We examined the effects of the soy isoflavones genistein (Gen) and daidzein (Dai) on the production of hyaluronic acid (HA) in a transformed human keratinocyte culture and in hairless mouse skin following topical application for 2 weeks. Gen and Dai, but not the glycosides thereof, significantly enhanced the production of HA in vitro and in vivo. Histochemistry using an HA-binding protein revealed that topical Gen and estradiol raised both the density and intensity of HA staining, which was abundant in the murine dermis. It is suggested that Gen and Dai are not released from their respective glycosides in culture or murine skin. Moreover, topical Gen and Dai may prevent and improve the cutaneous alterations caused by the loss of HA in skin.

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