[EZ-Cytox] Exploring the Potential of Nannochloropsis sp. Extract for Cosmeceutical Applications
Recently, there has been emerging interest in various natural products with skin protective effects as they are recognized as safe and efficient. Microalgae have developed chemical defense systems to protect themselves against oxidative stress caused by UV radiation by producing various bioactive compounds including a number of secondary metabolites, which have potential for cosmeceutical applications. In addition, microalgae have various advantages as a sustainable source for bioactive compounds with diverse functions due to their rapid growth rate, high productivity, and use of non-arable land. In this study, we aimed to investigate the cosmeceutical potential of ethanol extract from Nannochloropsis sp. G1-5 (NG15) isolated from the southern West Sea of the Republic of Korea. It contained PUFAs (including EPA), carotenoids (astaxanthin, canthaxanthin, β-carotene, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin), and phenolic compounds, which are known to have various skin protective functions. We confirmed that the NG15 extract showed various skin protective functions with low cytotoxicity, specifically anti-melanogenic, antioxidant, skin-moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-wrinkling, and UV protective function, by measuring tyrosinase inhibition activity; melanin content; DPPH radical scavenging activity; expression of HAS-2, MMP-1, and Col1A1 genes; and elastase inhibition activity as well as cell viability after UV exposure. Our results indicated that the NG15 extract has the potential to be used for the development of natural cosmetics with a broad range of skin protective functions.