Background: The formation of free radicals in human skin by solar ultraviolet radiation is considered to be the main reason for extrinsic skin aging. The antioxidants in human tissue represent an efficient protection system against the destructive action of these reactive free radicals. In this study, the parameters of the skin, epidermal thickness, stratum corneum moisture, elasticity and wrinkle volume, were determined before and after the treatment with antioxidant- or placebo-containing tablets and creams. Methods: The study included 5 groups of 15 volunteers each, who were treated for 2 months with antioxidant-containing or placebo tablets, creams or a combination of antioxidant-containing tablets and cream. The skin parameters were measured at time point 0 and at week 8 utilizing ultrasound for the determination of epidermal thickness, a corneometer for stratum corneum moisture measurements, skin profilometry for quantifying the wrinkle volume and a cutometer for determining the elasticity. Results: The verum cream had a positive influence on epidermal thickness, elasticity and skin moisture, but the verum tablets improved the epidermal thickness only. The combined application of verum tablets and creams led to a significant improvement of all investigated skin parameters, whereas the application of placebo tablets or cream did not influence any parameters. Conclusion: The topical and oral supplementation of antioxidants can be an instrument to improve several skin parameters and potentially counteract or decelerate the process of extrinsic skin aging.

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