Spotlight On: Roxisomes

Ingredients, Skin Care

Roxisomes are a new ingredient in skin-care creams and the claim is that it does wonders to help skin slow down the aging process. That’s because it helps to curb oxidative damage to cells and repair DNA. It’s also been shown to be something that can help prevent cancer.

What are they and how do they work?

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...
Roxisomes repair mDNA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roxiesomes come from the plant Arabidopsis Thaliana, a plant found in Europe, Asia, and northwest Africa. They are mitochondrial DNA repair enzymes known as 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG-1) in liposome form. Those within the body are activated in the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Nucleic Acids Research).

Mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) is one of the worst places for oxidative damage because it magnifies the oxidative stress. It does this by limiting the expression of proteins that are necessary for electron transport, thus causing more ROS, as well as dysregulation of cell structures, which leads to cell death (Elsevier). Loss of mDNA has been linked to several human diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, for which the suggested course of treatment is anti-oxidant therapy.
These enzymes repair the damage done by oxidative stress, which gives them a complementary effect to anti-oxidants preventative effects (Cosmetic Surgery Times).

What can they do for skin?

Researchers believe that having low OGG-1 and smoking could put people at higher risk for cancer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Researchers have hypothesized and one study has shown that having less OGG-1, which repairs DNA, is linked to cancer. In the case of the study, the link was made when people already engaged in a carcinogenic behavior — smoking — also had low levels of OGG-1 (Cancer Research). Their conclusion was that low levels of OGG-1 might put someone who was a smoker more at risk for head and neck cancer, and hypothesized that low levels of OGG-1 might be a factor in other cancers as well.

In another study on mice, topical application of OGG-1 after UVB exposure reduced cancer. While it didn’t prevent it in the UV-irradiated mouse skin, usage made for smaller tumors and reduced the progression of cancer (Photochemistry and Photobiology).

And a study particularly testing OGG-1 encapsulated in liposomes — the makeup of roxisomes — found that they were effective at increasing collagen, decreasing matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) that breaks down collagen, and improves DNA repair (American Academy of Dermatology). The researchers said that this could be a potentially effective treatment for stopping premature aging.

Bottom Line

Roxisomes are a new ingredient in skin-care, but they’re very promising. They work as mDNA repair enzymes that work against oxidative damage that would otherwise lead to cell death. They’ve shown efficacy in studies looking at cancer prevention, UV-exposure, and anti-aging. While there are still more studies to be done to look at their application in skin-care, they appear to be enzymes that will do a lot for skin-care.

If you want to try a cream with roxisomes, consider Pro+ Therapy’s Advanced Ultra Rich Day Repair ($104.30, With kinetin, which improves barrier function; almond extract, which has been shown to decelerate the aging process; and dimethicone, which temporarily fills in fine lines and wrinkles, this is a great anti-aging formula.

Or Revoris Anti-Wrinkle Cream ($49.95, with argireline, which uses Botox-like technology topically to reduce wrinkles; hyaluronic acid, which is an incredible moisturizer that can bind with water up to 1000 times its weight; and vitamin C, which has anti-aging effects.


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  • sam

    The BT Cocktail range from Bio Therapeutic has this in it to! Amazing product!!!

  • janine

    Does the pro+therapy NIGHT cream have equal benefits?

  • jeff

    Estee Advanced Night Repair has this ingredient

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