Skin aging is one of the most common problems facing humanity. It occurs because of altering the balance between free radicals and antioxidants and increasing the amount of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in skin cells, which leads to oxidative stress especially when exposed to UV radiation. Antioxidants can neutralize the harmful effects of ROS, and secondary plant metabolites can help protect against UV radiation. In this study, punicalagin was extracted from pomegranate and concentrations of total polyphenolics and flavonoids were determined and antioxidant activities measured. Punicalagin was loaded onto niosomes and its morphology and release were studied. An in vitro study was performed on human fibroblast cell line HFB4 cells with aging induced by H2O2 and UV radiation. Cell cycle arrest was studied and different genes (MMP3, Col1A1, Timp3, and TERT) involved in the skin aging process were selected to measure punicalagin's effect. Punicalagin succeeded in reducing the growth arrest of HFB4 cells, activated production of the Col1A1 and Timp3 genes, maintained collagen level, and lowered of MMP3. Punicalagin increased human TERT concentration in skin cells. Punicalagin is promising as a natural antioxidant to protect human skin from aging.
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