Senolytics Topically Administered to Skin for Antiaging Effects

Senolytics, such as dasatinib and fisetin, are drugs that selectively eliminate senescent cells and are already topically administered to the skin, showing potential antiaging effects.

We suggest that topical administration of senolytics/senotherapeutics could counteract the overall whole-body aging phenotype.


I find this area potentially very interesting. Given the seeming success of Oneskin’s senolytic peptide for topical use on skin,

it seems that more powerful senolytic drugs like desatinib used in a topical formulation might be effective… similar to how people are making rapamycin skin creams. DIY Rapamycin skin cream that is based on this research: Topical rapamycin reduces markers of senescence and aging in human skin: an exploratory, prospective, randomized trial

some related research:

Overall, topical dasatinib induced regression of the cancer similar to topical 5-fluorouracil but with less inflammation and no ulcers. Dasatinib applied daily to mice induced 45 percent and 77 percent regression of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma after two and five weeks of treatment, respectively, compared to controls. 5-fluorouracil induced 70 percent regression at two weeks in eight mice; however, it was associated with epidermal ulcers in two out of 15 of the tumors observed, and seven of the eight mice in that group died. No ulcers or deaths were observed in the dasatinib or control groups.

Inflammation was determined by counting CD3-positive T cells and neutrophils – immune cells that respond to inflammation – at the treatment site. Dasatinib did not increase levels of CD3-positive T cells or neutrophils, while 5-fluorouracil induced inflammation and was associated with higher numbers of CD3-positive T cells and neutrophils compared to dasatinib-treated mice, the researchers report.

In a second experiment, the researchers found that BEZ-235, known to inhibit the PI3K/mTOR pathway in cancer, acted similarly to dasatinib. The treatment induced regression of the cancer by over 60 percent compared to control lesions at five weeks without significant inflammation or ulcers.

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Certainly interesting. I wonder what the best frequency of use of topical dasatinib would be for skin rejuvenation purposes…considering the warnings about overly frequent systemic use.

Good question. Most side effects of Desatinib are systemic so the question is how much systemic absorption occurs. I would doubt very much. As a senolytic, you wouldn’t be using it that often either.

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I wasn’t thinking so much systemically, as I was the effect of daily vs weekly vs quarterly, semi-yearly, etc (over)effect on senescent cells in the skin. You need them for wound healing, for instance.

I had suffered chronic actinic keratoses for decades because of my extreme exposure to sunlight when I was young. We did not have the benefit of the high SPF suntan lotions that are now available.
Rapamycin taken internally has had a truly remarkable effect on my skin. Actinic keratoses are precursors to cancer and are cancerous in nature. I saw my dermatologist 3 to 4 times a year. I have not seen a dermatologist since I started taking rapamycin.
Here are the before and after photos. The first one is not as bad as it looks. It just is the way it looks after typical “Blue Light” therapy.

actinic keratoses


I am actually using One Skin on my face and body as is my daughter, someone on the forum mentioned they were participating in a study I believe. I had scaly patches by my brow/forehead which may be related to the Rapa, it disappeared in 2 days of use. My skin feels like a babies butt….so far, I’m really impressed and this is 10x better than Le Mer. My daughter has terrible eczema on her ankles, we shall see what it does for her. There’s something very positive with this product for me. It’s been two weeks but wow!


The One Skin OS1 product is a something they are calling a senolytic peptide. I heard in interviews with the founder that they went with peptides so they could avoid the long and expensive process of FDA approval that they’d incur if they went for a drug solution. But, it seems there are likely many drugs on the market that may already be available and that are senolytic compounds that are available but not yet used in skin creams (or are generic and therefore nobody will ever fund the trials to see if they work as skin creams).

Here is some more research I’ve come across regarding senolytics like dasatinib and skin aging. I have not yet found any research papers (that I can access) where they’ve tested the most tested senolytic drugs in any topical formulations… e.g. Dasatinib, Quercetin, Fisetin and Navitoclax. Seems like something that would not be very hard to try in a formulation. Ideally pre and post tested with something like the Visia skin scanner as I described here.


Skin ageing is caused by numerous factors that result in structural and functional changes in cutaneous components. Research has shown that senescent cells are known to accumulate in skin ageing, however, the role of senescent cells in skin ageing has not been defined.


To elucidate the role of the senescent cell in skin ageing, we evaluated the effect of known senolytic drugs on senescent dermal fibroblasts.


Taken together, our results indicate that selective clearance of senescent skin cells can attenuate and improve skin ageing phenotypes and that senolytic drugs may be of potential use as new therapeutic agents for treating ageing of the skin.

Attenuation of intrinsic ageing of the skin via elimination of senescent dermal fibroblasts with senolytic drugs

Advancements in therapeutic drugs targeting of senescence

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This is a 2019 study, but I don’t think covered on Rapa site:

Its a good question. OneSkin suggests daily application of their senolytic peptide based cream… but I’m sure its much less potent than the senolytic drugs like dasatinib. But as far as what is optimal, its anyone’s guess. I think the best approach may be to test out different schedules on different hands, or areas of skin, photograph in the same light/distance every 2 months, and see if one schedule seems better in terms of results than the other, then continue to test.

We covered it in these two posts - but easy to miss. I probably need to pull it out to its own thread.

Here: Rapamycin for Hair Growth, Hair Pigmentation, Skin Anti-aging

and here: DIY Rapamycin skin cream

I agree, though speaking as one who has tried, it is devilishly hard to get valid serial photos without a bespoke set-up unless there is a large difference in effect.

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Your link from FightAging! Includes this important quote related to topical Rapamycin and OneSkin.

Interestingly, the OneSkin folk used rapamycin as a positive control, and found it worsened aspects of their skin models even as it lowered markers of cellular senescence - so perhaps not something to dive into until more data has accumulated.

Looking at the meat of the data in this preprint, peptide 14 performs as well or better than topical rapamycin in reducing markers of cellular senescence, at least in skin models and in skin biopsies taken from older volunteers. Formal trials and resulting human data are pending - though the product is available for anyone who wants to give it a try. Given the existing data, it will be interesting to see how the product performs in older people in comparison to topical rapamycin use.

That is true. I’ve pointed that out here in this post, and I’ll repeat it here:

But there is also research that suggests rapamycin may not be that good for the skin, increasing inflammatory markers (which is not a good sign), and triggering a breakdown of the extracellular matrix:

"Rapamycin is a long studied molecule affecting mTOR/nutrient signaling and has recently been shown to decrease P16 levels of aging skin21, therefore it was chosen as a positive control of senotherapeutic effect in aging skin models. " … “Rapamycin induced a significant increase in P16 expression, a trend towards increased expression of inflammatory markers (IL6 and IL8), and a significant decrease in Keratin 1 gene expression levels (Fig. 3B). In the dermis, peptide 14 treatment promoted a significant reduction in B2M gene expression, a pro-aging factor, as well as in the expression ofIL8. Rapamycin treatment induced no significant changes in these markers and increased Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) gene expression, indicative of breakdown of the extracellular matrix (Fig. 3C).”


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