A.

 

ACHROMAXYL IS™

A skin-lightening botanical extract with clinically proven efficacy on lightening skin colour and reducing age spots.

ACHROMAXYL IS™ is a new, patented skin-lightening active ingredient for cosmetic products. It is composed of fermented and hydrolyzed proteins extracted from the Brassicaceae family. Skin-lightening bio-functional active ingredients are generally used for two major cosmetic applications:  Reduction of age spots thus being the size and intensity (one of the major signs of aging) and general skin-lightening. Achromaxyl IS induces a significant decrease in melanin content by inhibiting the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme.

 

Properties

 

§   Decreases Tyrosinase activity in-vitro

§   Reduces melanin content in ex-vivo skin

§   Lightens skin pigmentation

§   Significantly reduces skin imperfections

 

ARBUTIN (Hydroquinone-beta-D-glucopyranoside)

A glycosylated hydroquinone found at high concentrations in certain plants and capable of surviving extreme and sustained dehydration, Arbutin has been shown to inhibit melanin synthesis by inhibition of tyrosinase activity. Inhibition of melanosomal tyrosinase activity, rather than suppression of the synthesis and expression of this enzyme, appears to be the mechanism of action. Because Arbutin does not hydrolyze to liberate hydroquinone, the latter agent is not responsible for the inhibitory effect of Arbutin on melanogenesis. Several studies have shown that Arbutin is less effective than kojic acid for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Some manufacturers report Arbutin as an effective depigmenting agent at a 1% concentration.

ALPHA ARBUTIN  - Origin: Switzerland
Recognized as the safest, most effective skin whitening compound, this ingredient is not to be mistaken for Beta  Arbutin (commonly known as Arbutin). Most manufacturers use Arbutin, because it is far less expensive and easier to source than Alpha-Arbutin. A patented ingredient manufactured in Switzerland, Alpha-Arbutin has shown extra ordinarily rapid and safe skin whitening properties.               

Alpha-Arbutin is a patented synthetic mono-substance that acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor. Alpha-Arbutin shows impressive in-vitro tyrosinase inhibition on human cells.  Alpha Arbutin blocks epidermal melanin biosynthesis by inhibiting enzymatic oxidation of Tyrosine and Dopa. A  skin-lightening study on 80 women demonstrated that an emulsion containing 1% Alpha-Arbutin results in a faster and more pronounced skin lightening effect after one month when compared with other  commonly used mono-substances at 1% each. Alpha Arbutin acts faster and more efficiently than existing single components, minimizes liver spots and reduces the degree of skin tanning after UV exposure. In conclusion Alpha-Arbutin acts faster, safer and more efficiently than commonly used single components.

 

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (Thiocitic Acid)

Alpha Lipoic Acid is often called the universal antioxidant. It is both fat and water soluble and can cross any  membrane in the body, including blood-brain matter. Consequently, Alpha Lipoic Acid can protect the integrity of the cell membrane as well as offset cell stress. Alpha Lipoic Acid also promotes mitochondrial activity to help keep your body and tissues young. It is proven to shrink pores, reduce under eye puffiness, and erase fine lines and wrinkles, while improving circulation and brightening your overall complexion. We use it in some of our skin rejuvenation formulas.

 

 

ALOE VERA JUICE (Aloe barbadensis juice)

Expressed from the Aloe Vera plant which are found mainly in sunny climates. The leaves store large amounts of  water. Aloe Vera improves hydration, is soothing and healing to all skin types. Chemical analysis has shown the presence of mucopolysacharides, a natural moisturizing factor. Aloe Vera is composed of water, the enzymes catalase and cellulose, minerals, calcium, aluminum, iron, zinc, magnesium, sodium, 20 amino acids and carbohydrates. Aloe Vera also contains the “youth mineral” potassium. Has renowned healing properties, anti-inflammatory and can soothe the skin and help heal cuts, grazes, burns and insect bites. Its active constituents actually speed healing by accelerating tissue repair and encouraging normal cell growth. These properties make it ideal for use in skin care and cosmetic preparations on sunburns, acne, dermatitis, and otherwise sensitive and irritated skin. Aloe Vera has also recently been hailed for its anti-aging effect on skin.

 

AZELAIC ACID

A natural material produced by a yeast that lives on normal skin, Malassezia furfur (also known as Pityrosporum ovale). Azelaic acid has many uses in skin care; it is used as a topical treatment for mild to moderate acne and is useful for both comedonal and inflammatory acne. It is antibacterial - reduces the growth of bacteria in the follicle (p acne and staphylococcus epidermis). It is a scavenger of free radicals and helps to reduce pigmentation. It is particularly useful for darker skinned individuals that may have acne dark spots or melasma who may be sensitive to other skin lightening ingredients such as HQ. Azelaic acid is non-toxic and is well tolerated by most individuals.   However, those with very sensitive skin or who suffer from eczema may find it irritating to apply.

 

 

ARGIRELINE

Argireline from Lipotec S.A. is a unique new peptide that both reduces the degree of existing facial wrinkles and has been demonstrated effective against their development. It’s been shown to inhibit the formation of the SNARE complex as well as catecholamine release. These inhibitions confer anti-aging activity on Argireline; they closely relate to the basic biochemical mechanisms of wrinkle formation.

Controlled studies have also demonstrated that facial wrinkle depth can be reduced, especially in the forehead and around the eyes, and that Argireline can prevent apparent facial skin aging. Skin topographic analysis performed on healthy female volunteers confirmed the validation of the proposed biochemical mechanism of action.

 

B.

 

BETA GLUCAN

Beta-glucan is a fiber-type complex sugar (polysaccharide) derived from the cell wall of baker’s yeast, oat and barley fiber, and many medicinal mushrooms, such as maitake. Beta-glucan can recognize and kill tumour cells, remove cellular debris resulting from oxidative damage, speed up recovery of damaged tissue, and further activate other components of the immune system.

 

BAKING SODA (sodium Bicarbonate USP)

Functions in cosmetics and skin care as a deodorant agent, pH adjuster, buffering agent, abrasive, skin protectant and oral care ingredient.

 

C.

 

CO ENZYME Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Co Enzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10) has been the subject of important research for the past 30 years. This bright orange nutrient reportedly plays a role in the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the basic energy component of the human cell. CoQ-10 plays a role in neutralizing harmful free radicals in cells. In normal aging the body loses its ability to manufacture adequate amounts of CoQ-10. Levels of CoQ-10 can decline by as much as 80% as you age. Herbal Luxuries uses it in some of our skin and hair rejuvenation products. Consider this fact: it is impossible for any product that contains a significant amount of this powerful antioxidant to be any color other than yellow (low concentration) to orange (high concentration).

 

 

E.

 

ELLAGIC ACID (EA)

Pomegranate fruit extract (PFE), from the tree Punica granatum, contains several polyphenols and anthocyanidins (pigment that gives certain fruits their dark red colors), the antioxidant activity of which is higher than that of red wine and green tea. Ellagic acid is a compound found in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, pomegranates, and other plant foods.

 

Pomegranate extract has demonstrated a variety of beneficial functions including antioxidant and anti-viral activity. In 1996, a University of Nottingham research team in Pennsylvania learned that pomegranate extract could destroy several viruses nearly on contact. The discovery of this anti-viral activity created further experimentation and clinical trials. One study confirmed that the ellagic acid from pomegranate extract effectively protects cells from damaging free radicals.    Additional phenolic compounds found in pomegranate, anthocyanidins-also well-known scavengers of free radicals-combine synergistically with ellagic acid to increase greatly pomegranate's potency as an antioxidant.


Ellagic acid helps our skin prevent the mutagenic action of some environmental pollutants. The most extraordinary benefit of this radically innovative ingredient is that it boosts the sun protection factor (SPF) rating of topical sunscreens so that the same SPF protection levels are maintained using fewer chemicals and more antioxidants. It also helps prevent the formation of sun spots by UV radiation.

 

 

Efficiency of ellagic acid and Arbutin in melasma: a randomized, prospective, open-label study.  Ertam I, Mutlu B, Unal I, Alper S, Kivçak B, Ozer O.  Department of Dermatology and Pharmacy, Ege University School of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey.

 

 The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of gel formulations containing Arbutin, ellagic acid and plant extracts that contain ellagic acid, on patients with melasma. Thirty patients who applied to Ege University Medical Faculty, Department of Dermatology, were included in the study. A signed consent was obtained from each patient prior to study. Patients whose type of melasma was determined via Wood's lamp were randomized to groups of Arbutin, synthetic ellagic acid and plant extract containing natural ellagic acid. The pigment density of patients was evaluated via Mexameter before and after the treatment. The approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee of Ege University was obtained before the study. Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used in the statistical analysis. Nine of 10 patients, for whom synthetic ellagic acid was started, completed the study. A decrease in the level of melanin was determined in eight of these nine patients (P = 0.038). A significant decrease in the level of melanin was also determined in all 10 patients who used plant extract containing ellagic acid (P = 0.05). A significant response was obtained from all of 10 patients who used arbutin. The difference between pre- and post-treatment levels of melanin was statistically significant (P = 0.05). Formulations prepared with plant extracts containing ellagic acid was found effective on melasma, similar to the formulations containing synthetic ellagic acid and Arbutin. This material that is not yet being used widespread commercially on melasma could be an effective alternative for treatment of melasma

 

Int J Cosmet Sci. 2000 Aug;22(4):291-303.  In vitro and in vivo evaluation of ellagic acid on melanogenesis inhibition.  Shimogaki H, Tanaka Y, Tamai H, Masuda M.  Life Science Research Center, Lion Corporation, Kanagawa, Japan. 

 The efficacy of ellagic acid (EA), one of the naturally occurring polyphenols, in inhibiting melanogenesis was examined in vitro and in vivo. When mushroom-derived tyrosinase, a metaloprotein containing copper, was incubated with EA, enzymatic activity tended to decrease with decreasing copper concentration. Enzyme activity partially       recovered when copper was added to the inactivated enzyme. Tyrosinase activity in the B16 melanoma cells was   observed to recover in a dose-dependent manner when copper ions were added to the medium containing EA. Based on these results, EA is thought to react specifically with the copper located at the active centre of the tyrosinase molecule. Furthermore, when EA was applied for 6  weeks to brownish guinea-pigs, which have melanocytes in their skin, at the same  time as irradiating for 2 weeks with ultra-violet light, skin pigmentation was clearly suppressed and the skin to which EA had been applied showed features similar to that of non-irradiated skin. These areas were irradiated again when the application of EA had been completed, and skin pigmentation occurred at the former site of EA application. In similar studies with hydroquinone, re-pigmentation did not occur on the sites at which hydroquinone (1%) had been applied. Based on the results reported here, EA is thought to  suppress melanogenesis by reacting with activated melanocytes and without injuring cells.  PMID: 18503416  [PubMed - in process] 

 

 

G.

 

GREEN TEA (Camellia Oliefera)

 

Green tea is made from the dried leaves of a perennial herb shrub called camellia sinensis. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years in China, India, Japan and Thailand. Green tea may help to improve mental clarity and act as a diuretic, stimulant and astringent, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). When applied topically, green tea may have a number of skin benefits.

 

Green Tea has since been found to have two beneficial properties, Polyphenols which act as antioxidants and xanthines which act as anti-irritants. Phenolic compounds sequester oxygen atoms, they are able to react with the oxygen in order to prevent oxygen from engaging in other harmful reactions. Xanthine compounds help to reduce redness and irritation.


Creams and lotions that contain green tea may guard against sunburn, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Animal research has found that when mice were given green tea instead of laboratory water, they had decreased sunburn cells after being exposed to ultraviolet B radiation. The findings were published in 2006 in the "Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry."
The effects of green tea on skin damage due to sun exposure remains uncertain, according to the Mayo Clinic. A study involving humans found a 66 percent reduction in sunburn cells when green tea was applied to the skin 30 minutes before UVB exposure. Researcher from Program for Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, said the research confirms that green teas anti-inflammatory effects. The findings of the study were published in 2008 in "Clinical Medicine: Dermatology".

 

 

GIGAWHITE™

 

Gigawhite™ is a natural union of several extracts from plants found in the regions surrounding the Swiss Alps. This plant-derived mixture has been found effective in producing a skin whitening effect while reducing the size and color of age spots. The following plants make up the base of Gigawhite™:

 

INCI NAMES:

 

§   Marla sylvestris (Mallow)

§   Mentha Piperita (Peppermint)

§   Primula veris

§   Alchemella vulgaris

§   Veronica officinalis

§   Melissa officinalis

§   Achillea millefolium

 

Conclusion:

GIGA WHITE™ shows significant lightening activity after 12 weeks of treatment on Asian skin, without irritation. Also shows significant reduction in age spots colour and intensity. A 28.6% decrease in skin darkness by was seen after 12 weeks.

 

 

GLYCYRRHIZIC ACID (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Extract from the licorice root obtained by spraying finely cut licorice roots with water, later ethanol is added. Then the filtrate is cleaned and finally the glycyrrhizic acid is obtained. The glycyrrhizic acid is a valued raw material thanks to its equalizing, wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore it is effective against substances with skin irritating and allergy causing effect, something which has been demonstrated by various studies. Glycyrrhizin is a sapon-like glycoside found in licorice root and licorice root extract.

 

GLYCOLIC ACID

An alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) contained in sugar cane. AHA's are a relatively new discovery in active botanicals, that are excellent moisturizers and gentle peeling substances. Glycolic acid was the first AHA available and continues to be considered the best. In small concentrations they act as moisturizers, in larger concentrations they have a peeling effect on the skin, exfoliating dead skin cells without any scrubbing action. Glycolic acid is used in high concentrations by dermatologists and estheticians in glycolic peels, where they use a 40% concentration that is ph buffered and leave it on the skin for 30 seconds. Low concentrations (5-20%) can be used daily. 4-12% in a skin care cream or lotion seems to be the average range for daily use products. In concentrations above 8% the mild peeling effect clears the skin of dead skin cells resulting in softer, smoother skin, less noticeable wrinkles and a more radiant complexion.

 

L-GLUTATHIONE  -   Glutathione—Tripeptide “ The Master Anti-oxidant”

L—glutathione can be synthesised from the amino acids glycine, L-glutamic acid and L-cysteine. GSH exists in two forms namely, glutathione disulfide (GSSG) and glutathione (GSH) with former being the common form.

The presence of GSH induces the production of pheomelanin (light coloured pigment for skin whitening and fairness) and suppresses the production of eumelanin (darker brown/black pigment).

Being an ingredient of skin whitening products it inhibits melanin synthesis by interrupting L-DOPA’s abilility to bind to enzyme Tyrosinase (monophenol mono-oxygenase). Glutathione induces inhibition of tyrosinase glycosylation. This blocks the maturation as well as transfer of   tyrosinase from Golgi-endoplasmic recticulum-lysosome (GERL) - coated vesicles to the premelanosome. GSH is believed to direct tyrosinase inactivation within the enzyme’s active site by chelating copper. As glutathione takes part in the conversion of dopaquinone to pheomelanin, it mediates in the transformation of eumelanogenesis to pheomelanogenesis. Its antioxidant properties help to neutralize the peroxides and free radicals which induce melanin synthesis. GSH modulates the capabilities of melanocytotoxic agents in depigmentation and whitening.

 

 

GAMMA POLYGLUTAMIC ACID - (Gamma PGA)

A remarkably potent hydrating compound, Gamma PGA is a major breakthrough in the science of skincare.  Originally discovered in marine jellyfish, it is derived from Natto, a Japanese soybean-based health food item dating back more than 1000 years. 

 

It is ten times more hydrating than Hyaluronic acid and far more elastic than collagen. It results in visible improvement in overall skin fitness, tone and texture. Gamma PGA hydrates and prepares the skin and helps the other skin lighteners penetrate. Its anti-inflammatory properties also decrease skin inflammation, thereby slowing down    melanin secretion and reducing age spots.

 

Advantages of Gamma Polyglutamic Acid also known as  Y-PGA, Natto Gum, Plant Collagen and Phyto Collagen are:

 

§   Improves the appearance of fine lines and skin elasticity

§   Facilitates skin exfoliation of old keratin

§   Promotes clearance of stagnant melanin to brighten skin

§   Increases the production of the natural moisturizing factor

§   Anti– inflammatories properties

§   Slows down melanin secretion

§   Tyrosinase inhibitor

 

 

H.

 

HYDROQUINONE  (HQ)

 

Skin care products containing hydroquinone are popularly referred to as bleaching creams or lightening agents. These skin care products are used to lighten hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy (melasma or chloasma). The skin pigment lightening properties of HQ appear to be due to the inhibition of melanocyte tyrosinase. If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you can most likely use products containing kojic acid instead. Although generally regarded as safe, there can be potential adverse effects such as contact dermatitis. Darker skin patients may develop an adverse condition called exogenous ochronosis. This disorder is characterized by progressive darkening of the area to which the cream containing HQ is applied. Histologically, degeneration of collagen and elastic fibers occurs. This degeneration is followed by the appearance of characteristic ochronotic deposits consisting of crescent-shaped, ochre-colored fibers in the dermis. HQ has been reported to induce mutations in Salmonella and because of its potential mutagenic properties, HQ was once banned in Europe for use as a depigmenting agent. It is now allowed there in skin care products at no more than 2%. Scinderm products DO NOT CONTAIN Hydroquinone!

 

 

HYALURONIC ACID (Sodium hyaluronate)

 

The principal skin matrix fillers are glycans, a class of glucose-based polymers that includes glycosoaminoglycans and proteoglycans. As far as skin rejuvenation is concerned, the most important glycan may be Hyaluronic acid (a.k.a. hyaluronan, hyaluronate or HA).

Chemistry of hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a polymer whose unit consits of D-Glucuronic acid and N-Acetyl Glucosamine. Hyaluronic acid chains can be up to 25,000 units long or even longer; their molecular weight ranging from about 5,000 to 20,000,000 Da. Hyaluronic acid is synthesized by the enzymes called hyaluronan synthases. Humans have at least three types of hyaluronic acid synthases: HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3.

Hyaluronic acid has many functions throughout the body, especially in the connective tissue. In the skin, some of its known roles are the following:

§  Holding moisture

 

§  Increasing viscosity and reducing permeability of extracellular fluid

 

§  Contributing to mechanical resilience and suppleness of the skin

 

§  Regulation of tissues repair

 

§  Regulation of movement and proliferation of cells

 

§  Regulation of immune and inflammatory responses

 

It is important to note that physiological effects of hyaluronic acid depend to a large degree on the size (molecular weight) of its chains. In particular, relatively small HA molecules (weighing less than about 20,000 Da) appear to trigger the early phases of wound healing, including activation of various types of immune cells and inflammatory

 

One of the most expensive raw materials in cosmetics. It is extracted from natural substances by means of a biological process. Hyaluronic acid is a valuable active ingredient in cosmetics, which regulates the moisture balance of the skin. It is marked by an extremely high capacity to retain moisture. This is higher than for any other substance known, and remains unchallenged even in low humidity. This is particularly important since the skin tends to dry out in an atmosphere of low humidity. Because it is a large molecule it does not penetrate deeply instead Hyaluronic acid forms a highly moisture-retaining film on the skin, which is permeable to light and air. It is transparent, is not sticky and in no way obstructs the skins ability to breath, it makes the skin more smooth and supple. Hyaluronic acid is not completely removed by simply washing. Active ingredients can be fixed by Hyaluronic acid from which they are passed on to the skin.

 

K.

 

KIGELIA AFRICANA (Sausage Tree) FRUIT EXTRACT

 

This extract is derived from the large sausage-shaped fruit of Kigelia Africana or Kigelia pinnata, also known as the African sausage tree.

The traditional use of kigelia fruit in Africa has been both medicinal – as a treatment for skin complaints from eczema to skin cancer – and cosmetic, as a preparation to firm and enhance skin tissue. Several scientific studies in recent years suggest that kigelia may indeed have remarkable healing and conditioning effects on the skin. See below for more information on studies, traditional uses and known properties.

Potential commercial uses for Kieglia fruit extract include:

§  Anti-ageing and regenerating skin care products.

§  After-sun formulations.

§  Skin tightening cosmetics, such as bust firming products.

§  Anti-inflammatory preparations (extracts of kigelia have been shown to be more effective than Indomethacin, a potent synthetic anti-inflammatory).

§  Antioxidant agents (ethanol extract of kigelia has been shown to possess antioxidant activity).

§  Anti-bacterial preparations.

 

 

 

KOJIC ACID  (5-hydroxy-4-pyran-4-one-2-methyl)

 

A fungal metabolic product, kojic acid inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, which is the rate-limiting, essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of the skin pigment melanin. Kojic acid is also consumed widely in the Japanese diet, with the belief that it is of benefit to health. Melanocytes treated with kojic acid become non dendritic, with a decreased melanin content. Additionally, it scavenges reactive      oxygen species released excessively from cells or generated in tissue or blood.

Kojic acid is used in concentrations ranging from 1-5%. Although effective as a skin-lightening gel, it has been reported to have high sensitizing potential and may cause irritant contact dermatitis. 

KOJIC ACID DIPALMITATE 

Kojic Acid Dipalmitate has an excellent property of inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase present in the human skin so as to inhibit the melanin formation. It is more efficacious than straight kojic acid. Kojic Acid Dipalmitate can produce excellent effects in even toning the skin, fighting age spots, pregnancy marks, freckles as well as general skin pigmentation disorders of face and body. Unlike kojic acid, which often causes product stability problems such as color changes, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate offers excellent product stability without any color instability problems.

Features:

1. Skin Lightening.  Kojic Acid Dipalmitate offers more efficacious skin lightening effects. Compared with kojic acid, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate markedly enhances the inhibitory effects on tyrosinase activity, which prohibits the formation of melanin.

2. Light and Heat Stability.  Kojic Acid Dipalmitate is light and heat stable, while kojic acid tends to oxidize over time.

3. pH Stability:  Kojic Acid Dipalmitate is stable within a wide pH range of 4-9, which provides flexibility to formulators.

4. Color Stability. Unlike kojic acid, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate does not turn brown or yellow over time for two reasons. First, kojic acid is not stable to light and heat, and tends to oxidize, which results in color change (often yellow or brown). Second, kojic acid tends to chelate with metal ions (e.g. iron), which often results in color change. On the contrary, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate is stable to pH, light, heat and oxidation, and does not complex with metal ions, which lead to color stability.

Applications: Skin care, sun care, skin whitening/lightening, treatment for pigmentary disorders such as age spots etc.

Solubility soluble in ware alcohol, mineral oil and esters

Use level Skin care products: 1-10%

 

KELP (Laminaria digitata)

Oar kelp (Laminaria digitata) belongs to the family of brown algae which is frequently found along the European Atlantic coast. Laminaria digitata contains different types of sugars, proteins, amino acids & vitamins as well as minerals and trace elements. The extract stabilises the skin hydration and its efficiency can still be intensified by an additional special alginic acid hydrolysates.

 

L.

 

LACTIC ACID

A hygroscopic, usually syrupy, alpha-hydroxy acid (C 3 H 6 O 3 ), usually manufactured by the bacterial fermentation of milk, cane or grape sugars, corn, starch, etc. Lactic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the skin and is produced by our muscles when we work out. In skin care it is a gentle exfoliate for removing dead skin cells and also provides moisture to the skin. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy (AHA) acid and is a milk product. Lactic Acid is a superior exfoliant. Treatment is highly recommended for hyper-pigmentation and acne. Lactic Acid will cause the skin cells to turnover on the surface  creating a healthier looking skin, but because Lactic Acid is part of the skin’s composition, it is more hydrating than other acid peels. Lactic Acid is also less irritating to the skin and thus ideal for those with sensitive skin or those who cannot tolerate stronger acid peels like glycolic acid.

 

LICORICE (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Licorice extract has anti-inflammatory properties. Obtained from the root of Glycyrrhia Glabra Linneva, it is one of nature’s most subtle and yet effective skin lightening agents.

 

A natural skin fading agent that is an anti-irritant and relaxant that has a depigmenting effect as well as an inhibitory effect on melanin synthesis due to its ability to act as a tyrosinase inhibitor. Used to clarify and lighten the skin.

 

As a depigmenting agent, licorice extract is more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid. The Lancet reports that licorice extract (glycyrrhetinic acid) acts as a natural alternative to topical hydrocortisone, without the side effects commonly associated with the steroid.

 

Used for a number of medicinal purposes, particularly for the treatment of eczema and similar skin irritations. Delivers valuable soothing properties to the skin. Highly rejuvenating and nutritive qualities are attributed to it.

 

M.

 

MELFADE®-J

MELFADE®-J is a purified aqueous extract derived from bearberry leaves (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi) combined with magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate.

 

Properties:

MELFADE®-J combines the topical activity of bearberry leaf extract with that of magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate, for a powerful and longer lasting skin lightening.

 

MELFADE®-J is a very effective inhibitor of tyrosinase activity demonstrated in in-vitro studies, and is very popular in Asian countries as an effective means to depigment the skin.

 

Function:

MELFADE®-J reacts on the melanocytes to inhibit the tyrosinase activity by reducing melanin biosynthesis.

 

In vivo

A skin lightening study was performed with 40 Chinese women. After 3 months application of a MELFADE®-J containing emulsion the skin is lightened approximately 80% more than with Beta Arbutin. The complexion became clearer and brighter.

 

Magnesium-L -ascorbyl-2-phosphate - (MAP)

Magnesium-L -ascorbyl-2-phosphate (MAP) is a stable derivative of ascorbic acid. When used as a 10% cream, MAP was shown to suppress melanin formation. A significant lightening effect was seen clinically in 19 of 34 patients with melasma and solar lentigines. Furthermore, MAP has been shown to have a protective effect against skin damage induced by UV-B irradiation. The latter protective effect is theorized to be due to the conversion of MAP to ascorbic acid. In a Japanese study of 110 patients, a 25% decrease in hyperpigmentation was noted after 6 months of using a 3% MAP skin-lightening moisturizer.

 

 

METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane is found naturally in foods, but heat or dehydration destroys it. Used to treat inflammatory disorders, musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

 

 

L– MANDELIC ACID

Mandelic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) named after the German mandel (almond) and derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds. Mandelic acid has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating common skin problems such as photo aging, irregular pigmentation, and acne. Mandelic acid molecule is larger than the glycolic acid molecule, a widely used AHA. In addition, mandelic acid, which has a pK of 3.41, is stronger than glycolic acid, which has a pK of 3.83 at 25°C. The acidity of AHAs may vary considerably with changes in temperature. Mandelic Acid has a high melting point, is partially soluble in water. 

N.

 

NEEM EXTRACT, Herb, Powder and Oil (Azadirachta indica)

Neem is a tropical evergreen native to India and Burma and growing in Southeast Asia and western Africa. It can live up to 200 years. The Neem tree has been used for at least 4000 years in India. Externally in skin care and cosmetic preparations it is used to treat acne, bruise, burns, skin diseases, sprains, reduce dark spots, ulcers and wounds.

 

O.

 

OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE  

Currently worldwide the most popular chemical sunscreen, approved by the FDA. it is an excellent UVB absorber, safe, non-comedogenic, easily soluble in oil and insoluble in water making it an almost perfect sunscreen.

 

 

P.

 

pTeroWhite (natural pterostilbene 90%)

Pterostilbene is carefully extracted from the heartwood of Pterocarpus marsupium, conveniently blends with your cosmetic formulations, to offer antioxidant coverage and protection against    ultraviolet light, effectively lighten skin tone, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage. At 0.1-0.5% w/w in cosmetic compositions, pTeroWhite is more efficacious than resveratrol, in supporting skin texture and tone, on account of its improved stability.

 

 

PAPERMULBERRY EXTRACT ( Broussonetia Papyrifera Bark)

Paper Mulberry extract, is obtained from the root of Broussonetia kazinoki, Siebold. or B. papyrifera, Vent. Tabl. Regn. Veget. Or hybrids of both family Moraceae. Extracts of this root are potent inhibitors of Tyrosinase enzyme (2). The active constituents present in the extract are Prenylated, polyhydroxylated mono-and bisphenylderivatives. The major active constituent of authentic Paper Mulberry root-bark extract.

 

Paper Mulberry root bark extract was found to be a potent inhibitor of tyrosinase enzyme. The major constituent was identified and found to be fourteen times more potent than hydroquinone. Paper mulberry extract is found to have no significant skin irritation. This is a good ingredient to look for in a skin lightening product, as it does best combined with other actives.

 

PHYTIC ACID

Phytic Acid was first used clinically in early 1995 as a skin lightening agent. Basically it works by blocking the entrance of iron and copper in the formation of melanin. Phytic Acid is mainly found in the cereal seeds and, fruits seeds, and for years has been used as an anti-oxidant in the food industry, the alcoholic beverages industry, etc. As well as acting as a melanin formation blocker, Phytic Acid was described by Pugliese (Peter Pugliese, MD. Philadelphia, USA) as an iron specific antioxidant and he demonstrated its chelated action on iron, copper and calcium. This antioxidant action is important to the skin, because oxidation stress is an important factor in the reduction of the inflammatory process, the precursor to post -inflammatory hyperpigmentation lesions.

 

Pyhtic Acid 2% to 4%, has proven to be very efficient in the treatment of epidermic melasma’s, when it is associated Retinoic Acid.

 

 

PEARL POWDER

Contains a unique pearl protein called "Conchiolin", which gives pearls and pearl shells their beautiful luminous radiance. The 20-22 amino acids contained in pearl’s Conchiolin is similar to that of amino acids in collagen.

Conchiolin is shown to restore vitality to the skin, keeping smooth, firm, flawless and well moisturized. It is widely believed that the antioxidant properties of pearl powder help prevent skin pigmentation by slowing down melanin production.

 

R.

 

RENOVAGE™ - Pluripotent anti-ageing active ingredient

Renovage™ is an anti aging serum that works on the DNA levels of the origin of youth and targets the cell actors which guarantee lifespan and youth.
Usual anti-age skin care treatments which only fight wrinkles cannot restore a youthful appearance to the face. They do not treat loss of tone (sagging), age spots, redness, dry skin, dilated pores, and the irregularities of the skin surface. Indeed, all of these cutaneous dysfunctions are related to less efficient cell physiology. This leads to a tissue composed of "ageing cells" entering the senescence phase more rapidly than necessary. It's due to a successive accumulation of DNA damages over time which are less effectively repaired and less well protected by their telomeres.

In order to treat these various skin-ageing symptoms, Sederma launched
RENOVAGE™ a pluripotent active ingredient able to act as a cell facilitator and corrector. In vitro studies showed several properties of RENOVAGE™ as cutaneous functional and structural recovery, and above all, it avoids premature entry into cell senescence.

A clinical study showed that
RENOVAGE™ used at 3% on a panel of 24 volunteers with a mean age of 58 & plus , exerts a significant and visible activity on both functional and structural signs of ageing. Skin functions are improved with an increase of hydration and a reinforcement of the barrier function. Pigmented spots were lessened by -56% after 6 months. Skin recovers its structure with +35% of firmness and +45% of tone in only 1 month, isotropy increased and roughness decreased. Lines, wrinkles and erythrosis were also reduced.

What exactly are the clinical signs of aging Renovage focuses on?
The signs of aging that Renovage is proven to work on, are:


1.
Function loss. Clinical tests proved that the use of Renovage replenished 60% of the functions your skin performs, that it has been lacking in, due to mature age.

2.
Cell resistance . Clinical tests improved 75 to 100% the skins ability to regenerate itself, and combat on its own the toxins and forces of age that cause redness, enlarged poors, sun spots, and wrinkles.

3.
Self-defence. Clinical tests showed an improvement of 100% in the skins ability to fight off signs of aging, on a continued basis after treatment with Renovage was begun.

4.
Wound healing capacity. Your skin's ability to heal itself, not only from things like cuts and scars, but what are actually "wounds" like wrinkles, lines and sun spots.


 

S.

 

SEPIWHITE MSH (Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine)


A lipo amino acid that is a phenylalanine biovector and alpha-MSH antagonist for guaranteed lightening action

 

Lightening agent that illuminates the complexion and lightens hyperpigmented areas (age spots) after 2 months of treatment using an innovative mode of action. Super-fast lightening effect in 7 days!

Properties:

 

§  Tyrosinase, which is responsible for pigmentation, remains "metabolically" inactive (alpha-MSH antagonist and pigment accumulation modulator)

§  The complexion is enhanced with a radiant glow and the signs of age are smoothed out, after 2 months of treatment

§  The key thing in the regulation of skin pigmentation is melanotropin, also called alpha-MSH.              

§  Melanotropin controls tyrosinase activity, melanin (eumelanin) synthesis. Sepiwhite MSH is a molecule that works by "antagonizing" alpha-MSH and inhibiting tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is the essential enzyme in the formation of melanin by converting DOPA to DOPA quinone.

§  Therefore, reducing its activity is a principal method of improving skin tone and the one most commonly claimed for ingredients in current production for skin lightening. However, the manufacturer claims Sepiwhite inhibits all the other stages of pigmentation as well.

§  In a test conducted by the manufacturer, a 2% solution of Sepiwhite was compared to the same concentrations of Arbutin and Kojic acid and a 1% (because of its cytotoxicity) dose of hydroquinone.

 

Results:

 

Sepiwhite's results were visible within seven days and the "efficacy greater and faster" than the competing ingredients. It is thought that the speed of its action is due to Sepiwhite's molecular structure, which is well adapted to reach the targeted melanocytes located in the lower layers of the epidermis.

 

 

SALICYLIC ACID, Beta Hydroxy Acid/BHA (o-hydroxybenzoate)

A compound obtained from the bark of the white willow and wintergreen leaves, and also prepared synthetically. It has bacteriostatic, fungicidal, and keratolytic actions. Its salts, the salicylates, are used as analgesics. (From Dorland's, 28th ed)" Beta hydroxy acids have a larger molecule than their cousin, alpha hydroxy acids. The larger molecule size keeps the beta hydroxy acid on the surface of the skin allowing it to more effectively penetrate and exfoliate within the pore. This action within the pores makes it an ideal exfoliant for use on acne and acne-prone skin. The larger molecule size of salicylic acid produces less irritation than alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), making it a welcome alternative for those with sensitive skin. It is also well documented that it can improve skin thickness, barrier functions, and collagen production (Sources: Dermatology, 1999, volume 199, number 1, pages 50–53; and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 175, Issue 1, pages 76–82). As an exfoliant, in concentrations of 8% to 12%, it is effective in wart-remover medications. In concentrations of 0.5% to 2%, it is far more gentle, and, much like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), can exfoliate the surface of skin. In addition, BHA (beta hydroxy acids) has the ability to penetrate into the pore (AHAs do not), and thus can exfoliate inside the pore as well on the surface of the skin; that makes it effective for reducing blemishes, including blackheads and whiteheads.

 

SHEA BUTTER (Butyrospermum parkii)

 

A semi-solid oil extracted from the seeds of the karate tree of Africa. Shea Butter is high in fatty acids, making it an excellent skin emollient. It helps skin retain elasticity, and offers protection against the damaging effects of sun exposure while it helps to repair and slow cellular degeneration. It is milder, creamier and richer in texture than Cocoa Butter, and more emollient. Shea Butter makes an excellent addition to almost any natural skin care cream, lotion or balm.

 

 

T.

 

 

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – (stable, oil soluble Vitamin C Ester) - also know as (BV-OSC)

 

§  Excellent Percutaneous Absorption

§  Inhibition of Melanogenesis – clarifying and brightening effect, while in Asian the term “whitening” is used.

§  In vitro test show than 0.1% - 0.2% of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate reduces melanogenesis by more than 80%.

§  Vitamin C Ester is a universal antioxidant, stopping free radicals before the arachidonic acid cascade, cytokine release and therefore, the ageing process.

§  Prevention of Lipid Peroxidation

§  SOD –like activity and stable radical reducing activity of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

§  By adding 0.1% of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate in a fibroblast culture, the viability of the cells increased by 50%, increasing collagen synthesis.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a form of vitamin C that’s been modified to be more lipid soluble. This modification allows it to better penetrate the skin. The problem with most topical forms of vitamin C is they’re water soluble and can’t make it through the lipid-rich skin barrier to reach the dermis of skin where they could have maximal benefits. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is able to successfully penetrate the epidermis and move to the layer underneath called the dermis. It’s in the dermis that collagen, a protein that gives skin its youthful firmness and ability to resist wrinkles, is made.

Vitamin C has a variety of benefits for health and for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. It functions as an antioxidant, helping to offset oxidative damage that degrades collagen and leads to wrinkles and saggy skin. When skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun, a sequence of events occurs that leads to free radical production. These free radicals damage skin cell membranes and activate enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, two most important proteins that keep skin firm and youthful. Vitamin C has the ability to donate electrons to free radicals so they aren’t as damaging to cellular structures. Vitamin C isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, but it does provide extra protection against oxidative damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

Another benefit of vitamin C is it stimulates collagen production. Since collagen provides skin with the support it needs to stay firm and youthful, this helps to reduce wrinkles and skin sagging. A study published in the Archives of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery found that participants who used topical vitamin C for three months experienced a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles and an improvement in skin texture. This was confirmed by a similar study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery. Topical vitamin C also appears to be effective for lightening excessive skin pigmentation and improving the appearance of stretch marks. It also reduces redness and inflammation after laser surgery.

Despite the benefits of vitamin C, it has drawbacks. Some forms can’t penetrate the epidermis and reach the dermis where it can stimulate collagen production. Plus, vitamin C is unstable and loses its effectiveness quickly, especially if exposed to air or light. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is more stable than other vitamin C preparations, and is lipid-soluble, which allows it to reach the dermis of the skin where it can stimulate collagen production. Most vitamin C preparations remain on the surface of the skin where they guard against oxidative damage but have little effect on collagen production. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is able to move into the dermis where it can offer additional anti-aging benefits by stimulating collagen production. It also stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans, compounds present naturally in skin that bind and hold on to water. Levels of glycosaminoglycans decline with age and may account for some of the skin changes that occur as skin matures.

Is tetrahexydecyl sulfate safe? Like most forms of vitamin C, tetrahexyldecyl sulfate is safe. The Environmental Working Group classifies it as a low hazard cosmetic ingredient. Most forms of topical vitamin C cause skin irritation and redness, but tetrahexyldecyl sulfate is less irritating than other forms, although people with sensitive skin may experience mild burning and irritation.

All in all, tetrahexyldecyl sulfate is a form of vitamin C that’s more stable and better able to penetrate skin to reach the dermis. By reaching the dermis, it can stimulate collagen production to help give skin greater firmness and resiliency. In addition, it helps to protect against damage due to sun exposure, lighten pigmented areas, treat stretch marks and improve skin texture. It does this safely and with minimal skin irritation.

References:
Cosmetic’s Cop. “Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
Environmental Working Group. “Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
Arch. Otolaryngol.
Head Neck Surg. 125: 1091, 1999.
Dermatol Surg. 2006 May;32(5):618-25.
Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice. Leslie Baumann, M.D. (2002)

 

TEGO® Cosmo C 250

 

INCI-Name:

1-Methylhydantoine-2-imide

TEGO® Cosmo C 250 is a natural amino acid derivative. It belongs to the class of guanidine compounds which are ubiquitous in mammalian cells and known to have an important biological function as they regulate e.g. cellular growth and transformation.  Used in Skin Brightening products, Age Spot fade Creams and Skin Conditioning products.

Properties

TEGO® Cosmo C 250 has been demonstrated to inhibit tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. It can be used in applications such as skin brightening products and fade creams to improve the clarity and evenness of skin tone.

 

Tranexamic acid (trans -4-aminomethylcyclohexanecarboxylic acid)

Tranexamic acid (trans -4-aminomethylcyclohexanecarboxylic acid) is a lysine analog that has been shown to prevent UV-induced   pigmentation. It decreases melanocyte tyrosinase activity by preventing the binding of plasminogen to the keratinocytes, which results in reduction of prostaglandins and arachidonic acid, which are inflammatory mediators, involved in melanogenesis. In an open pilot study, intradermal microinjection of tranexamic acid was given to 100 women with melasma for 12 weeks. The treatment was well   tolerated, and 76.5% of the subjects reported fair lightening of their melasma.

Specially formulated with 5% of m - Tranexamic Acid.  m-Tranexamic Acid inhibits melanin   synthesis in melanocytes by interfering with the interaction of melanocytes and keratinocytes through inhibition of the plasminogen/plasmin system. m-Tranexamic Acid is a powerful pigment-lightening ingredient that dissolves pigment spots and inhibits the activities of melanocytes. m-Tranexamic Acid has proven to reduce melanin generation caused by acne inflammation by as much as 32% in the laboratory tests, making it one of the most efficient ingredients to the solution for skin pigmentation and discoloration up to date

 

It proves to be highly effective in counteracting melanin growth, removing pigment spots, and brightening skin complexion. Being able to fight chronic mild inflammation, this ingredient is also ideal for lightening acne scars.

 

TETRAHYDROCURCUMIN DIACETATE - Multifunctional natural skin lightener

 

Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (THC) is a colourless hydrogenated product derived from the yellow curcuminoids, the biologically active principles from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa (Turmeric), and function as efficient antioxidant compounds. Curcuminoids are reported to be potent antioxidant compounds by virtue of their molecular structure.

 

When natural yellow curcuminoids (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin) from Curcuma longa (Turmeric) roots are hydrogenated a colour free mixture of Tetrahydrocurcuminoids is obtained.

 

This natural blend is valued as a topical antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, with superior free radical scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibition efficacy as compared to vitamin E.    Studies indicate that Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (trademarked SabiWhite®, Sabinsa Corporation), particularly ultrapure Tetrahydrocurcumin efficiently inhibit tyrosinase. Laboratory studies revealed Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (THC) is an effective skin lightening agent with multifunctional topical benefits. The extract is safe for topical use with no irritant or sensitization side effects.

 

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparative study. The safety and efficacy of 0.25% Tetrahydrocurcumin (tumeric) cream as depigment agent against 4% hydroquinone cream

 

Hydroquinone, which is extensively used in the treatment of hyperpigmentary disorders, is associated with known side effects. Safer, natural depigmenting actives are therefore being explored.

 

A randomized ,placebo controlled study in 50 human subjects, showed that the depigmenting effects of 0.25 percent Tetrahydrocurcumin cream and 4 percent hydroquinone cream were   comparable in a four week trial.

 

No adverse reactions were noted from 0. 2 5 percent Tetrahydrocurcumin cream, while mild to moderate adverse effects were observed with 4 percent hydroquinone cream. 0.25 percent Tetrahydrocurcumin cream is therefore an effective and safe alternative to 4 percent hydroquinone cream in depigmenting formulations.

 

U.

 

UBIQUINONE (Co Enzyme Q10)

 

Ubiquinone, also known as coenzyme Q10, is a lipid-soluble quinone derivative that is present in the mitochondria and is used to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), enhancing energy. It has been shown to decrease peroxidation of the low-density lipoproteins better than vitamin E.

 

V.

VITAMIN A, (Retinol Palmitate)

 

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that aids in the removal of free radicals that cells produce. Research shows that Vitamin A encourages collagen production in the dermis, which causes the middle layers in the skin to plump out and efficiently retain moisture. Vitamin A and its derivatives have two main functions: they act as antioxidants, and they activate specific genes and proteins.

 

VITAMIN B3, (Nicotinamide/ Niacinamide)

 

Niacinamide is the biologically active form of vitamin B-3. It suppresses the transfer of melanosomes to the epidermal keratinocytes. Early studies show 35-68% inhibition of melanosomes in culture models with 1 mmol L-1 niacinamide for 12 days. Niacinamide with retinyl palmitate has been shown to improve hyperpigmentation and increase skin lightening after 4 weeks of treatment compared with vehicle alone.

 

Unlike many cosmeceutical ingredients, there is a great deal of research that supports the use of topical niacinamide. Studies have shown its usefulness in increasing synthesis of collagen and lipids, inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes (counters hyperpigmentation), and decreasing inflammation. As a precursor to niacin, it may even play a role in preventing skin cancer. Niacinamide and niacin are not synthesized in the human body and therefore must be supplied externally, either through the diet or through topical application.  

 

W.

 

WHITE AMID BARK EXTRACT, (Salix Alba)

 

It's primary compound, salicylic acid, has many of the same analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions as aspirin. White Willow Bark Extract is a natural product that provides anti-acne properties, sebum control, and can be used as an exfoliant.

 

Y.

 

YUCCA ROOT (Yucca Schidigera)

 

Yucca, known as the “soap root” by Native Americans due to it’s use in soap making for it’s    natural lathering, deep cleansing, and detoxifying abilities. Containing fiber and a slew of vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, Vitamins A, B and C, iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorus), Yucca makes an excellent skin and hair conditioning ingredient and lathering substitute for Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Sodium Laurel Sulfate. A natural cell regenerating ingredient, Yucca works to support the health of skin cells and promote the growth of younger cells. The hair and scalp benefit from Yucca as well, calming irritation through high concentrations of saponins. Yucca is also a rich source of polyphenols, including resveratrol and a number of antioxidants containing anti-inflammatory properties.

 

 

Z.

 

ZINC OXIDE

Zinc oxide is a compound formed from a combination of one molecule of the mineral zinc and one molecule of oxygen. Zinc is one of the most abundant elements on the Earth and is a silver-colored metal with a medium luster. When the metal combines with oxygen, it forms a white powder that slightly resembles flour or baking soda.

For use in skin care and cosmetics products, zinc oxide can be produced through several methods. One way, called the French or direct process, involves heating pure zinc metal at extremely high temperatures until it forms a vapor and mixes with the air. Then, the air is cooled, and the zinc oxide is captured in a special bag. This produces a potent, high quality form of the ingredient.

The same method can be used with zinc that has already combined with other elements. Known as the indirect or American process, this technique results in a finished product that is of lower potency.

In laboratory settings, zinc oxide can be produced by combining different chemicals with solutions that contain zinc. Another way to synthesize the ingredient is to pass electricity through a zinc electrode that is submerged in a liquid that contains oxygen in its molecules. These methods are used to produce large batches of medium-quality zinc oxide.

The use of zinc oxide in natural medicine dates back as far as 500 BC, when it was used as an ointment in Ancient India. By 1025, European physicians, including the Greek doctor Dioscorides, were using zinc oxide to treat growths on the skin, such as cancerous lesions. As research continued, the uses of zinc oxide expanded, and in the 20th century, mass-produced skin care products that contain the ingredient first appeared on the market.

During the 1970s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began regulating the production of sunscreens, products that are used to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. Zinc oxide is one of 17 approved substances that can be used as a sun-protective ingredient in sunscreens. Of these ingredients, zinc oxide is known to absorb the most ultraviolet energy and protects against both UVA and UVB rays, the two forms of sun energy that are the most damaging for the skin.

Zinc oxide sunscreens help to prevent the redness and irritation known as sunburn that happens as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun. These sunscreens also help limit the amount of cellular damage that occurs when the skin is subjected to ultraviolet energy. By reducing the amount of damage, zinc oxide sunscreens help to prevent sun damage that can lead to signs of premature aging. In addition, using a zinc oxide sunscreen greatly reduces the risk of developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer that are typically caused by the sun.

Manufacturers of zinc oxide sunscreens are continually working to improve the potency and effectiveness of their products. Recently, many top skin care brands have made changes to their formulations by including nano-molecules, particles of zinc oxide that are smaller than 100 nanometers in size. These tiny molecules are able to slightly penetrate the outer layer of the skin and have been shown in some clinical studies to be more protective than traditional zinc oxide sunscreens.

The FDA lists zinc oxide in its "Generally Regarded as Safe" ingredient category. The chemical is non-toxic and rarely causes side effects when used as a sunscreen. In addition, zinc oxide does not penetrate the pores, so it does not lead to acne breakouts or enlarged pores. One drawback to zinc oxide is that formulas that contain it are a bright white color, which some people feel detracts from their appearance. Sunscreens that contain nano-molecules often appear less white in color, as their smaller size allows them to reflect less light in one area, making them less noticeable. Some brands tint their products so that they do not create a white cast on the skin.

In addition to its use in sunscreens, zinc oxide has other applications in skin care products. The powder is often used as a thickening agent to make creams and lotions more luxurious in texture. The thick nature of zinc oxide also makes it effective as a skin protectant. Many diaper creams and formulas designed to prevent chaffing include zinc oxide. These products cut down on the amount of friction that occurs when fabric or skin rubs against skin tissue.

 

Z-COTE (Transparent Zinc Oxide)

 

What is Z-COTE, transparent zinc oxide?


Z-COTE is a transparent zinc oxide invented by the makers of SunSmart sunscreen products. Z-COTE is a physical agent so it sits on top of the skin and is not absorbed. Because of the way it is made, Z-COTE is actually transparent on the skin as opposed to the old fashioned white zinc oxide paste, yet Z-COTE is even more effective. Z-COTE blocks both UVB and UVA including long UVA, the rays responsible for photo aging and implicated in aggressive skin cancers. Z-COTE is effective, non-allergenic, stable and very safe for use on all skin types.

Do sunscreens help or hurt?
Recent widely publicized reports imply that sunscreens are not providing the sort of protection the public expects. While medical experts still agree that sunscreens are beneficial they are concerned that most current sunscreens do not block long UVA radiation. These rays have now been linked to photo aging and may be the cause of the more aggressive skin cancers (melanoma). Z-COTE is a technologically advanced new ingredient that blocks both UVB and UVA radiation, including long UVA, also known as UVA I.

Other UVA sunscreens include titanium dioxide and two organic sun-screens, oxybenzone and avobenzone. Titanium dioxide blocks short UVA well and some long UVA but is generally considered too whitening and is thus inappropriate for many applications, especially daily care. The organic agents can be irritating, unstable or, in the case of oxybenzone, provide only short UVA protection. Z-COTE offers an aesthetically superior, stable, non-irritating and cost-effective solution for UVA protection.

Technology
Z-COTE is a new patented form of microfine zinc oxide. It blocks both UVA and UVB radiation and, with a particle size of less than 0.2. microns, it is truly transparent on the skin. Z-COTE is already being used in many daily care and beach sunscreen products.

Efficacy
Z-COTE blocks both UVA and UVB. It provides the broadest spectrum protection of any single sunscreen ingredient. It can be used alone or in combination with other sunscreen agents and does not require any special solvents or chemical stabilizers. Because Z-COTE blocks UVB as well as UVA, sunscreens can be formulated with fewer organic sunscreen agents. This makes for simpler, more appealing and less irritating formulations.

Safety
Z-COTE is an inorganic sunscreen, also known as a "non-chemical" sunscreen agent. It is not absorbed into the skin and does not cause any adverse reactions. Long recognized as a treatment for irritated skin, zinc oxide is the only sunscreen agent included on two other FDA monographs. It has been used for over 300 years and enjoys a singularly remarkable safety record. Some traditional organic sunscreens can cause irritation, especially the UVA agents. This is particularly important in children's and daily care products where gentleness is a must.

Photostability
Sunscreens are supposed to protect the user from the dangerous ultraviolet radiation that causes photo aging and skin cancer. Recent scientific studies have questioned the photo stability of some of the organic sunscreens and this problem has even made it to the popular press. According to Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, the J. Lamar Callaway Professor of Dermatology at Duke University, "When a UVA sunscreen breaks down it is no longer providing the protection it is supposed to and this may not be apparent to the user. Under these circumstances, the user could be exposed to dangerous UVA radiation that they believe their sunscreen is blocking." In contrast, Z-COTE is completely photo stable. When consumers use Z-COTE, they get protection that lasts.

Claims
The SPF number is no longer the only criteria on which sunscreens are judged. Recent evidence links long UVA rays to both photoaging and melanoma. Consumers now expect sunscreens to block these rays. Z-COTE does and because Z-COTE provides UVA as well as UVB protection, products containing it can make broad-spectrum claims including "Z-COTE provides protection from UVA rays which may contribute to skin damage and premature aging of the skin."

Professional Recognition
The importance of Z-COTE as UVA blocker is well recognized by the dermatological community. "Zinc oxide is a physical block that is not absorbed, so it does not cause any allergic reactions. This is especially important to look for if you have sensitive skin or are using sunscreens on a daily basis." American Academy of Dermatology May 1998 insert in USA Today.