Senolytic science: plant extract for well-ageing

DSM-Firmenich reveals the findings of research that shows how a Epilobium fleischeri extract can selectively clear senescent cells – so-called ‘zombie’ cells - from the skin.


Senescence cells are seen as fundamental drivers of tissue ageing. Senescent ‘zombie cells’ accumulate with age and cause damage through damaging secretions. Eliminating these cells is a revolutionary approach to restoring youthful skin. Research by experts in ageing has revealed that Epilobium fleischeri extract is a natural botanical senolytic (a substance that can selectively induce the death and removal of senescent cells). The experiments discussed in this paper show that Epilobium fleischeri extract can selectively clear senescent cells from the skin. In vitro evidence demonstrates the targeted elimination of senescent fibroblasts by Epilobium fleischeri extract, which is mediated by bioactive flavonoids. In vivo studies have shown the reduced expression of senescence biomarkers, improved collagen production, and dramatic improvements in multiple signs of skin ageing. In clinical trials, elasticity and tonicity were improved by 18% after two months of using a cream with 3% Epilobium fleischeri extract as compared with a control group using a placebo cream.

Skin ageing continues to be consumers’ top concern. However, a new survey commissioned in November 2023 by DSM-Firmenich shows that consumers representing four of the world’s largest personal care markets are looking for healthy ageing or well-ageing solutions that holistically tackle all their skin concerns, such as skin sagging, wrinkles, the loss of skin elasticity and firmness, skin roughness, a dull complexion, and age spots, which lead to a loss of self-confidence (Figure 1).

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