The company recently invited industry reporters to tour its facility in Ossining and learn more about this skin care active, Giant Kelp and the Zeta Fraction technology that makes it possible to capture the benefits of kelp and other natural materials without the use of solvents. Within one hour of harvesting, a specially designed mobile lab gently separates plants or algae into various bioactive components.
Ashland executives are quick to point out that their Zeta Fraction technology is a proprietary, sustainable process to capture the essence of fresh and living plants. Using specially designed equipment, broad frequencies of electromagnetic waves are finely tuned to precisely impact colloidal properties of plants’ intracellular components to initiate their targeted separation. The new SeaStem serum fraction is rich in minerals, sugars and phlorotannin which are said to provide skin nutrition, remineralization and antioxidant properties. SeaStem is the second product developed using Zeta Fraction technology. In 2017, Ashland rolled out Harmoniance biofunctional, a botanical active derived from Sacred Lotus. Both materials are Cosmos approved.
Giant kelp is the fastest growing organism on earth and, as such, is an excellent candidate for cosmetics industry use. The kelp is sustainably harvested and Ashland uses its proprietary Zeta Fraction technology to capture the benefits of the plant. Ashland researchers harvest the top portion of the plant, about 1.2 meters, with a cutting implement that ensures the kelp will continue growing. The process, which Ashland researchers liken to a lawnmower, cannot cut the sporophylls that generate spores for the next generation or the meristems that produce fronds.
Once harvested, the fronds are brought to Ashland’s unique mobile laboratory, where they are properly stored and shipped to Ossining to undergo the Zeta Fraction process, a patented procedure that ensures the active within the plant are maintained throughout the manufacturing process.
According to Ashland executives, SeaStem biofunctional supports skin and protects it against the negative effects of environmental pollutants.
“Our skin in day-to-day life is bombarded from pollution and other stress factors. SeaStem, with inspiration from the ocean, allows Ashland to help protect our skin’s stem cells from this pollution, creating a defense that aids with hydration and supports the renewal of our skin barrier, which helps us develop age-defying formulations,” explained Joel Mantelin, VP-biofunctionals business development, Ashland.
SeaStem is said to:
- Support the epidermal stem cells to help optimize the skin’s natural ability to self-renew;
- Shelter skin from the harmful effects of exposure to certain types of indoor and outdoor pollution; and
- Encourage remineralization of the skin with essential nutrients for hydration and barrier renewal.
The End Results
In skin care formulas that contain 0.5% and 1%, SeaStem was shown to help maintain keratin 15 level in skin that was exposed to defined levels of ultra fine particles (UFP). Sox9 expression increased after 0.01% SeaStem application, following cell exposure to UFP pollution stress. Ashland researchers found that p63 expression was maintained during UFP exposure-induced stress conditions after treatment with SeaStem.
In vitro test results showed that cells treated with SeaStem show a significant reduction in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, compared to untreated cells that were stressed by UFP pollutants from diesel exhaust. In fact, according to Ashland, SeaStem helps eliminate 50% more pollution nanoparticles for enhanced skin renewal effectiveness. Researchers maintain that the clearing of pollution particles at the surface of skin was more effective when cells were treated with 0.01% SeaStem.
Furthermore, loricrin expression was maintained when reconstructed human epidermis was pretreated with SeaStem and the stressed by exposure to Diesel UFP pollutants. Hyaluronic acid expression was enhanced 16% and 42% in the dermis and epidermis after treatment with SeaStem at 0.5% and 1.0%, respectively. Finally, skin hydration jumped nearly 57% after seven days of application of SeaStem at 1.0%.
With these kinds of results, Ashland recommends that SeaStem has applications in:
- Skin care concepts and products to protect skin’s stem cells from pollution;
- Cosmetic lines and products with sea and marine concepts;
- Daily defense skin care cosmetics protecting against pollution and other stressors;
- Skin care products for hydration and skin barrier renewal;
- Formulations to optimize skin’s natural renewal capabilities; and
- Age-defying formulations.
Ashland executives are optimistic that their Zeta Fraction technology will continue to expand as the company creates a catalog of actives for the global cosmetics industry.