Protective Role of Melatonin and Its Metabolites in Skin Aging

Georgeta Bocheva, Radomir M. Slominski, Zorica Janjetovic, Tae Kang Kim, Markus Böhm, Kerstin Steinbrink, Russel J. Reiter, Konrad Kleszczyński, Andrzej T. Slominski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The skin, being the largest organ in the human body, is exposed to the environment and suffers from both intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors. The skin aging process is characterized by several clinical features such as wrinkling, loss of elasticity, and rough-textured appearance. This complex process is accompanied with phenotypic and functional changes in cutaneous and immune cells, as well as structural and functional disturbances in extracellular matrix components such as collagens and elastin. Because skin health is considered one of the principal factors representing overall “well-being” and the perception of “health” in humans, several anti-aging strategies have recently been developed. Thus, while the fundamental mechanisms regarding skin aging are known, new substances should be considered for introduction into dermatological treatments. Herein, we describe melatonin and its metabolites as potential “aging neutralizers”. Melatonin, an evolutionarily ancient derivative of serotonin with hormonal properties, is the main neuroendocrine secretory product of the pineal gland. It regulates circadian rhythmicity and also exerts anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and anti-tumor capacities. The intention of this review is to summarize changes within skin aging, research advances on the molecular mechanisms leading to these changes, and the impact of the melatoninergic antioxidative system controlled by melatonin and its metabolites, targeting the prevention or reversal of skin aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1238
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • AFMK
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Melatonin
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photoaging
  • Skin aging
  • UV radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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