All Things Active

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | May 28, 2010

From ingredients to boost hair strength to topical wrinkle smoothers, raw material suppliers are rolling out an array of actives for skin care and hair care formulators.

The Great Recession was unkind to most consumer product categories; not even the popular anti-aging category—and all of the active ingredients that make these products effective—was spared. According to Kline & Company, in 2004, sales of anti-aging products accounted for 37% of the $7.4 billion (retail) U.S. facial treatment market. Last year, sales of anti-aging products accounted for 40% of the $8.6 billion facial skin care market.

“There was a moderate slowdown in the anti-aging segment in 2009,” noted Karen Doskow, industry manager, consumer products, Kline & Company, Little Falls, NJ. “This development is mainly an outcome of the recession. Facial treatments experienced a slight sales decline for the first time in several years.”

According to Doskow, who was a speaker at Happi’s Anti-Aging Breakfast Seminar in New York City last month, the luxury and professional segments suffered the most as consumers traded down to mass-market products that are touted as having substantial anti-aging benefits. In fact, Procter & Gamble’s Olay outperformed the category with sales increasing just over 7% for the year. This is mainly due to the success of Olay Professional Pro-X and Regenerist 14 Day Skin Intervention lines with anti-aging benefits.
Despite the overall decline in facial treatment sales, the future looks brighter for anti-aging products as consumers are returning to doctors’ offices to treat their wrinkles and facial lines and for skin rejuvenation in general.

“This means they will begin to replenish their cosmetic shelves with products to preserve these services,” said Doskow. “As the economy starts to pick up we are expecting that sales for premium priced anti-aging products will experience an uptick alongside the continued strong performance from select mass-market brands.”

The enduring popularity of anti-aging products is due, in part, to growing consumer awareness about the need to protect skin from environmental stress. According to Karen E. Burke, a New York City-based dermatologist, environmental oxidative stress on the skin is due to several factors including sunlight, pollution and smoking. Burke noted that smoking is particularly bad for the skin, as it slows wound healing, causes cancer and prematurely ages the skin.

And while she acknowledged that sunscreen is one of the best defenses for skin, many consumers have problems with applying it. According to Burke, typically only 25% of the necessary amount of sunscreen is applied and users do not apply it to all exposed skin, especially eyelids, temples, scalp and ears. Moreover, to ensure proper protection, it should be applied every 1.5 hours.

“Sunscreen is not enough,” she told the Happi seminar audience. According to Burke, by including antioxidants in product formulas, cosmetic chemists can enhance photoprotection by creating a reservoir effect in skin, reversing photodamage and even protecting skin from environmental pollutants.

“Oral antioxidants do protect against UV damage, but they are less effective than topical antioxidants,” observed Burke.

When formulating with topical antioxidants, Burke recommended 5% d-alpha-tocopherol and 15% ascorbic acid.

What Works

Many active ingredients treat what New York City-based dermatologist Diane Berson calls “transitions in the skin.” At the Happi anti-aging seminar, Berson categorized aging as:

• Photoaging: wrinkles, blotchiness and discoloration;
• Volumetric aging: loss of facial volume; and
• Gravitational aging: sags, bags and loose skin.

And while she noted that there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to anti-aging ingredients, she recommended a regimen that includes sun protection, antioxidants, retinoids and peptides to reduce the appearance of aging.

Some of the antioxidants Berson recommends include vitamins A, B, C and E for their photoprotective properties and their ability to reduce immunosuppression. She noted that polyphenols and flavonoids, including grape seed extract, green tea, soy and coffee berry, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, photoprotective and anticarcinogenic activity. For example, grape seed extract aids dermal wound healing as it induces vascular endothelial growth factor expression on keratinocytes, while green tea contains catechins (EGCG) to reduce UVB damage and DNA damage. Botanical anti-inflammatories favored by Berson include pine bark extract, licorice extract, lycopene and mangosteen.

Berson also reviewed some of peptides associated with anti-aging formulas, noting that amino peptides are produced during wound healing, and that palmitoyl-pal-KTTKS is a procollagen pentapeptide fragment that stimulates collagen I and III and fibronectin production by fibroblasts.

The promise of anti-aging products has led to an increase in activity among raw material suppliers, and several companies have rolled out new actives for skin care formulations.

After expensive procedures, more women are wiliing to spend money on skin care products that can help them maintain their beauty.
New Ideas from Suppliers

Several suppliers used In-Cosmetics in Paris as a platform to introduce new anti-aging technologies. ISP’s Chronogen is a tetrapeptide that reportedly influences the expression of clock gene circadian proteins. According to ISP, the cellular circadian clock is easily disrupted by UV exposure. Chronogen helps ensure that protection takes place during the day, when UV exposure is highest, and repair is enhanced at night. In-vitro testing using a 1% concentration of Chronogen enhanced the expressions of circadian regulators, the company said.

ISP’s new Osmoline carob seed extract reportedly boosts skin’s response to osmotic stress, while helping to maintain cell shape, cohesion and moisture content, according to the company. In ex-vivo testing, Osmoline increased the presence of several water-regulating molecules, including hyaluronic acid, aquaporin-3, claudin-1 and filaggrin. Additionally, it may help boost skin’s adaptability to stresses on its water content, such as cold temperatures, low humidity, UV exposure, peelings and dermabrasions.

Meanwhile, Rovi Cosmetics recently introduced Vivendin, which it describes as a cellular active that activates the longevity gene and delivers the active into the epidermal cell.

Laboratoires Sérobiologiques rolled out three new actives at In-Cosmetics. Eterniskin is an anti-aging active that reduces damage caused by oxidative stress as well reduces deterioration of the extracellular matrix and the dermo-epidermal junction because it has a stimulating effect on the synthesis of different types of essential collagens. Derived from Maitake mushroom, a treatment product containing 1.5% Eterniskin increased skin thickness by 5.5%, according to LS data.

“Eterniskin enhances skin firmness and elasticity and restimulates the collagen network to plump skin,” explained Anne Laurie Rodrigues, marketing intelligence and communications manager, Laboratoires Sérobiologiques.

Also new from LS is Elestan, a Manilkara extract that works four ways in anti-aging products: it has an anti-glycation effect, protects against elastases, stimulates (tropo) elastin synthesis and ensures optimal structuring of the elastic fiber network through the stimulation of Emilin-1 and Fibulin-5, both of them elastin-associated proteins. Finally, new Radianskin is billed as a pure molecule—not an extract—which significantly lightens the skin after 28 and 56 days of treatment. Just 1% of Radianskin provides a whitening effect that is similar to 2% kojic acid, according to LS.

An Emphasis on Men

DSM has been a leading supplier of skin care ingredients for decades, and now the company is taking that know-how and focusing on the fast-growing men’s skin care market by offering a range of ingredients to solve a host of problems including sebum and wrinkle reducing agents, sunless tanners and soothing aftershave. For example, Iricalmin supports the restoration of the lipid barrier and soothes men’s skin, while Alpaflor Imperatoria AO has wound-healing properties.

Guys are getting into skin care, too.
“Men have different skin and therefore, different needs,” explained Kathy Maurer, senior marketing manager, DSM Nutritional Products. “We solve problems by targeting men’s specific needs such as acne or dry skin.”

To reduce sebum, DSM offers Regu-Seb, which is said to regulate sebum production especially in the t-zone. Meanwhile, Alpaflor Hyssopus AO has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. To reduce wrinkles, DSM recommends Pepha-Tight, which immediately tightens skin, and Syn-Ake, which reduces wrinkles by inhibiting muscle contractions. Radiance CR, an active complex combining Stay-C 50 and biotin, helps smooth wrinkles.

War on Wrinkles

Of course, DSM isn’t the only supplier rolling out wrinkle reducers. For example, Evonik has enlarged its hyaluronic acid technology platform for personal care products, HyaCare Filler CL, which was launched at In-Cosmetics in Paris.

Due to its three-dimensional network structure, HyaCare Filler CL reportedly contributes instantly to the reduction of facial wrinkles and fine lines, as well as increases the elasticity of the skin. Because of its high water-binding and strong short-term moisturization properties, HyaCare Filler CL, a cross-linked version of Hya- Care, supports skin hydration. It can be used for all anti-aging applications where an instant effect as well as moisturization is desired, according to the company.

Another Evonik product based on the technology of hyaluronic acid is HyaCare 50, a low molecular weight form of hyaluronic acid. Due to its strong skin-permeation properties, HyaCare 50 has a pronounced bio-activity and can rejuvenate the skin by effectively strengthen dermal-epidermal tight junctions (filling wrinkles from the inside).

Finally, new Tego Xymenynic, derived from sandalwood seeds, acts as an anti-cellulite active because it strengthens and restructures skin to keep it from bulging.

“It complements caffeine’s effect in a formula,” explained Wolfgang Goertz of Evonik. “In fact, it doubles the effect of caffeine.”

Silab, too, has rolled out wrinkle reducers and anti-cellulite agents. Its new Retilactyl D for anti-aging skin care formulas is rich in alpha-glucans and rhamnogalacturonans purified from black pepper berries. Tested on reticular fibroblasts, Retilactyl D is said to boost the capacity of adhesion, contraction and migration. It also normalizes the expression of the major specific matrix proteins of this supporting tissue.

According to Silab, Retilactyl D corrects the impact of photoaging by favoring remodeling of the contours of the face and the density and firmness of the skin. It is recommended in all anti-aging and firming face and body care products.

Cellulite Solution

Also new from Silab is Affiness, an anti-cellulite active ingredient that is said to reduce bulk storage of lipid droplets in the adipocytes. Derived from coriander and sweet orange, Affiness is said to activate lipolysis, which eliminates fats stored in adipose cells. It reduces lipid transport and storage by inhibiting the synthesis of FATP-4 and caveolin-1 proteins, limiting the internalization and metabolism of new fatty acids in the adipocytes. The result, according to Silab, is the elimination of “orange peel skin” and a finer, remodeled silhouette.

With consumers’ skin sagging, their confidence rising, and R&D departments humming again with activity, sales within the anti-aging category should be on the upswing for 2010 and beyond.

Your Hair Could Use Some Help, Too!

It may not wrinkle or sag, but hair gets ravaged by the elements, too. That’s why ISP has rolled out BiotHAIRapy extracts of yeast, corn and rice, which are said to enhance follicle marker expression in vitro to help consumers achieve stronger, healthier hair. Dynagen, the yeast extract, was designed to enhance the expression of proteins involved in the inner architecture of the hair. This may have an effect on boosting the expression of keratin 14 and 17, which has been shown to support hair strength and reinforce the hair structure, according to the company.

Capauxein, the corn extract, was designed to help maintain the hair growth cycle and boost hair regeneration. It has been found to boost the expression of protein markers (laminin-5, b1 integrin, and fibronectin) in vitro related to communication and cell signaling in hair follicles; cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion (laminin-5, fibronectin only); and positively boost in vitro the markers P63, Ki67 and phosphohistone-3—all associated with hair growth and hair follicle renewal.

Designed to boost markers of stem cell activity and help natural defense against UV-induced damage, Protectagen has a demonstrated in vitro effect on markers associated with the anagen (growth) cycle, according to ISP. Based on ex vivo studies, Protectagen enhanced the expression of markers keratin 15, which is involved in the early stage of keratinocyte differentiation; a6 integrin, one of the potential markers of hair follicle stem cells; b-catenin, which is involved in hair follicle growth and differentiation and P63, a stem cell marker related to proliferative capacity to generate hair follicles, sebaceous glands and epidermis.

While not technically an active, Rovi Cosmetics’ new Epiprotectyl UV delivery technology for hair care products holds up to 50% UV filter in a hydrophilic medium. According to Rovi, Epiprotectyl UV demonstrates up to five times more washing resistance than the filter alone and allows for up to eight times more UV filter to be applied to the hair. Moreover, it can be incorporated into skin care formulations such as creams, lotions, masks, ointments, gels, peelings, tonics and shower gels.

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