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The Importance of Efficacy in Cosmeceutical Beauty

By: Abby Penning
Posted: November 1, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“Understanding the underlying mechanisms of aging events and the how ingredients work at the molecular level to resolve problem areas is exciting,” says Lippay. “Having a better understanding of the various biological pathways that affect the skin and how different ingredients could influence those pathways is a powerful tool. This can enable the creation of more efficacious products that deliver results quicker.”

“We come up with solutions that can cosmetically improve the look of skin, retard its aging process and restore aged cells. To accomplish this, we are continually searching for new materials to work with,” says Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell, MD, dermatologist and founder of VMV Hypoallergenics. Among the cosmeceutical ingredient innovations that are helping manifest these skin improvements are peptides, antioxidants and growth hormones. “Growth hormones that mimic our own to stimulate, repair and improve the extracellular compartments [are of interest in new product creation], and we are hoping that peptides can penetrate the natural skin barrier so they can truly communicate with cells in regulating their actions for growth and cell renewal,” Dr. Verallo-Rowell says.

“It is important to bring in formulation know-how at an early stage of active development as the efficacy of an active depends on influencing the skin region where efficacy is required,” Gempeler explains. “This is a diffusion process that is mainly controlled by polarity of the molecule, size of the molecule and concentration on skin. Also important in the design of new products is that a clear target mechanism and/or molecule is identified that can be used as target. DSM uses cosmeceutical products throughout its portfolio in skin care. Anti-aging is obviously the application area where visible effects are most required by consumers, and of particular interest in this regard are small synthetic peptides.”

Lippay expands on this, noting, “We have a concept called skin architecture that drives home the point that skin is not just a homogeneous layer, and you can’t solve all your issues with one magic bullet—but, on the other hand, you also shouldn’t need a mix of 10 different actives to be effective. In our portfolio of peptides for example, we have designed them each to be efficacious and solve a particular aging concern, but also created them with the end in mind that they could be used together synergistically to give a stronger effect, each acting with a different mechanism.” However, cosmeceutical ingredients and products also require safety testing as a key product development component. “In active treatments like cosmeceuticals, safety has still been underestimated, but it is fundamental,” says Verallo de Bertotto. “Any ingredient that is active tends to also have actions that can cause problems,” adds Verallo-Rowell. “Consider botanicals—great ingredients, but so many of these are irritants or allergens.”

Borba also explains that as a result of extensive product testing, “The quality and efficacy of these formulations, plus the insights on how to use them, are really improving radically.”