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Pushing Boundaries: Claims & Substantiation in Skin Care

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: April 7, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Olay subjected its Professional Pro-X line to multistage clinical trials to substantiate claims that the products reduced the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles.

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According to Prakash, other naturally derived ingredients being used in personal care products include “natural peptides, dairy-based ingredients, probiotics, natural actives from traditional herbs and super fruits, and their components—mainly in supporting healthy aging—both in the cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics categories.” She says the cosmeceutical antiaging market still heavily collaborates with the nutricosmetics market—a symbiosis of sorts—to enhance overall skin care benefits. “We’re seeing enhanced delivery systems—for example, a beverage premix with actives for nutritional use and a cream or lotion supplied together in convenient to-go packs.”

New Claims and Substantiation

Bradford Rope, president of BioScreen Testing Services, Inc., notes that of his clients, the “more innovative ingredient manufacturers have been able to substantiate remarkable antiaging results [that show] some measurable and visual changes to wrinkles, skin tightening and toning that have real value in the cosmeceutical arena.”

To accomplish this task, BioScreen’s technology provides substantiation for skin topography-altering claims. “For example, lip plumping products are supposed to enhance the visual appeal of the lips through a plumping effect,” says Rope. “The effect should be subtle, yet measurable. Under-eye puffiness is a similar claim, whereby a visual effect is desired with a more subtle effect observable. The Vectra 3D system developed by Canfield of New Jersey allows a three-dimensional visual photograph to be taken and [analyzed] with the addition of very powerful measurement software. Surface changes like those described can be seen visually in a color-coded photograph, [along with] precise numerical values to surface changes that can be quantified and studied statistically.”

Not all suppliers and cosmetic brands seek outside ingredient testers. Active Organics, for instance, uses an in-house R&D department, as well as university consultants, to establish the efficacy of its products. “We use both in vitro and clinical studies on our targeted consumers to establish activity,” says Smith. “We can optimize our mushroom extract using cultured cells, and we can assess hundreds of different activities—ranging from producing cultured skin cells from free radical damage to determining whether collagen synthesis is enhanced in older cultured cells. The extraction process, the concentration and which mushroom to use can be optimized relatively quickly and at a reasonable cost. Once these parameters are optimized, clinical studies on potential consumers can be run to establish the in vitro testing correlated with observable cosmetic end benefits.”

A brand with its own R&D scientists, Olay recently tested its new Pro-X line in clinical trials to prove its claim that its products are as effective at reducing the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles as the leading prescription antiaging product. “These trials confirmed that Olay Professional Pro-X delivers clinically proven results, resignaling aged skin to perform more like it did when it was younger by repairing the moisture barrier, increasing surface skin turnover to younger levels and reducing the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles,” says Johnson. “Additionally, daily use of [the full line] was found to help skin’s stratum corneum perform more like younger, healthy skin and significantly reduce the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles relative to the baseline in eight weeks. Both expert visual grading analysis and objective computer image analysis of high-resolution digital images of the subjects, before and after eight weeks of treatment, confirmed the effects were significant and noticeable.”