University of the Western Cape
Overview of innovation

The skin represents the first physical barrier to protect our bodies from harmful toxins, pathogens and dangerous environmental factors and plays an important role in social and visual experiences. South Africans have used traditional herbal medicinal products to increase immunity in immunocompromised individuals. Such plants have multifunction medicinal claims including treatment of various skin problems.

A combination of three medicinal plant extracts (including indigenous plants extracts), has been formulated to treat the effects of sun exposure and various skin conditions including pre-mature ageing and pigmentation in  African ethnic populations.  The formulated cream has been tested in a small clinical trial and demonstrated even skin tone and reduced appearance of wrinkles after continued use.

Due to the nature of the medicinal plants used, the formulation can promote skin immunity in immune-compromised individuals.  Further clinical trials are required to validate increased skin immunity claims.

Innovation Opportunity Type
Human health and social work activities
Natural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Complementary Medicine
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings