Can skincare ingredients act as mood-enhancers?

Can skincare ingredients act as mood-enhancers?

Want to stay in the know when it comes to cosmetic ingredients? Delve into our bi-weekly round-up of the latest ingredients news and what that might mean for the industry.


BASF launches new mood-enhancing skin care active

BASF has built on the potential of the Japanese algal extract sacran to develop Sacred Patch, a skin patch that is said to soothe and nourish the skin, while also having positive emotional effects. The company says that the concept was developed to promote an effective skin treatment that also taps into emotional well-being, an area that has received a great deal of focus since the onset of the pandemic and associated anxiety levels.

Based on the company’s MicroPatch technology, Sacred Patch harnesses the power of sacran to provide three different types of result. Firstly, it said to offer an instant and perceptible uplift in mood once it is applied to the skin, secondly it helps to soothe sensitive skin and thirdly it provides strong moisturisation properties, while being of 99.2% natural origin.

According to BASF scientists, the polysaccharide in the sacran helps to stimulate oxytocin, a neuropeptide and wellness mediator, that helps to improve mood. On top of the sacran, the MicroPatch also includes natural bio-polysaccharides pullulan, alginate, and hyaluronic acid, to create Sacred Patch formulation. According to ex vivo tests carried out by the BASF development team, the active ingredient contained in the patch was shown to stimulate the release of oxytocin in human skin explants by up to 40%. Additionally, 93% of volunteers that tried the patch reported that they felt a sense of tenderness when it was applied.

Sacred Patch was also shown to help reduce inflammation in sensitive skin by 93% compared to an untreated control, while tests on ex vivo and human skin biopsies showed that it improved moisturisation for up to six hours. BASF says that it intends to further expand its product range based on the MicroPatch technology in the future.

Stephenson launches solid conditioner for hair care

UK-based ingredients provider Stephenson has unveiled its Solid Conditioner haircare concept, a product that is said to tap into a growing trend in personal care for solid, waterless products. The company says that the Solid Conditioner has been developed to answer the consumer shift towards products that are more ethical, while also reducing waste and the impact on the environment.

More specifically, the hair care conditioner bar follows rising demand for bar products in general, with Stephenson citing data from Grand View Research that claims online channels are driving bar sales for hair products, covering 70% of global revenues.

And although the pandemic has negatively impacted categories like fragrance and colour cosmetics, the company also cites data from market intelligence firm Mintel claiming that consumers have been bathing and showering more during the pandemic, pushing up sales of soap-based products, as well as conditioners and shampoos.

In tandem with the spike in sales for these products, there has also been an increase in bar-based products, with consumers buying these items online because of the environmental benefits, transportability and perceived better value for money. In response, the team at Stephenson have developed the RSPO Mass Balance Solid Conditioner, which they say could be an easy-to-use and retail-ready product.

The team also says that the concept is 98% market-ready, simply requiring fragrance and additives to suit a brand’s identity, as well as suiting its target consumer requirements. It comprises a natural emollient to condition the hair, together with coconut oil and shea butter to provide nourishment. The formulation is also RSPO MB certified and has a melting point of 60°c.

Other key ingredients include glyceryl stearate, polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, behentrimonium chloride and butyrosperum parkii butter. The company has carried out extensive testing on the bar, which it says is easy to process and package, ready for the consumer. The Solid Conditioner is also now ready for sampling and orders.

Lubrizol launches botanical anti-ageing ingredient

Lubrizol Life Science Beauty has launched Lapagyl, an advanced botanical-based ingredient that is claimed to have a number of anti-ageing effects on the skin. The ingredient is based on oil that has been sustainably sourced from lapacho bark extract, which comes from a tree in the Tabebuia genus of flowering species that is also known as the tree of life, thanks to its numerous medicinal qualities.

The Lubrizol research and development team developed Lapagyl based on evidence that the bark extract, which comes from Tabebuia Impetiginosa, can help prevent telomere shortening and cellular senescence in skin, which are associated with common signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles.

The ingredient has been developed to promote a slower ageing process combined with increased skin longevity, which the team claims will lead to a radiant, younger and better-looking appearance. The company recommends a 2 to 3% dose of Lapagil and says that in vivo testing using a cream with a 2% dosing showed positive results.

According to the research team, the testing involved 30 females who took part in the in vivo test over a 28 day period, showing that crow’s feet wrinkles decreased by 21.6% while similar improvements were also seen in skin radiance and moisturisation.

The ingredient is also said to have a high sustainability profile. On top of being sourced from sustainable farms in Peru using an eco-extraction technology, it also requires low water and energy consumption to process and can be used with natural solvents.


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Simon Pitman established his career as a business journalist 25 years ago. He is the founding editor of the Cosmetics Design B2B business journals, which continue to be the leading beauty and personal care news source worldwide. For almost two decades Simon has been focused on what makes the industry tick, uncovering the latest technologies and product launches, as well as the newest trends to impact this fast paced industry. He is also a veteran of the in-cosmetics Group events, and having attended every one of the shows worldwide he has developed a deep knowledge about everything pertaining to cosmetics formulation.

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