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Oleanolic acid for skin: effective against acne, scarring and inflammation?

Maria from WIMJ

Oleanolic acid is an antioxidant (triterpenoid) that can be extracted from many plants, for example from olive oil, apples, and garlic. Early research shows that oleanolic acid has a potential to influence different processes within the skin, even though most of the research has been done in vitro (in a petri dish) or using animals. For example, the research has shown that oleanolic acid might reduce scarring because it reduces the overproduction of collagen type I and III in wounded skin. There is also preliminary evidence that oleanolic acid might work against acne because it can block the synthesis of a specific form of testosterone in skin that triggers an increase in sebum production. Oleanolic acid might also be able to improve the skin barrier function and reduce inflammation, and has a promise in treating atopic dermatitis and helping sensitive skin types. While all this research is promising, there is too little data on how oleanolic acid works in human skin to confirm if it is indeed effective, in what concentrations, and if there are adverse effects.  

Check out skincare products with oleanolic acid here


Oleanolic acid acetate inhibits atopic dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis in a murine model

Oleanolic acid inhibits hypertrophic scarring in the rabbit ear model

The effect of ursolic and oleanolic acids on human skin fibroblast cells

Acne treatment using oleanolic acid

Effectiveness of the formulation that containing oleanolic acid 3% on inhibition of 5-α reductase activity on skin of patients with acne

Simultaneous effect of ursolic acid and oleanolic acid on epidermal permeability barrier function and epidermal keratinocyte differentiation via peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor‐α

Photo by  Priscilla Du Preez

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