Chemical composition analysis and in vitro biological activities of ten essential oils in human skin cells

Han X, Beaumont C, Stevens N, Parker TL
Biochimie Open, 2017


Research on the biological effects of essential oils on human skin cells is scarce. In the current study, we primarily explored the biological activities of 10 essential oils (nine single and one blend) in a pre-inflamed human dermal fibroblast system that simulated chronic inflammation. We measured levels of proteins critical for inflammation, immune responses, and tissue-remodeling processes. The nine single oils were distilled from Citrus bergamia (bergamot), Coriandrum sativum (cilantro), Pelargonium graveolens (geranium), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum), Pogostemon cablin (patchouli), Citrus aurantium (petitgrain), Santalum album (sandalwood), Nardostachys jatamansi (spikenard), and Cananga odorata (ylang ylang). The essential oil blend (commercial name Immortelle) is primarily composed of oils from frankincense, Hawaiian sandalwood, lavender, myrrh, helichrysum, and rose. All the studied oils were significantly anti-proliferative against these cells. Furthermore, bergamot, cilantro, and spikenard essential oils primarily inhibited protein molecules related to inflammation, immune responses, and tissue-remodeling processes, suggesting they have anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Helichrysum and ylang ylang essential oils, as well as Immortelle primarily inhibited tissue remodeling-related proteins, suggesting a wound-healing property. The data are consistent with the results of existing studies examining these oils in other models and suggest that the studied oils may be promising therapeutic candidates. Further research into their biological mechanisms of action is recommended. The differential effects of these essential oils suggest that they exert activities by different mechanisms or pathways, warranting further investigation. The chemical composition of these oils was analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.


Han X, Beaumont C, Stevens, N et al. Chemical composition analysis and in vitro biological activities of ten essential oils in human skin cells. Biochimie Open (2017). doi:10.1016/j.biopen.2017.04.001

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