Milk Thistle and Dandelion Can Benefit Your Skin Too!

Dec 15, 2020

Introduction
 

Milk thistle, or sometimes called silymarin (one of the main active ingredients in milk thistle) has a long history of medicinal use, as an herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder related disease. Very often, milk thistle is marketed together with another herb, dandelion as herbal supplements for liver health.

However, little did you know that milk thistle and dandelion are good for your skin too?

Figure 1: Milk thistle

Figure 2: Dandelion

 

Skin being the largest and most visible organ of the body is greatly influenced by environmental factors, especially UV radiation (90% of premature skin aging is caused by UV exposure1). Considering Malaysia is a tropical country, we receive an average 6 hours of sunlight per day. Long term exposure to sunlight UV radiation induces excessive production of harmful free radicals in the body, that are known to accelerate skin aging and gradual loss of skin elasticity resulting in wrinkles and dry, coarse skin.2

Figure 3: Premature skin aging:
Individuals who look older than their biological age
Amazing Benefits of Milk Thistle and Dandelion for the Skin
 

1. Antioxidant properties:

Silybin is one of the main components in silymarin, with strong antioxidant properties. It helps in strengthening antioxidant status in cells and fight against harmful free radicals caused by UV radiation.3 Dandelion also contains rich sources of beta-carotene (red-orange pigment), vitamin C, and polyphenolic compounds, all of which are known to have strong antioxidant capabilities that can prevent skin aging and certain diseases.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties:

Silymarin and dandelion extract has anti-inflammatory effects that may help in improving inflammatory skin conditions that result in skin redness and irritation. 4,5,6

3. Highly nutritious:

Dandelion provides excellent source of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K) and minerals (iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium) which are important in supporting normal skin functioning.

 
References
 
  1. Ramos-e-Silva et al., ‘Anti-aging cosmetics: Facts and controversies’. Clin Dermatol. 2013; 31(6): 750-8.
  2. World Health Organization. n.d. Health Effects Of UV Radiation. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/uv/health/uv_health2/en/
  3. Altaei, T. The treatment of melasma by silymarin cream. BMC Dermatol. 2012; 12(18).
  4. Fehér P, et.al. Topical application of silybum marianum extract. Arad Medical Journal. 2011; 14(2): 5-8.
  5. Liu W, Li Y, Zheng X, Zhang K, Du Z. Potent inhibitory effect of silibinin from milk thistle on skin inflammation stimuli by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. Food Funct. 2015; 6(12):3712-9.
  6. Park CM, Cho CW, Song YS. TOP 1 and 2, polysaccharides from Taraxacum officinale, inhibit NFκB-mediated inflammation and accelerate Nrf2-induced antioxidative potential through the modulation of PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in RAW 264.7 cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014; 66:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.01.019.
  7. Hahn HJ, et. Al. Instrumental evaluation of anti‑aging effects of cosmetic formulations containing palmitoyl peptides, Silybum marianum seed oil, vitamin E and other functional ingredients on aged human skin. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2016; 12:1171-1176.  
  8. Sahib AS, Al-Anbari HH, Salih M, Abdullah F. Effects of Oral Antioxidants on Lesion Counts Associated with Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Patients with Papulopustular Acne. J Clin Exp Dermatol Res. 2012; 3:163. doi:10.4172/2155-9554.1000163