Activity guaranteed

To meet demand for products that really work, a huge range of new cosmetic actives are appearing on the scene. John Woodruff rounds up the latest crop and takes a look at what they claim to do.

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To meet demand for products that really work, a huge range of new cosmetic actives are appearing on the scene. John Woodruff rounds up the latest crop and takes a look at what they claim to do

It can readily be shown that a sun cream protects skin from sunburn, that an antiperspirant reduces perspiration or that a shampoo cleanses hair, but actives rely more on in-vitro assessment and long-term usage so their efficacy is harder to prove. Most are either plant extracts or synthesised peptides. Almost all have antioxidant properties and claim to improve skin condition. Presented here is a variety of actives recently introduced to the cosmetic world. Their properties are introduced without comment but in each case the suppliers’ claims are backed by documentary evidence.

Without stimulating the SIR II gene a daughter cell will contain defects inherited from the mother cell and more defects are added with each generation. The latest active ingredient from Active Concepts is ACB Sirtuin Complex and cells treated with this material are repaired before they produce a daughter cell so defects are minimised. Another recent launch from Active Concepts is ACB Wakame, which uses molecular biology to enhance cellular energy without increasing damaging reactive oxygen species and is both energising and anti-ageing.

Andawaline is an extract from Tinospora crispa, a plant with almost mystical medicinal properties in Chinese and Asian medicine. It is produced by EUK Vegetable Extracts and tests show it to have moisturising and antimicrobial properties and to be a strong antioxidant; outperforming blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and other well known fruits in the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay.

Azeloglicina from Sinerga is the condensation product of azelaic acid and glycine and is offered as an ingredient that improves skin colour, regulates sebum production and improves skin hydration and elasticity. It also reduces the count of p.acnes and acne lesions are reduced in size and number following topical application of the ingredient in a suitable medium. Also from Sinerga and with an anti-acne effect is Tiolisina Complex 30. It is a combination of thioaminolysinic ester of cysteine and thiazolidine that regulates sebum production and reduces papules, pustules and inflammation caused by acne. A third material from Sinerga is Trealix, a mixture of trehalose and hydrolysed vegetable protein that adds a barrier film to the skin, protecting it from environmental influences and providing long-term moisturising.

Bodyfensine is a new tripeptide from Lipotec developed to protect the skin from external microbial invasion and lower the risk of infection such as with acne-prone skin by inducing the expression of natural skin antibiotics. The capacity of the skin and other organs to resist infection depends on the innate production of antimicrobial peptides. The most common human antimicrobial peptides belong to the defensin family, and their primary function is to protect the skin from invasion by foreign pathogens. These natural antibiotics are cationic peptides produced by keratinocytes in the skin that interact with the anionic components of bacteria, fungi and viruses to permeate the microbial membrane and disrupt their structure. Lipotec created and evaluated an extensive library of peptides to find the optimum material to reinforce the skin’s natural defence mechanisms.

Celligent from Rahn is suggested for its active cell and DNA protective properties. The active ingredient complex has been developed for treating UV-stressed skin. The composition of carnosolic acid and ethyl ferulate neutralises the free radicals which damage skin cells, thus effectively preventing the occurrence of UV damage. The uridine monophosphate component is one of the precursors to DNA synthesis and supports DNA repair in skin cells.

Skin chromophores are responsible for the colour our eyes perceive. Chromocare from Sederma claims to modify light scattering in the skin, to improve luminosity and to reduce redness and darkness. It reduces oxidative stress, which is the main cause of chromophore ageing and skin damage leading to collagen degradation, inflammation and brown spots. Chromocare comprises two extracts, Rabdosia rubescens extract, rich in oridorin, and Siegesbeckia orientalis extract, rich in darutigenol.

Cleomilk from Rahn is a plant-based concentrated skin care lotion with a composition similar to that of natural milk. Its main ingredients, black caraway oil and sesame oil, reduce moisture loss from the skin and have a refatting effect. In combination with aloe vera leaf juice, this strengthens the skin’s natural water storage. It is free from preservatives and conforms to natural cosmetic guidelines and is recommended for bath products such as shower gels, washing lotions and liquid soaps for skin care use on the face and body and as a moisturiser in o/w emulsions.

Codif has developed an effective natural active ingredient called Dictyopteris oil, said to add volume to the lips and breasts. Described as an adiponutrine booster it is said to promote adipocyte nourishing action for restructuring volumes. Dictyopteris oil has a volume enhancing effect after application on the breasts and the tissues regain density. Lips are plumped and the surrounding roughness and lines disappear. It is a high purity oil obtained from the brown alga Dictyopteris membranacea and is extracted using supercritical CO2, which ensures that the key active molecules remain intact.

Ecoline is the latest range of actives from Unipex Innovations that are Ecocert organic, preservative-free and said to be chemical and solvent-free. Based on a Native American theme, there are three actives: Nibi, Songa and Kizis. Nibi means water, is extracted from Sambucus nigra and stimulates hyaluronic acid production so is suggested as an active for skin hydration. Songa means bear and is an eco-certified active obtained from Solidago virgaurea that is claimed to stimulate pro-collagen and collagen synthesis so is recommended for skin firmness and regeneration. Kizis means sun and is an eco-certified active extracted from Cimicifuga racemosa roots that stimulates melanin production and offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it suitable for after sun products.

There are two Exossine materials: Exo-H and Exo-T. These are skin care ingredients sustainably sourced from a Pacific atoll and the actives are produced by micro-organisms using a green fermentation process. Exo-T is said to have a texturing effect and improves skin smoothness leading to an even skin complexion while Exo-H is claimed to provide excellent hydrating properties and help maintain an optimal skin barrier function leading to young and healthy looking skin. Also from Unipex is Thymulen-4, a biomimetic peptide derived from the youth hormone thymopoietin. It works by reinforcing the cutaneous immune defence system and boosts epidermal regeneration.

Gattefossé has developed Gatuline Skin-Repair Bio, an aqueous-ethanol extract of the aerial parts of the cotton thistle, as a new natural restructuring and anti-ageing active with organic certification. This new active is claimed to directly stimulate epidermal regeneration and to promote cutaneous repair. By acting on keratinocyte differentiation it stimulates the optimal epidermal reconstruction of dry or damaged skin. For normal skin, the material helps the natural regeneration process for a fresher, smoother, more radiant complexion.

Granpowder Lumière are polymethylsilsesquioxane/benzimidazole/diamond copolymers from Grant Industries that offer photo luminescent, light scattering and colour neutralising properties. The particles are optically transparent to incident light and alter the perceived appearance of the skin by refracting favourable light. The coloured powders contain D&C dyes complexed to the diamond in such a way that they neutralise skin discolourations without leaving an opaque and mask-like appearance. All six Granpowder Lumière powders emit the same intense blue glow when illuminated by long wave UV and it is claimed that the synergy between the optically transparent polymethylsilses-quioxane, the photoluminescent diamond and the complexed D&C dye leaves skin looking young, even-toned and healthy. There are six variants to treat different skin imperfections and each powder can be used independently or combined to create unique shades specific to the intended application.

Hylasome EG-10 from Lipo Chemicals is cross-linked hyaluronic acid that delivers moisture to the skin over a period of time. Lipo claims that it has five times greater moisturising activity than non-cross-linked hyaluronic acid and as a secondary benefit it is also a free-radical scavenger. It has a non-equilibrium gel structure with gel domains that hold tightly bound water. The material forms a film on the skin and delivers this water over time.

Kalpariane from Biotech Marine is based on an extract of brown seaweed and is claimed to protect and revitalise skin, to improve firmness and act as a deep moisturiser reducing wrinkles. It also prevents the degradation of elastin and collagen and stimulates cell energy and the synthesis of hyaluronic acid.

Laboratoires Sérobiologiques suggests Euphoryl to stimulate the production of dopamine; Hyalurosmooth as a botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid; Pilisoft as a botanical hair growth inhibitor, especially for sensitive skin; Skinasensyl, a tetrapeptide that targets over-reactive skin; and Sphingoceryl WS containing phytoceramides from sunflowers for hair care and skin moisturising.

Metabiotics Resveratrol from Arch Personal Care utilises its latest fermentation fusion technology platform. Pichia pastoris is used to ferment resveratrol resulting in metabolites that offer cosmetic benefits over and above those of the original starting material. Metabiotics Resveratrol does not contain resveratrol as it is fermented until there is no detectable resveratrol present and so is free of restrictive patents. The main activity is for anti-ageing applications and key effects are anti-wrinkle and lifting actions, skin smoothing, enhancing skin tone and boosting collagen IV, an essential component of the dermal-epidermal junction. It also possesses anti-inflammatory action.

Gattefossé has introduced an addition to its Mineral Matters range. Rich in magnesium, Oli’Vîne is said to increase the cellular energy level and help the skin cells fight against stress via an optimal adaptive answer. Stones are compounds rich in oligo-elements, essential catalysts of the principal biochemical vital cell reactions. Gattefossé says it has developed a unique technology to extract essential oligo-elements directly from stones and make them bio-available for skin cells.

Phytelene Complex EGX 772 from Greentech is a mix of marine extracts said to improve microcirculation, protect against free-radicals, stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis and moisturise the skin. It is a preservative-free aqueous/glycolic solution.

Phytami Dragonfruit is Hylocereus undatus (dragonfruit) extract and is the latest plant extract to join Alban Muller’s preservative-free, glycerin-based plant extract range. With its moisturising and antioxidant properties, this exotic extract is ideal for all skin care applications. Also from Alban Muller, Botamix Anti-Age is a complex mixture of plant extracts with anti-ageing, revitalising and antioxidant properties.

DSM Pentapharm seeks to tackle the symptoms of Rosacea and skin redness with Regu-CEA, which helps to relieve and repair skin irritation, prevent vasodilation and inhibit inflammation and the release of proteases. It also helps to prevent damage to skin structures and provides excellent skin soothing properties. It comprises spent grain wax, which has anti-irritant effects and antihistaminic properties; palmitoyl tripeptide-5, which stimulates the production of collagen, repairs extracellular matrix damage and firms the skin; and conjugated linoleic acid, which has anti-oxidative properties, and helps soothe skin irritation and restore the epidermal barrier function.

Rosmarinyl Glucoside is an Ecocert approved glucosylated plant polyphenol from LibraGen. Starting with Melissa, LibraGen obtains rosmarinic acid and then converts this to rosmarinic acid-d-glucoside by an enzymatic process. When topically applied in a suitable vehicle it is converted back to rosmarinic acid by skin microflora and skin cells. It has anti-inflammatory, soothing and free-radical inhibiting properties.

Relifoil 25 and Relifoil 50 are suggested as additives for use in skin care formulations such as creams, emulsions, milks and gels by EUK. They are mixtures of Baobab oil and free fatty acids obtained from grape seed oil by enzyme hydrolysis and are claimed to rebuild the epidermal barrier, to have antioxidant activity and to reduce epidermal water loss. They differ in their content of free fatty acids but both show anti-inflammatory activity and protect against skin ageing.

RevitElix and RevitElix Nutra from Croda are plant derived sources of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids from Echium plantagineum seed oil for topical and ingested application. They are shown to regenerate dermal structure and boost skin protection and claim to provide beauty from within. When taken as a nutritional supplement Croda claims that omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids work with the body’s metabolic pathways to enhance the natural regenerative properties of skin. When RevitElix is topically applied it significantly increases collagen, fibrillin and decorin synthesis and boosts the natural skin barrier to prevent UVB inflammatory damage. Perceivable benefits are said to be a reduction in wrinkles and an increase in skin elasticity.

Sereniks-207 by Biopharmacopae is a novel cosmetic additive with anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing and antimicrobial properties. Silab suggests Zenicyl as the youth restoring partner of overworked skin, Cohesium for tightening the skin junctions for better moisturising and Papilactyl D to improve skin resilience.

Symrise has launched several new actives in recent months. SymTriol is described as a synergistic blend of 1,2-octanediol, 1,2-hexanediol and methylbenzyl alcohol and is a multifunctional ingredient with moisturising, antimicrobial and fragrance properties. When used at 0.8% in a nonionic emulsion it achieved a 3-log reduction of the normal challenge organisms within two days. SymHelios is a new cosmetic ingredient for skin care said to have a positive influence on skin health. It can be used in protective skin care products to protect against the long-term damaging effects of UVB rays and it reduces UVB induced wrinkles and inflammation. A third material is SymVital, a blend of aloe vera leaf juice, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and raspberry leaf extract to provide an anti-ageing ingredient that enhances collagen synthesis within the skin.

Evonik has recently launched Tego Cosmo LSG, a water-soluble, natural beta-glucan biopolymer obtained via fermentation. The large water-binding capacity, soothing properties and positive effects on the skin barrier combined with its silky skin feel make it suitable for formulations looking to provide skin protection. The company has also launched Tego Cosmo PGA, a natural and biodegradable gamma polyglutamic acid. This biopolymer, polypeptide of L-glutamic acid is a film former said to provide beneficial moisturising and sensory benefits.

The major cell type in the dermis is the fibroblast, a cell that synthesises protein products, such as the extracellular matrix, and connective tissue fibres, such as collagen, elastin and reticulin. These proteins are responsible for the proper integrity and elasticity of skin. Over time, cells show a decrease in their replication and metabolic capacity, resulting in a reduction in their number of duplications. Vitasource from Provital is a purified fraction from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis georgi that extends the active life of human fibroblasts in vitro by around 10%, delaying their ageing process.

Volulip from Sederma is a combination of Portulaca pilosa extract and the deoxygenated natural peptide Pal-KMO2K in a lipo-soluble excipient. It is said to double the synthesis of hyaluronic acid and stimulate the synthesis of matrix and dermal-epidermal junction molecules leading to improved internal and superficial lip texture with a visible impact on lip shape and an increase of lip volume, hydration and softness.

Whitesphere is the latest product from Soliance. It is presented as a potent skin whitening complex to help fade away dark spots. Whitesphere Premium is a blend of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, glabridin, extracted from the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra, and a peptide extract of a brown macroalgae, Undaria pinnatifida, all encapsulated in spherulites. Spherulites are formed by a patented microencapsulation process that allows direct delivery of the active ingredients to the target cell to fade away age spots. Its action is a three-stage process combining tyrosinase inhibition with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

Xeradin from Provital is a moisturising ingredient obtained from sage cultivated under xeric conditions to achieve the desired adaptogenic mechanisms. Xeradin increases the level of skin moisture without altering its barrier function and gives an immediate and long lasting moisturising effect.

Of course if you want to get the most from your actives it is vital to formulate them in the right way and use them at appropriate levels.

Featured Companies

Sederma (more information, website)
Lipotec Active Ingredients (more information, website)
Greentech (more information, website)
Rahn (more information, website)

See also