87833 - Bioactive Compounds In Cosmetics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student should have a sufficient understanding of the molecular mechanisms of action of cosmetic bioactive compounds, and about the different kinds of bonds and steric factors involved in the interactions between the cosmetic bioactive compounds and the different biological targets. He should know the main chemical transformations, which can occur on these kinds of compounds by the metabolic reactions. He should be able to apply their knowledge to understand the chemical and physical properties, mechanisms of action, structure-activity relationships of different cosmetic bioactive compounds, which will be introduced and illustrated during the course.

Course contents


Significance of cosmeceutical. Fake news and the scientific approach. Principles of pharmacokinetic: absorption, distribution, metabolism (Phase I and Phase II reactions), excretion of bioactive compounds and related pollution problems. Biological target interactions: description of different chemical bonds involved in, structures of the different targets and triggering of biological activity. Molecular mechanisms of bioactive compounds. Biological targets in skin: intracellular and membrane receptors, enzymes. Influence of steric factors on bioactive compounds activity: optical (chirality), geometric and conformational isomery.  


Oils: different types and main cosmeceutical ingredients

Flavonoids: different types and main cosmeceutical ingredients

Skin lightening agents

Skin Antioxidant agents

Skin Antinflammatory agents

Skin Antiaging agents

Microalgae in cosmetics

Peptides as cosmeticeuticals

Future perspectives in cosmeceuticals


Leslie Baumann, Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients, Mc Graw Hill Education, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-07-179398-8

Zoe Diana Draelos, Cosmeceuticals, Elsevier, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-323-29869-8

M. Varinia Michalun, Joseph C. Dinardo, Milady Dictionary, Cengage Learning, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-285-06079-8

Copy of the slides will be available on IOL web site of the course

Teaching methods

During the lessons all the different topics reported in the main program will be treated. A special lesson will be performed in the informatic laboratory about the different approaches on the literature research.

Assessment methods

At the end of the course each student is invited to display a short report about a possible cosmetic formulation, based on the bioactive compounds present in the scientific literature.

The final score is based on the goodness of the report and on the student's ability to answer the questions asked by the teacher during the exhibition and related to the topics covered during the course.

Registration on-line on AlmaEsami is mandatory.

Teaching tools

All the teaching program wiil be explained by PC power point presentation.

Office hours

See the website of Vincenzo Tumiatti