Kwak JY, et al. Ascorbyl coumarates as multifunctional cosmeceutical agents that inhibit melanogenesis and enhance collagen synthesis. Arch Dermatol Res. 2015;307(7):635-43.
L-Ascorbic acid (AA) and p-coumaric acid (p-CA) are naturally occurring antioxidants that are known to enhance collagen synthesis and inhibit melanin synthesis, respectively. The purpose of this study was to examine hybrid compounds between AA and p-CA as multifunctional cosmeceutical agents. Ascorbyl 3-p-coumarate (A-3-p-C), ascorbyl 2-p-coumarate (A-2-p-C), and their parent compounds were tested for their effects on cellular melanin synthesis and collagen synthesis. At 100 μM, A-3-p-C and A-2-p-C decreased melanin content of human dermal melanocytes stimulated by L-tyrosine, by 65 and 59%, respectively, compared to 11% inhibition of AA and 70% inhibition of p-CA. A-3-p-C and A-2-p-C were less effective than p-CA but more effective than AA at inhibiting tyrosinase activity. A-3-p-C and A-2-p-C were more effective than p-CA at inhibiting the autoxidation of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. At 100-300 μM, A-3-p-C and A-2-p-C augmented collagen release from human dermal fibroblasts by 120-144% and 125-191%, respectively, compared to 126-133% increase of AA and 120-146% increase of p-CA. They increased procollagen type I C-peptide release (A-3-p-C, and A-2-p-C) like AA, and decreased matrix metalloproteinase 1 level (A-2-p-C) like p-CA, implicating that they might regulate collagen metabolism by multiple mechanisms. This study suggests that A-3-p-C and A-2-p-C could be used as multifunctional cosmeceutical agents for the attenuation of certain aspects of skin aging.