Type I and III collagens are the major components of skin dermis. Skin aging is related mainly to a decrease in type I collagen levels. Collagen I also plays an important role in wound healing. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine the levels of secretion of type I and III collagen in human fibroblast cultures with or without asiaticoside and madecassoside. Normal adult dermal fibroblast cultures were established using the explant method from a skin (lifting) sample obtained from a 50 year-old woman. Fibroblasts were grown to confluence in supplemented E 199 medium and after 24 hours of growth, products were added in serum free medium containing 0.15 mM sodium ascorbate. The media were then collected and type I and III collagen secretion levels determined. Kinetics of type I and III collagen secretion led to determine the effects to asiaticoside and madecassoside after 48 hours for collagen I secretion and 72 hours for collagen III. Two triterpenes with an ursenoic skeleton, asiaticoside and madecassoside, were shown to stimulate collagen secretion. Type I secreted collagen (for 10(4) fibroblasts per 48 hours) was increased for 25-30% with asiaticoside and madecassoside. Interestingly, only Madecassoside was able to increase significantly collagen III secretion.