Protective role of Portuguese natural mineral waters on skin aging: in vitro evaluation of anti-senescence and anti-oxidant properties

Cv Vaz, As Oliveira, A. Silva, L. Cortes, S. Correia, R. Ferreira, L. Breitenfeld, J. Martinez-de-Oliveira, R. Palmeira-de-Oliveira, Cf Pereira, Mt Cruz, A. Palmeira-de-Oliveira

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Natural mineral waters (NMWs) emerge from the earth as springs and their beneficial therapeutic effect has been empirically recognized in different countries. Portugal has diverse NMW resources that are sought for the relief of different afflictions including dermatological complications. However, there is a lack of scientific validation supporting this empiric knowledge. In this study, we aimed to screen the in vitro bioactivity of Portuguese NMWs with different chemical profiles, namely sulfurous/bicarbonate/sodic (SBS), bicarbonate/magnesium, sulfated/calcic, sulfurous/chlorinated/sodic, sulfurous/bicarbonate/fluoridated/sodic, and chlorinated/sodic, focusing on aging-related skin alterations. Mouse skin fibroblasts and macrophages were exposed to culture medium prepared in different NMWs. Cellular viability was evaluated by MTT assay and etoposide-induced senescence was analyzed through the beta-galactosidase staining kit. Wound healing was investigated by the scratch assay, and phototoxicity/photoprotection after UVA irradiation was evaluated using a neutral red solution. ROS production was quantified using the 2′7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate dye, and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) was analyzed by a commercial kit after lipopolysaccharide exposure. NMWs within the SBS profile demonstrated anti-senescence activity in skin fibroblasts, along with a variable effect on cellular viability. Among the tested NMWs, two decreased cellular senescence and preserved cell viability and were therefore selected for subsequent studies, together with a SBS NMW with therapeutic indications for dermatologic diseases. Overall, the selected NMW promoted wound healing in skin fibroblasts and activated SOD in macrophages, thus suggesting an anti-oxidant effect. None of the NMWs prevented phototoxicity after UV irradiation. Our results shed a light on the anti-aging potential of Portuguese NMW, supporting their putative application in cosmetic or medical products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2117-2131
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Anti-aging
  • Cell viability
  • Oxidative stress
  • Spring waters
  • Wound healing


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