Phytocosmeceuticals are defined as plant derived ingredients that confer anti-aging activity to cosmetic formulations due to their antiirritant and antioxidant properties. With again, skin collagen disappears. Antioxidants and antiirritants can preserve collagen synthesis capability. Skin defense systems can use natural antioxidants, such as

•   Vitamins E and C (Vitamin C is unstable, but works well. This causes a formulating problem. A combination with vitamin E is beneficial)
•    Alpha-lipoic acid (found in nuts & salmon)
•    Ubiquinol-10/ubiquinone-10 (co-enzyme Q10)
•    Superoxide dismutase (an enzyme that converts the toxic superoxide radical to O2 and H2O2), catalase (an enzyme that converts H2O2 to O2 and H2O; note that UV light can convert H2O2 to 2 OH radicals, which are most aggressive)
•    Glutathione reductase
•    Glutathione peroxidase
•    Glutathione in the RSH reduced form

PhytocosmeceuticalsRecent interest in botanicals in the cosmetic and personal care markets has increased dramatically and many safe and effective ingredients are currently available. Among the traditional botanicals reducing irritation, are Witch Hazel (Hammelis Water) and Aloe Vera leaf extracts. Other botanicals, with suspected antiirritant activity, are grapefruit seed oil, seaweed salad with flavonoids, and polyphenols, derived from green tea leaves, grape seeds, and hemp. These botanicals contain active chemical constituents, such as bisabalol, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate.

Recent research at Bioderm Technologies, Inc. has led to the development of novel plant derived antiirritants:

•    Flavonoid quercetin from green onion leaves and safron
•    Phenoxyacetic acid esters from corn tassels
•    Polyphenols from ripe Autumn Olive berries

The idea is that skin irritants, e.g. retinoic acid, stimulate epidermal hyperplasia through activation of keratinocyte in the epidermis by RTK (receptor tyrosine kinase, not Right to Know). Plant extracts that block RTK prevent skin irritation and provide a means to search for novel plant antiirritant extracts. Dr. Wille developed an antioxidant assay and an in vitro human skin cell growth inhibition assay to screen plant extracts. He then screened with an in vivo skin irritant patch to confirm antiirritant activity of promising candidates.

As a result, Bioderm Technologies, Inc. has now available a number of plant derived antioxidant products, including:

•    Corn tassel extract
•    Autumn Olive berry extract
•    Tilia extract
•    Thixogel, a proprietary skin care delivery vehicle for plant derived antioxidants