Online Exclusives

Cosmeceutical Hair Care

July 5, 2007

Anuva sets out to conquer the next anti-aging frontier.

Cosmeceutical Hair Care

Anuva sets out to conquer the next anti-aging frontier.

By Joanna Cosgrove

According to Todd Marmet, president and CEO of Beverly Hills, CA-based Anuva Cosmeceutic Haircare, 81 million baby boomers in the US are not only experiencing inevitable changes in their skin and bodies, but also noticing unwelcome changes in their hair like thinness, dullness and brittleness. Taking a “cosmeceutic” approach, Anuva formulated a line of six hair care products which combine a cocktail of ingredients including white tea, reishi and turkey tail mushrooms, and wild yam and saw palmetto to foster a “healthy environment to encourage hair growth and improve hair nutrition through targeted interventions in the aging process.”

 Cosmeceuticals for your hair.
Although the line’s ingredients seem more suited to be found in a health food store supplement aisle, Mr. Marmet stressed that one of the keys to healthy hair is a healthy scalp. His company sought nutraceutical ingredients for this cosmeceutic line specifically so they would “deliver a measurable result.”

“The hard science lies in the two complexes, the scalp vitalizing complex and the hair nourishing complex as these two products penetrate the hair follicle,” he explained. “The scalp vitalizing complex contains the phyto-sterols of saw palmetto, pygeum and wild yam that are used to combat the negative effect of dihydrotestosterone on the hair follicle. Biotin is used to activate cellular metabolisim (which slow down as we grow older) and Niacin derivative vitamins help stimulate important blood flow and the uptake of oxygen. The trick is to increase anagen phase metabolism of the hair life cycle.”
The second part of the Anuva equation is its hair nourishing complex, which contains the polypeptides, minerals, amino acids necessary for healthy hair growth, and is “taken into the follicle by a tissue respiratory factor.”

“Clients do notice and remark on the quality of their regrowth,” said Mr. Marmet. “Even in the shampoos and conditioners, the treatment ingredients deliver specific results. For example, Anuva uses a potent color lock to slow down the oxidation process that leads to color fadage and the tonifying shampoo used specific phyto-keratins to build up the internal strength and structure of fine hair.  
“Consumers do notice the flake free, itch free, healthy condition of their scalp post using the shampoos and conditioners - the secret is the active topical properties of the mushroom and phyto-estrogenic extracts.”

Unique Ingredients

Part of what makes Anuva different from other hair care lines is its use of uniquely functional, nutritional supplement-type ingredients. For instance, the line is formulated with reishi and turkey tail mushrooms because, according to the company, phytochemicals in these mushrooms “reduce cellular inflammation and boost immune response, enhancing the ability for the hair to assimilate nutrients.”  

Wild yam and saw palmetto are employed for their phytoestrogenic properties to “help neutralize DHT, a hormone that injures the follicle, impedes nutrition, and leads to hair loss. They also help rebalance and tone the scalp.”

White tea is used for its potent anti-oxidant properties “to reduce oxidative stress, neutralize free radicals and improve cellular response to UV radiation,” while complex amino acids – polypeptides, hydrolyzed keratin and minerals – “provide the building blocks necessary for healthy hair growth.”

And much like nutritional supplements, Anuva products have a shelf life, of sorts. “The quickest way to destroy the efficacy of Anuva products is to leave them in direct sunlight,” said Mr. Marmet. “The scalp complexes are more potent - they must be kept out of sunlight and kept sealed. Once opened, they should be used within several months.  No doubt that an extended time will lower the efficacy levels of all the products but unlike ingestible nutraceuticals and all ingestible foods, the FDA does not mandate that ingredient manufacturers provide the shelf life details.”

The sulfate-free products also feature a chemical sunscreen at a UVA and UVB factor of 15 for added scalp protection, “although we can not make the claim as this sunscreen is not yet approved by the FDA to make claims in the USA although it is approved in the EU and Asian countries,” noted Mr. Marmet. “Anuva shampoos take care of the scalp using gentle sulfate free cleansers to clean the scalp and treatment ingredients designed to boost the scalp’s immune system. The Anuva shampoos bring the hair’s natural shine without the use of artificial shine enhancing polymers; a person running their fingers through their hair feel the natural state of their hair.”

Each of the shampoos, conditioners and treatments in the six product line are formulated to work synergistically so a treatment regimen can be specifically chosen to meet the needs of each individual’s specific hair type.

Anuva Cosmeceutic Haircare products are sold in professional salons and select specialty stores such as Planet Blue in Malibu, where the shampoos and serums retail for $20, and the conditioners retail for $22.

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