Highlighting the biological potential of the brown seaweed fucus spiralis for skin applications

Rafaela Freitas, Alice Martins, Joana Silva, Celso Alves, Susete Pinteus, Joana Alves, Fernando Teodoro, Helena Margarida Ribeiro, Lídia Gonçalves, Željko Petrovski, Luís Branco, Rui Pedrosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Skin aging is a biological process influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The last ones, mainly exposure to UV radiation, increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production leading to a loss of extracellular matrix, also enhanced by enzymatic degradation of matrix supporting molecules. Thus, and with the growing demand for eco-friendly skin products, natural compounds extracted from brown seaweeds revealed to be good candidates due to their broad range of bioactivities, especially as antioxidants. The aim of this study was to assess the dermo-cosmetic potential of different fractions obtained from the brown seaweed Fucus spiralis. For this purpose, in vitro antioxidant (Total Phenolic Content (TPC), 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP), Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)), anti-enzymatic (collagenase, elastase and hyaluronidase), antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory (NO production) and photoprotective (ROS production) capacities were evaluated. Although nearly all fractions evidenced antioxidant effects, fraction F10 demonstrated the highest antioxidant ability (EC50 of 38.5 µg/mL, DPPH assay), and exhibited a strong effect as an inhibitor of collagenase (0.037 µg/mL) and elastase (3.0 µg/mL). Moreover, this fraction was also the most potent on reducing ROS production promoted by H2O2 (IC50 of 41.3 µg/mL) and by UVB (IC50 of 31.3 µg/mL). These bioactivities can be attributed to its high content of phlorotannins, as evaluated by LC-MS analysis, reinforcing the potential of F. spiralis for further dermatological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number611
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2020


  • Anti-enzymatic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Dermo-cosmetics
  • Fucus spiralis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photoprotective
  • Seaweeds
  • Skin microbiome


Dive into the research topics of 'Highlighting the biological potential of the brown seaweed fucus spiralis for skin applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this