15.

Tsao, R. (2010). Chemistry and Biochemistry of Dietary Polyphenols. Nutrients, 2(12), 1231–1246.

Tavano, O. L., Amistá, M. J. M., Ciello, G. D., Rodrigues, M. C. M., Nishida, A. M. B., Valadares, L. A., Siqueira, B. M., Gomes, R. A. S., Parolini, M. T., Silva Junior, S. I. (2022). Isolation and evaluation of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) protein fractions. A nutritional and bio-functional approach to the globulin fraction. Current Research in Food Science, 5, 1028-1037.

Uauy, R., Olivares, M., & Gonzalez, M. (1998). Essentiality of copper in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(5), 952S959S.

Urbizo-Reyes, U., San Martin-González, M. F., Garcia-Bravo, J., López Malo Vigil, A., & Liceaga, A. M. (2019). Physicochemical characteristics of chia seed (Salvia hispanica) protein hydrolysates produced using ultrasonication followed by microwave-assisted hydrolysis. Food Hydrocolloids, 97, 105187.

Ye, Y., Ji, D., You, L., Zhou, L., Zhao, Z., & Brennan, C. (2018). Structural properties and protective effect of Sargassum fusiforme polysaccharides against ultraviolet B radiation in hairless Kun Ming mice. Journal of Functional Foods, 43, 8–16.

Wang, L., Lee, W., Oh, J., Cui, Y., Ryu, B., & Jeon, Y.-J. (2018). Protective Effect of Sulfated Polysaccharides from Celluclast-Assisted Extract of Hizikia fusiforme Against Ultraviolet B-Induced Skin Damage by Regulating NF-κB, AP-1, and MAPKs Signaling Pathways In Vitro in Human Dermal Fibroblasts. Marine Drugs, 16(7), 239.

Wang, K., Jiang, H., Li, W., Qiang, M., Dong, T., & Li, H. (2018). Role of Vitamin C in Skin Diseases. Frontiers in Physiology, 9.

Zasada, M., & Budzisz, E. (2019). Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, 36(4), 392–397.

Ziboh, V. A. (1996). The significance of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cutaneous biology. Lipids, 31(1), S249–S253.

Zhu, X., Jiang, M., Song, E., Jiang, X., & Song, Y. (2015). Selenium deficiency sensitizes the skin for UVB-induced oxidative damage and inflammation which involved the activation of p38 MAPK signaling. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 75, 139–145.

Zhang, M., Dang, L., Guo, F., Wang, X., Zhao, W., & Zhao, R. (2012). Coenzyme Q10 enhances dermal elastin expression, inhibits IL-1α production and melanin synthesis in vitro. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34(3), 273–279.

Žmitek, K., Pogačnik, T., Mervic, L., Žmitek, J., & Pravst, I. (2016). The effect of dietary intake of coenzyme Q10 on skin parameters and condition: Results of a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. BioFactors, 43(1), 132–140.;



How to Cite

DINIZ, J. A. .; TAVANO, O. L.; OSTOLIN, T. L. V. D. P. Bioactive substances in food and their actions on anti-aging skin: a narrative review of literature. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 11, p. e526111133879, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i11.33879. Disponível em: Acesso em: 25 feb. 2024.



Health Sciences