With the FDA alert on hydroquinone, it is essential that formulators find alternative and effective ingredients which can block tyrosinase – the enzyme that is responsible for melanin production. The introduction of the peptide Melanostatin-5 is an important addition to the anti-tyrosinase arsenal currently on the market. Melanostatin-5 is a biomimetic peptide that works as an antagonist on the MC1-R receptor of the melanin stimulating hormone (α-MSH), blocking tyrosinase activity and therefore, blocking the overproduction of melanin. Melanostatin-5 works well with other tyrosinase-inhibiting ingredients such as kojic acid, licorice root, and arbutin, providing a more complete skin lightening effect on the skin.
Many skin care companies on the market include a particular anti-aging ingredient, TGF-β (Tissue Growth Factor), into their skin care formulations. Considering TGF-β is a key element in collagen production and collagen is the main component of the extra cellular matrix, this is no surprise. A recent and alternative approach is to stimulating our body’s own TGF-β to activate collagen biosynthesis and this can be accomplished by a newer peptide on the market named Syn®-Coll, which is a tripeptide (palmitoyl tripeptide-3). Syn®-Coll is a biomimetic peptide that copies the amino acid sequence of Thrombospondin 1 (ARG-PHE-LYS), which is a key component in stimulating TGF-β in our skin cells. This is a relevant introduction because peptides are known to have excellent stability; they are widely accepted by our bodies since we manufacture proteins already; and peptides do not have an odor, which makes for a pleasant experience for the customer in the finished product containing Syn®-Coll.
Wrinkle Smoothing Peptides/Topical Botox Alternative
If you’ve heard the term “Botox in a Bottle” then you’ve heard about the most popular anti-aging peptide in the skin care market to date—Argireline®. This hexapeptide (six amino acids in a chain) works in a very similar manner as Botox® by altering the formation of the SNARE complex, which is the end terminal neural signal responsible for muscle contractions. Any alteration in the SNARE complex disengages the signal telling the muscle to contract, which in turn leads to temporary muscle paralysis. Botox® and Argireline® both affect muscle contractions through manipulation of the SNARE complex, the difference being Botox® temporarily paralyzes the muscle and Argireline® relaxes the muscle. Newer versions of this popular peptide have been created based on the success of Argireline®. One such peptide is Snap-8, which is an octapeptide and works very similarly as Argireline® but its elongated chain (eight amino acids in a chain) has a stronger effect on relaxing muscle contractions. Another peptide, Syn®-Ake, is a tri-peptide (three amino acids in a chain), which mimics the neuromuscular blocking compound found in the Temple Viper snake. The sequence of the amino acids in Syn®-Ake blocks the acetylcholine receptor site in the muscle tissue, thus blocking the ability to create a muscle contraction. Snap-8 and Syn®-Ake are both important additions to the “skin smoothing” peptide family and they are considered a beneficial adjunct to formulations containing Argireline. An interesting note to mention is many physicians in the cosmetic enhancement arena look for skin care formulations containing such above wrinkle smoothing ingredients due to the fact that Botox® is limited when injected in the eye area for crow’s feet. The wrinkles in the lower eyelid area cannot be treated with Botox® and using a product such as an eye treatment formulated with one, if not all, of the above mentioned skin smoothing peptides can address those particular wrinkles and in the best way they can.
Cellulite is a problem for many individuals, regardless of shape or size. For some, no matter how much exercise or dietary changes are made to lessen cellulite or localized fat, it is difficult to treat. Newer cellulite ingredients have entered the market to prevent and remove cellulite from a mode of action based on two main mechanisms involved in cellulite formation: lipolysis (breakdown of fat in fat cells) and lipogenesis inhibition (prevention of fat storage in fat cells). Slimbuster-H is an important recent addition in the arsenal to treat cellulite due to its ability to address both lipolysis and lipogenesis inhibition. Slimbuster-H is comprised of plant extracts from the Amazon rainforest including Marapuama (Ptychopetalum olacoides), Catuaba (Trichilia catigua), and Pfáfia (Pfaffia sp). One function of these plant extracts is they increase microcirculation, which in turn drains the edema of localized fatty areas, resulting in a smoother and slimmer appearance. Another benefit of Slimbuster-H is its ability to directly activate lipolysis and lipogenesis inhibition by modulating specific mechanisms in our body that affect the build-up of fat cells. These mechanisms are referred to as neuroimmunomodulation mechanisms. They signal either neurotransmitters (neuropeptide Y, alfa-2 receptor) or immune cells (TNF-alpha), which affect both lipolysis and lipogenesis inhibition. Slimbuster-H is a unique ingredient because it is the first ingredient of this kind that has been engineered to address the neuroimmunomodulation affect of fat cells to combat cellulite and localized fat.
With the continuous growth in the anti-aging arena a logical step for skin care innovators to take is to research and create ingredients which repair and protect our DNA. Telomeres, which are a part of our DNA, are responsible for the time span our cells live. Telomeres are found at the end of chromosomes in our DNA and shorten with each cycle of cell differentiation. Every time a cell divides, the length of telomeres shorten until it reaches such a limited length that the cell no longer divides; this phase is referred to as senescence. Besides normal cell division affecting the length of telomeres, oxidative stress due to UV or environmental elements or even our body’s own mitochondrial dysfunctions (due to age and stress) can lead to DNA breaks and therefore, a shortening of telomere length. With this knowledge, finding a way to stabilize telomeres and maintain healthy DNA would equate to increased phases of cell division and a healthy maintenance of our vital skin cells. A new ingredient of particular interest to formulators which addresses aging at the DNA level is Renovage™. This active ingredient stabilizes DNA and its telomeres as well as increases the efficiency of our body’s own DNA repair processes, which becomes dysfunctional as we age. The skin looks visibly younger from using Renovage™, with an improved barrier function, improved skin tone, smaller pore size, reduction of UV damage, and less redness or erythrosis of the skin. Renovage™ is an impressive “repair and protect” ingredient that addresses the many physiological aspects of aging, making this sound ingredient stand out in today’s anti-aging skin care market.
Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™
Another compelling ingredient to add to the list of non-invasive injectibles is the “topical filler” Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™. This novel ingredient is composed of dehydrated hyaluronic acid (HA), which is able to rapidly penetrate the skin. Once the spheres come in contact with the skin’s natural water sources (TEWL), the HA takes up this water and the spheres swell, creating volume and filling in the “gaps” or wrinkles. Another benefit of the HA spheres is once they take up the surrounding water from TEWL, the result is long-term hydration in the epidermis, providing yet another reason to covet the benefits of hyaluronic acid, our body’s own natural hydrator. It is suggested Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™ are incorporated in lip enhancing products and eye creams for its “plumping” effect, and it may even provide that temporary “fill” that certain injectibles could satisfy in the eye or lip area. Some may see this as a nice adjunct or even an alternative to certain injectibles, as applying a product containing the HA spheres is temporary (lasts six hours in the skin), it won’t make you bruise, and best of all, it’s pain-free.
The awareness of environmentally-friendly products and packaging, has led to an industry movement towards parabens being eliminated as a preservation system in skin care formulations. In response to this movement is a globally-approved paraben-free and broad spectrum antimicrobial preservative system named Botanistat PF-64. Utilizing this system provides environmentally aware benefits while providing safe and stable, non-sensitizing products. As an added benefit, Botanistat PF-64 also provides skin conditioning properties, which is an attractive addition to the already non-irritating nature of this preservative system. Purchasing products containing paraben-free preservatives is a conscious decision that the discerning consumer is looking for in current skin care formulations and manufacturers need to comply with this new demand.
Skin care products with the above mentioned ingredients provides formulators with innovative and effective anti-aging, slimming, cell protecting, skin-plumping, and paraben-alternatives which deliver compelling results. Just think about how far we have come since glycolic acid was the pioneering ingredient in the skin care market. We have come a long way! New and exciting ingredients will continue being discovered and these new technologies will continue to change the “face” of the skin care industry.
Sam Dhatt is a world-renowned, award-winning cosmeceutical chemist, who serves as the CEO and president of DermaQuest Skin Therapy. During his 20-plus year career as a sought-after formulator, Dhatt has formulated and manufactured skin care products for over 700 companies, including many of the best-known brands in the industry. Dhatt leads a team of beauty experts who share his philosophies and goals of developing and delivering the safest, most advanced products possible to clinical professionals. Dhatt is a frequent expert-author of articles featured in many trade journals and skin care publications.
Allyson Rogers is a licensed aesthetician with a true passion for the skin care industry, which is evident when you see her teach a class or demo the latest peel. With a degree and background in business before obtaining her license in aesthetics, Roger’s previous experience helped developed her approach to skin care which is both practical and scientific. It is her continuous mission to bring the latest developments in skin care to the DermaQuest Skin Therapy line.