On the premise of beautiful skin linked to overall skin health, Ashland Specialty Ingredients (Ashland) introduced its leading team of biologists, dermatologists and formulation experts to attendees of in-cosmetics Barcelona. The multidiscipline team is focused on the discovery of new biological pathways that may potentially be used to hydrate and restore compromised skin safely and efficiently using simple topical formulations.
New research is centred on epigenetic pathways to modulate the expression of certain genes for the benefit of healthy-looking skin without changing underlying DNA structures.
Ashland, which is represented by IMCD SA in South Africa, a world leader in the production of biofunctional ingredients, is evaluating select peptides, proteins and other natural molecules for application in novel skin care strategies. These include ingredients often utilised in skin care cosmetics.
A series of demonstration formulations created by Ashland and displayed at the company’s stand incorporated biofunctional ingredients such as Elixiance bio-functional, a new offering associated with a significant reduction in cellular stress induced by fine-dust air pollution in vitro (PM2.5 and PM10). In all, the company demonstrated 10 formulations for skin and sun care that contained ingredients designed for specific cosmetic and sensory effects.
A new approach
Approaching skin care at a cellular level may afford novel skin care strategies. For example, where fine suspended pollution particles tend to induce cellular stress, a reduction in cellular stress may be key to restoring normal skin function. Ashland’s Elixiance, rich in quercitrin, a bioavailable form of the antioxidant quercetin, is associated with an epigenetic modulation of biological markers DANCR (differentiation-antagonising non-protein coding RNA) and TINCR in vitro (tissue differentiation-inducing non-protein coding RNA).
‘As more consumers ask for sophisticated solutions to skin conditions that may be addressed with the relative convenience of topical creams, Ashland is working to deliver those solutions to manufacturers of consumer care products. Evaluating the effects of biofunctional ingredients at a cellular level and utilising formulating techniques that assure delivery to target areas of skin as a restorative strategy opens new opportunities in the skin care market,’ explains Randy Bull, vice president, dermatology and medical care specialties, at Ashland.
Form and function
At the company’s texture bar, Ashland invited attendees to try a number of demonstration products formulated with novel biofunctional ingredients and consumer-desirable textures. Cushion cream Q10, an age-defying formulation inspired by the antioxidant and energising properties of coenzyme Q10, is a facial care product with sun protection (SPF 13 in vitro – EU) that exhibits the texture of a mousse without an aerosol system.
Age-defying 3D gel, an ultra-soft gel for the delicate eye area, contains Actopontine YST biofunctional to enhance skin’s appearance of elasticity and density. The formulation structure is based on RapiThix A-100 polymer and UltraThix P-100 polymer, two ingredients that enable the serum to break quickly and yield an elegant rub out of another ingredient, the Aquaflex XL-30 polymer.
HydroSheer dry technology spray, an anhydrous spray, is clear upon application on wet skin. The SPF 50 demonstration sunscreen spray product formulated for the European Union provides a non-greasy, light, dry finish on skin. An additional seven formulations available for demonstration offered functions such as skin brightening, hydration, firming and cleansing in delivery systems with textures that ranged from always-smooth creams, to soft butter, to the silky, smooth finish of gel creams.
A major producer of skin-care emollients, rheology modifiers and emulsifiers, Ashland leverages its ingredient expertise to create signature texture solutions for skin-care product manufacturers around the world. Applying advanced rheological control techniques, the company’s in-house formulation experts offer market-specific sensory solutions. At in-cosmetics, Ashland called this expertise ‘skin texturity’, where skin formulation textures can be created for a specific brand or associated with a precise benefit or application.
‘Creating consumer-desirable sensory experiences is a function of ingredient expertise, controlling formulation behavior all along the sensory pathway and considering the differing texture preferences of consumers around the world,’ says Eric Lippay, global marketing manager, dermatologic and medical care, at Ashland. ‘All of this expertise is leveraged within Ashland to provide our skin-care customers signature texture solutions characterized as exceptionally elegant and innovative.’
He pointed toward strategies to cost-effectively improve upon the texture of beauty butter.
Appealing to the senses
Applying expertise in polymer technologies, hydrogels and lamellar gels, Ashland’s skin care team created a variety of skin-care textures designed to appeal to the senses.
‘Each texture highlights a special polymeric combination that gives a unique sensorial attribute, like quick-breaking, moisture-replenishing, cooling, mattifying and moisturising,’ says Hani Fares, senior director of skin care, at Ashland.
A range of textures were also demonstrated in a variety of product forms at Ashland’s texture bar, including serums, hydrogels, cream gels, light emulsions, moisturising creams and sun care formulas. The team outlined the rheological fingerprint of each formulation and correlated it to its signature sensorial attribute using Bowditch-Lissajous plots. Each formulation in the texture bar was also tested on a consumer panel to confirm its texture attribute and skin hydration properties when applicable.