MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seaweeds were extracted with ethanol and further fractionated with hexane, ethyl acetate and water. The extracts were tested for mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory activity, cytotoxicity in human epidermal melanocyte (HEM), and Chang cells. Extracts with potent melanocytotoxicity were formulated into cosmetic cream and tested on guinea pigs in dermal irritation tests and de-pigmentation assessments.
RESULTS: Both Sargassum polycystum and Padina tenuis seaweeds showed significant inhibitory effect on mushroom tyrosinase in the concentration tested. SPEt showed most potent cytotoxicity on HEM (IC50 of 36µg/ml), followed by SPHF (65µg/ml), and PTHF (78.5µg/ml). SPHF and SPEt reduced melanin content in skin of guinea pigs when assessed histologically.
CONCLUSION: SPEt, SPHF and PTHF were able to inhibit HEM proliferation in vitro, with SPHF being most potent and did not cause any dermal irritation in guinea pigs. The results obtained indicate that SPHF is a promising pharmacological or cosmetic agent.