Randomized controlled study of a cosmetic treatment for mild acne

B. Capitanio, J. L. Sinagra, R. B. Weller, C. Brown, E. Berardesca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Cosmetic products are not tested with the same rigour as medical treatments, but recent high-quality studies have shown significant reductions in changes of skin ageing with use of cosmetic antiageing products. Aim. To test whether a cosmetic 'anti-spot' two-step treatment containing a complex of seaweed-derived oligosaccharide and zinc would produce a significant improvement in mild acne. Methods. A double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial of this treatment was performed for 8 weeks on 60 age-matched participants with mild acne. They were divided into two groups: 30 participants were treated with vehicle control and 30 with the active treatment containing a seaweed-derived oligosaccharide complexed with 0.1% zinc pyrrolidone. Results. After 8 weeks, both groups had a reduction in comedones, papules and pustules, and this was significantly greater in the active than control group at 2, 4 and 8 weeks. Conclusions. Cosmetic products may offer some benefit for mild acne and still meet the requirements of the European Cosmetic Directive. In particular, the seaweed-derived oligosaccharide complexed with 0.1% zinc pyrrolidone used in this study produced a significant reduction in acne vs. a control treatment. Cosmetic companies should conduct blinded controlled trials of their product's efficacy and publish the results. CED

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-349
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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