Chlorophyllin Comes Face-to-Face with Sun Damaged Skin
Updated: Apr 15
November is National Healthy Skin Month. As the largest organ of the human body, it’s important that we take good care of our skin. The health of our skin can sometimes reflect our general health. Skin is part of the integumentary system and acts as a protective barrier between the outside and inside of the body. The integumentary system includes our hair and nails, as well (1).
It is well known that prolonged exposure to the sun causes our skin to prematurely age. Dermatologists and other skin experts refer to the damage done by the sun to our skin by several names including sun damage, solar damage, photodamage, or photoaging (2). Sigler and Stephens (2015) define photodamaged skin as being “characterized by progressive damage to the dermal extracellular matrix with loss of collagen and degradation of elastin” (3). Signs of photodamaged or sun damaged skin include wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, decreased skin elasticity, rough and uneven skin texture, and broken capillaries (2).
There are numerous ways photodamaged skin can be treated such as lasers treatments, chemical peels, photodynamic therapy, topical medications (retinol), and cryotherapy. While these methods work well for some, scientists are exploring even more ways to improve sun damaged and photodamaged skin.
A study conducted by Sigler and Stephens tested the efficacy and safety of a topical sodium copper chlorophyllin complex on women with photodamaged skin. “Salts of copper chlorophyllin complex are semi-synthetic, naturally derived compounds with antioxidant and wound healing activity,” and until this study, had not been tested on photodamaged skin (3). The study included 10 women who had mild to moderate fine lines and wrinkles, as well as solar lentigo (lentigines), or liver spots (4), around the eye area. The study lasted for eight weeks.
Study participants were given a topical gel containing chlorophyllin complex salts and instructed to apply a pea-sized amount to the areas around the eyes, cheeks, and nose every morning and evening. Assessments were performed at the screening, or baseline of the study, and during the eighth week. Photographs were taken and self-assessment questionnaires were conducted (3).
Results of the clinical assessments showed significant improvements over the baseline at week eight. Based on the self-assessment questionnaires, the product was well-tolerated and highly rated by participants (3).
Read the full study here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25844615/
(1) Diagram of the Human Integumentary System (Infographic). (August 5, 2013). Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/27990-human-body-systems-the-integumentary-system-infographic.html
(2) Photoaging (Sun Damage). (2020). Yale Medicine. https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/sun-damage/
(3) Sigler, M. L., & Stephens, T. J. (2015). Assessment of the safety and efficacy of topical copper chlorophyllin in women with photodamaged facial skin. Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 14(4), 401–404
(4) Solar lentigo. (2014). DermNet NZ. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/solar-lentigo/#:~:text=Solar%20lentigo%20is%20a%20harmless,the%20age%20of%2040%20years
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