Happi Talks

Greener Peptides for Skincare Applications

Sederma offers ethoxylate-free Matrixyl 3000 and and introduces PoreTect, which relies on botanical peptides derived from flaxseed.

Released By Sederma

Greener Peptides for Skincare Applications

Today’s consumers are looking for more efficient, sustainable, and highly targeted solutions to address their specific skin care concerns. With sustainability being a major focus in the beauty industry, and certain very specific peptides being so beneficial for various skin concerns, the question becomes, to what extent can synthetic peptides be considered as sustainable cosmetic active ingredients?

Happi recently sat down with Denise Gabriele, vice president, sales & marketing, Sederma, to discuss the power and potential of peptides.


Happi: Most formulators and their marketing teams understand the beauty benefits of peptides. For those not in the know, could you provide some background on what these active ingredients bring to skincare formulas?

Denise Gabriele: Like proteins, peptides are naturally present in the body and composed of amino acids (AA). Proteins are long chains of AA where peptides are short chains of AA. The peptides we are concentrating on here for cosmetic applications, have very specific amino acid sequences and contain a maximum of 20 AA. These peptides mimic the natural mechanisms of action in the skin and can modulate protein production pathways. One must keep in mind however, that not all peptides are alike. The real challenge for scientists is to find the precise amino acid sequence that can trigger the production of the proteins of interest, such as collagens, elastin, hyaluronic acid and other matrix components of interest. They work like a lock and key mechanism, binding to cells to unlock a specific messenger that initiate an action. Many of the Sederma skin care peptides mimic the AA sequences of the natural cell messengers that come from the skin’s extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. When a protein of the ECM is broken down, some of the peptidic fragments generated have the capability to bind to receptors to trigger the natural renewal of a protein or series of proteins. Thus, the advantage to using peptides that mimic these AA sequences is that they can trigger the mechanisms that naturally occur in skin.

There is a wide variety of peptides available in the cosmetic industry which, depending on the sequence, can provide many different cosmetic benefits. These benefits include reducing the appearance of wrinkles, firming the skin, rejuvenating the hair follicles, etc… Today peptides are key ingredients in many highly targeted skin care and hair care products, and in particular anti-aging products.

Both natural and synthetic peptides have very specific functions and are particularly effective. Having been used in the skincare for decades, peptides respond to the growing demand to demonstrate the veracity of consumer product efficacy claims with scientific evidence. Being the forerunner in cosmetic peptides, Sederma identified and created several peptides that raised the bar on the level of consumer-perceivable performance.


Happi: Sustainability issues impact every consumer category. What makes Sederma's peptides more sustainable than other peptides on the market?

Gabriele: While I can’t specifically comment on other peptides on the market, I can address the sustainability benefits of Sederma’s peptides.

First, these synthesised peptides are made up of short chains of amino acids, elements naturally present in the human body and the environment, therefore bring nothing foreign to those ecosystems.

Sederma, as part of Croda closely follows the 12 Green Principles of Chemistry for chemical synthesis. Sustainable development is at the heart of our concern and important measures are taken to continuously improve our peptide synthesis process. When performing chemical synthesis, our priority is to avoid the use of solvents that are harmful to people and the planet. We also are continuously making progress in the reduction of energy consumption and in waste management. The design of chemical reactions and synthesis routes is intended to be as safe as possible.

In addition, deforestation and other collateral damages linked to palm oil culture is a concern in the personal care industry. However, the answer is not to boycott palm oil but to transform the supply chain to sustainable palm oil. Croda received peer recognition for its work to deliver products containing sustainable palm oil derivatives, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Most of the Sederma peptides link a palmitic chain to the amino acid sequence to enable their bioavailability. The palm derivatives used to produce these peptides are RSPO certified according to Mass Balance (MB) supply chain model.


Happi: Many brands are interested in more natural cosmetic products. How do synthetic peptides affect the naturalness of a cosmetic product?

Gabriele: To meet the growing consumer demand for natural cosmetics, ISO 16128 is a standard that helps ingredient selection when formulating. It provides a framework to determine the natural and organic origin content based on the ingredient characterization. Peptides are effective at low levels, and when in an excipient of natural origin (e.g., natural glycerine) the commercial ingredient meets the requirements of ISO 16128 with a very high natural origin index, up to 99.99%. As an example, Sederma recently launch a greener version of the iconic Matrixyl®3000, Matrixyl®3000 GLYX which is RSPO, IECIC listed, carbomer and ethoxylate free.


Happi: Speaking of naturality, does Sederma produce any botanical or natural peptides?

Gabriele: A prospective research team at Sederma developed the natural peptides found in PoreTect. This is the first product that integrates the technology of well characterized botanical peptides. Naturally present in flaxseed, these peptides are cyclic in structure, with a perfectly defined size and composition. In addition to these cyclic-peptides PoreTect also contains senkyunolide, naturally present in the seeds of Selenon (or celery, Apium graveolens). Based on the combined activity of these molecules, PoreTect helps re-densify and re-pulp the skin while improving its firmness and surface texture. It also helps to reduce appearance of pores while modulating sebum production.

Moving forward, innovation for more environmentally friendly peptide production is of the utmost importance to reduce our impact. Sederma invested in this field for many years and initiated several research projects to substitute the most harmful solvents and reduce the consumption of solvents overall. Sederma is also part of very avant-garde development programs that will allow us, in the near future, to manufacture peptides without resorting to solvents via synthetic biotechnology, in particular from algae.

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About Denise Gabriele
Denise Gabriele is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Sederma, Inc., the bioactive division of Croda International Plc. She has more than 30 years of experience in the cosmetic industry, and over 25 years in selling and marketing active ingredients. Gabriele holds a BS in chemistry. She has gone from cosmetic chemist to quality assurance manager, to start and head up the US Subsidiary of Sederma, SAS, specializing in bioactive cosmetic raw materials. Over the years she has acquired various insights and knowledge pertaining to many different aspects of the cosmetic business, and along with her amazing technical, sales and marketing team, utilizes her insights and customer relations to help make Sederma’s ingredients some of the most recognized and sought-after in the cosmetic industry.



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