In recent years, many people are living with various kinds of stress. In addition, since last year, the spread of COVID-19 has increased, people can’t go on a trip or even have a banquet. Living with masks on, it is difficult for us to talk with friends with a smile. People’s stress has increased more and more. Meanwhile, we have developed a product, HappiClov, with the idea of “I want to bring smiles to many people.”
Usually, clover contains three leaves. The four-leaf clover is said to have become a symbol of good luck due to its rarity. The four-leaf clover is a symbol of happiness. Raw material for Happiclov is the special clover which has four leaves or more (Fig. 1). Such a special clover was found in Tahara City in Japan and used as an item for a local vitalization project. This project is known as “HAPPY FOUR-LEAF CLOVER PROJECT” which will create new tourism resources, and support employment for people with disabilities.
ICHIMARU PHARCOS, supporting this activity, worked on applying the four-leaf clover extract as a cosmetic ingredient and commercialized it as HappiClov. HappiClov is a “happy” cosmetic ingredient that promotes the production of the happy hormone “β-endorphin” from epidermal cells and the production of elastin related to skin elasticity and sagging and can be expected to raise the corners of the mouth and lift the cheeks.
In addition, HappiClov is produced with by-products that would normally be thrown away. Such activities also contribute to the SDGs, which have been attracting attention in recent years.
The elasticity of the skin is provided by the elastic fibers of the dermis, which are mainly composed of elastin. It has been reported that aged fibroblasts produce a decreased level of elastin. Different concentrations (0.5 and 1.0%） of HappiClov were added to adult human skin fibroblasts, and after 72 hours, the medium was collected and the amount of elastin in the medium was measured using the ELISA method. HappiClov showed the effect on skin fibroblasts and promoted elastin production (Fig. 2a).
DANCE (Fibulin-5) is an essential protein for elastic fiber formation, but it is said that it decreases with aging and leads to hardening of the skin and decreased elasticity. Different concentrations (0.5 and 1.0%） of HappiClov were added to adult human skin fibroblasts, and after 72 hours, the cells were collected and the amount of DANCE in the cells was measured using the ELISA method. HappiClov showed the effect on skin fibroblasts and promoted DANCE production (Fig. 2b).
The hormone β-endorphin is a hormone secreted into the brain when people feel happy. It is also called a happy hormone because it leads to a feeling of elation and happiness. It is said that when people smile, happy hormones are secreted, leading to improved immunity and anti-aging. It is secreted not only in the brain but also in the skin and has been reported to be involved in an epidermal turnover. HappiClov stimulates the production of β-endorphin in epidermal cells and brings a smile to the skin in today’s stressful world.
In an in vitro experiment, human epidermal keratinocytes were exposed to different concentrations (0.5 and 1.0%） of HappiClov for 72 hours. After the incubation, β-endorphin was measured in the cultured supernatant by ELISA. It was found that the production of the happy hormone was increased in epidermal cells.
When the corners of the mouth are lowered or the aging line becomes conspicuous due to slack, it greatly changes the youthful appearance and impression. HappiCrov can be expected to make you look brighter, to bring a smile, and to regain youthfulness. A lotion containing 1% HappiClov or a control lotion was applied to the left and right faces, respectively, of 12 females in their 30’s to 50’s twice a day for 4 months. Before and after applying lotion, the corners of the mouth was measured with Vectra, and the rate of change of the angle from the horizontal axis was calculated. At the same time, the position change of each part of the skin before and after applying lotion was analyzed. The application of HappiClov raised the corners of the mouth and lifted the cheeks.
HappiClov, a COSMOS Approved natural active ingredient from a very special white clover in Japan, mostly having four leaves, has been shown to promote the production of β-endorphins and lift-up effect. Additionally, this product contributes to the SDGs. HappiClov brightens the feelings and makes people smile.