How AI is fighting acne and revolutionizing the skincare industry

Published: 9-May-2024

Strengthen your formulations with LipoTrue’s AI-optimized ingredient, SP[AI]3TM

Author: The Covalo Team

AI just got a lot more personal

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of consumers' everyday lives, serving as a powerful force that operates in the background of a growing number of their everyday tasks and decisions. From personalized recommendations on streaming platforms to generative AI models instantly creating new images and text from scratch, there’s no doubt that consumers are increasingly relying on AI to enhance convenience and efficiency across various aspects of life. What was a cool shiny “gadget” a few years ago, is now a lasting consumer trend that will only integrate more deeply into their lives. 

AI’s impact has begun to transcend beyond mere convenience, extending into industries like personal care. Now, it has quickly found itself at the center of new product development innovation – for LipoTrue and other manufacturers – pushing the frontiers of what was previously possible, and revolutionizing the effectiveness and results of their new skincare ingredients. So, not only does AI help people boost their productivity, but behind the scenes, it can actually help people improve their appearance and ensure clean, glowing skin. In this way, AI just got a lot more personal.

Let’s dive into one of the most common skin conditions out there – acne, officially the most common disorder in the U.S., affecting 50 million Americans annually. According to Yale Medicine, it’s a skin disorder that peaks in adolescence and early adulthood, affecting around 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24. While it’s often thought of as a teenage problem, adult acne is on the rise, with 33% of women in their 30s and 25% of women in their 40s suffering from acne. There are several types of acne, primarily appearing in different forms of lesions, or pimples, usually on the face. It is characterized by excess or high production of oil in the pore, a buildup of dead skin cells in the pore, or a growth of bacteria in the pore. 

Due to its highly common nature, it has been extensively researched and funded, leading to a steady stream of new ingredients that vary in strength and harshness. From Salicylic acid and Benzoyl Peroxide, to Accutane, affected consumers are always on the hunt for fast-acting, effective products that work for them, willing to use potentially harsher ingredients in favor of a clear face. AI has opened up a new world of possibilities for optimizing and enhancing skincare ingredients for fast-acting clarity that consumers crave.

Introducing SP[AI]3TM, an acne-fighting innovation 

One example of this is the new SP[AI]3TM, developed by LipoTrue and launched just last week at in-cosmetics Global 2024. This innovative, AI-optimized ingredient has proven to be effective in improving the appearance and prevention of imperfections in acne-prone skin. It’s a peptide that has been produced using in silico design (performed through computer software) in collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputer. This peptide for acne-prone skin is unique in that it has leveraged AI to triple-target all three players that are responsible for causing acne: ACC enzyme, MMP-1 enzyme, and IGF-1R hormone. Tackling these 3 key players helps regulate sebum, pores, and inflammation, with both precision and an optimal level of binding. 

By specifically and precisely targeting all three at once, the benefits include reduced sebum, reinforced elastic modulus surrounding the pore, and lower inflammation produced by Cutibacterium acnes. The ability to triple-target is quite revolutionary, and considered rare in the personal care industry, as single-targeted ingredients are far more common. In this case, in silico design and AI have optimized both the ingredient’s ability to bind to a single target, as well as ensured that optimal binding is achieved to three distinct targets.

Both in vitro and ex vivo testing showcased SP[AI]3TM ‘s powerful efficacy in fighting acne holistically, by reducing sebum, inflammation, and pore size. 

A recent test showed these results in terms of efficacy and performance: 

  • Immediate efficacy for acne improvement within 7 days 
  • Up to 39% less sebum in 7 days 
  • 19% reduction in pimples in 14 days 
  • Up to 26% less protoporphyrins in 28 days 
  • 22% less lipoperoxidation in 28 days 
  • 8% reduction in pore size after 28 days 

These results were reported by 40 Caucasian women (18-35 years old), with mild to moderate acne on their faces, who applied a cream with 2% SP[AI]3TM on their whole face for 28 days. 90% of them claimed that “skin is less oily,” 95% of them shared that “the product reduces the size of pores,” and 80% of them said that “imperfections are less visible.” 

The role of AI in their development process 

This highly advanced in silico design was facilitated by superior computational AI to perform thousands of mathematical operations to analyze potential peptides. This analysis enabled LipoTrue to determine the best binding energy for interacting with the targets. The ACC enzyme, which regulates sebum, was the most restrictive target, which was prioritized in the screening process. If the peptide could inhibit the ACC enzyme, then the chances of it working well for MPP-1 and IGF-1R blocking was also high. As a result of AI computations, they identified the ideal ingredient that could most effectively bind to all three targets – SP[AI]3TM. This peptide was selected for its demonstrated effectiveness in optimal and specific binding, inhibiting ACC, MPP-1 activity, and IGF-1R blocking, as validated through in-vitro studies. 

Without the AI-powered computations on the Barcelona Supercomputer, it would not have been possible to identify effectiveness for binding with the triple targets, and to accurately measure their interactions.

Giving consumers what they want: A multifunctional ingredient that delivers fast results 

The introduction of SP[AI]3TM means that with one single ingredient, consumers can address the three key influencers of acne: sebum, inflammation, and pore size, offering a holistic approach. Moreover, its immediate efficacy within seven days caters to the demand for swift results among those who suffer from acne-prone skin, meeting the expectations of today’s modern consumers for products that deliver fast results. 

In the personal care industry, AI has begun to play a pivotal role in revolutionizing ingredient and formulation development. Through the analysis of vast amounts of data, scientific research, and consumer insights, AI-optimized ingredients can take all aspects of today’s consumer demands and desires into account, resulting in powerful and effective products. 

The use of AI in ingredient development gives confidence to formulators and consumers alike that they have been produced with all the right data-driven inputs and mathematical calculations. As AI is a topic that consumers are increasingly familiar with and reliant on, this is a vote of confidence that implies thorough research, production, and powerful results. 

When it comes to acne in particular, the amount of information available is overwhelming, necessitating a shift towards a minimalist trend and products with multifunctional efficacy. At Covalo, we work with companies like LipoTrue to supply high-quality ingredients to cosmetic companies that are at the forefront of innovation. Strengthen your formulations by considering AI-optimized ingredients like SP[AI]3TM

👉 Learn more about SP[AI]3TM, launched by LipoTrue just last week at in-cosmetics Global in Paris, and an award nominee for Best Active Ingredient within the event’s Innovation Zone: 

The Innovation Zone at in-cosmetics showcases 180+ new personal care ingredients, all launched within 6 months, or at the event itself! Getting shortlisted for Best Active Ingredient at in-cosmetics Global is a badge of honor that highlights LipoTrue’s ingenuity and innovation in research and development. 

👉 To explore other innovative ingredients, discover more award-nominated ingredients from in-cosmetics Global’s Innovation Zone on Covalo here: 

Relevant companies

You may also like