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New, Natural Acne Cure Balances the Skin's Ecosystem

Respect for the environment has certainly gained acceptance around the world. Now, the concept of skin ecology, which involves consideration for the face's environment including oils, cells and bacteria, is finally influencing developmental acne treatments.

Acne certainly opens its own up to a systemic type treatment particularly since the causes of this penestering skin condition remain multifaceted. For instance, fluctuating hormones, shifts in the weather and a drop in the body's immune defenses are just a sampling of the unpredictable events that can lead to a zit outbreak.

Now, researchers are using a botanical extract to boost the skin's natural immunological response to limit inflamed acne lesions. Results of the study appear in the April edition of International Journal of Cosmetic Science .

Investigators used Filipendula ulmaria, or meadowsweet, extract to treat patients with facial blemishes. The meadowsweet contains components of salicylic acid which is a beta hydroxy acid commonly used in prescription strength acne treatments.

When investigators applied a 1% solution of meadowsweet extract to skins cells, this increased the production of an antimicrobial peptide called cathelicidin by 130%. This is important because excess bacterial growth coupled with a rise in inflammation characterize acne outbreaks.

After the researchers treated volunteers with a 4% concentration of meadowsweet extract, 71% of the participants witnessed a 12% drop in facial oil secretion and a 20% reduction in acne lesion counts.

Meadowsweet could be among a growing list of botanical extracts that are already used to treat acne including burdock root, yarrow, lavender and ravensara.

While, medical reviews of the effectiveness of botanical extracts is limited and often times controversial, meadowsweet now has more credibility since clinical research has linked the extract to a specific increase in the body's defenses against bacterial growth.

Source:
Lenaers, C., D. Brunet, K. Ladegaillerie, M.Pinel, B. Closs. Influencing the equilibrium of the cutaneous ecosystem to improve the properties of skin to acne. International Journal of Cosmetic Science ; April 2007, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 143-144 (2).

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