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Today's Hot New Ingredients

By: Sam Dhatt
Posted: September 3, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Hot New Ingredients

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While stem cells have attracted widespread attention for their promise to restore the skin-differentiation function to aging cells, Progeline, a three-amino acid peptide biomimetic, helps modulate a key marker of cell senescence in the absence of stem cells to significantly decrease sagging, slackness and wrinkles. As cells age, they lose their ability to divide; yet, they remain active, often generating collagen- and elastin-degrading metalloproteinases (MMPs). Senescent cells are also accompanied by an increased level of progerin, a toxic protein that can lead to DNA damage and contribute greatly to signs of aging. Progeline from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics acts as an enzyme-inhibitor to decrease progerin synthesis and improve the appearance of aging skin. In a placebo-controlled study of 13 volunteers ages 54–66, a cream containing 2% Progeline resulted in a 20% increase in firmness and a 21% increase in elasticity when applied twice daily for 28 days, according to Lucas Meyer Cosmetics.

The communication facilitator: Cyclopeptide-5

As the skin ages, the epidermis thins, the dermis becomes less compact and the basement membrane of the skin begins to flatten. In vitro data has demonstrated that Merck’s RonaCare Cyclopeptide-5 up-regulates the genes that stimulate growth factors and proteins in the basement membrane. As a result, the glycoprotein laminin IV better binds to cell surface receptors to tighten the connection between the basement membrane and adjacent cell layers. According to Merck, Cyclopeptide-5 has the ability to down-regulate the genes responsible for stimulating the MMP enzymes that degrade collagen and elastin.

Bright new stars: Chromabright and ß-White

There are many skin-brighteners on the market today, but not all can claim to perform on par with hydroquinone. While hydroquinone is a favorite skin-lightener among physicians, it’s also a controversial one known for its reputed toxicity. Chromabright offers a relatively new synthetic molecule that brightens the skin without the cytotoxicity or irritation linked to hydroquinone. It works similarly to many other brighteners, such as kojic acid, which inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme vital to converting melanin into pigment in the skin.

In addition to its impressive clinical results, Chromabright offers a safe profile, high stability in formulations and a photoprotective effect on human skin cells. According to Chromabright manufacturer, Lipotec, in an in vitro study comparing ingredients’ effect on inhibiting the production of melanin, Chromabright outperformed arbutin. magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) and kojic acid, and came within a few points of hydroquinine’s inhibition percentage.

Even melasma seems to yield to this bright star of skin-brighteners, with a 0.5% concentration of Chromabright reducing the appearance of melasma by 72% in a study of 14 volunteers, according to Lipotec. Likewise, the peptide-based whitener ßeta-White, or ß-White, from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics (a business unit of Unipex Group), inhibits tyrosinase, but also decreases the very proteins involved in the pigmentation process.