Best used: AM or PMCaution: Sensitive SkinBest for: Acne, Oily skin, inflamed skin. Antioxidant
Comments: “Organic’’, derived from milk thistleMode of action: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory reduces sebum productionScience Score:


**** With Vitamin C 

What is silymarin?

Silymarin is a flavonoid extracted from milk thistle. It can be considered as organic.

It has been shown to have various pharmacological properties including;  liver protective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, & cardioprotective activities. In the context of skin benefits, this compound can downregulate oil production in addition to reducing damage to collagen from UV & environmental stressors. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory. 


What conditions does it treat?

This product is suited for oily acneic skin with blemishes. Silymarin’s main roles include the treatment of acne & improving skin quality, especially in combination with active ingredients such as L-ascorbic acid & ferulic acid.

It is also a potent antioxidant, protecting your skin from UV & environmental pollutants. This reduces collagen breakdown in the deeper dermal layers of skin. 

What does it exactly do for acne?

In the context of acne, silymarin reduces oxidation of sebum or oil. This reduces oxidative stress, in turn reducing inflammation & proliferation of bacteria known as c.acne. Silymarin also reduces oil production & can reduce the shine & greasy look of seborrhoea. 

Some formulations contain L-ascorbic acid with silymarin. The former can stabilize the latter, & at the same time reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation due to its inhibitory function on melanocytes. 

Davin’s Viewpoint on silymarin.

Dermatologist, Brisbane. Australia.

An option for your skin if you are into organic skin care. Derived from milk thistle, silymarin is a powerful antioxidant. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, hence its use in various clinical applications including acne, rosacea, dermatitis, & melasma. 

In the context of acne, this molecule works by indirectly modulating the amount of oxidised lipids. Hence its function is not directed at the production of sebum or oil (unlike retinoids or anti-hormone mediations). By reducing oxidative stress on free fatty acids, it reduces the amount of C.acnes bacteria. Think of it as reducing bacteria counts by limiting access to food. Silymarin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may also account for the clinical improvements of acne. 

The role in acne is further extended by its role in modulation of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is caused by increased activity of melanocytes secondary to inflammation. 

Would this be my first pick for acneic skin? Nope. I do think that more traditional ingredients such as azelaic acid has more anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory & anti-pigment benefits than silymarin, however it could be a useful ingredient for those wanting a two in one topical, namely anti-acne as well as antiaging role (in the context of antioxidant properties). A combination of this and vitamin C would seem sensible & synergistic.

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