Formulating for skincare against urban pollution | Ep.1

Formulating for skincare against urban pollution | Ep.1

Welcome to your new source of personal care ingredients inspiration brought to you by in-cosmetics Asia. Discover hot industry insights, the latest ingredients and how you can use them to power your formulations in this brand, new video series.

Join Lorna Radford, Managing Director of Enkos Developments and Technical Advisor for in-cosmetics Global, Asia and Korea and Rouah Al-Wakeel , Director of RAW Cosmetics and R&D Tour Leader for in-cosmetics Asia and Global for the debut episode.

Up first: our co-hosts discuss the rise of urban pollution both environmentally and through consumers’ digital habits.

Here’s a run down of the ingredients featured in our first video, each engineered for pollution protection:

  1. InfraGuard from Mibelle Biochemistry
  2. ALGAKTIV GenoFixDay by Greenaltech
  3. ALGAKTIV® UrbanSKN by Greenaltech
  4. Carotolino by Lipoid Kosmetik AG
  5. IBR-Urbiotect® by IFF – Lucas Meyer Cosmetics

Visit the in-cosmetics Asia website to find out more. 

in-cosmetics Asia Formulation Friday Video Series

Episode 1 Transcript: Formulating for Urban Pollution

LR: Hi, I’m Lorna Radford – Managing Director of Enkos Developments and Technical Advisor for in-cosmetics Global, Asia and Korea.

RAW: Hello, I’m Rouah – Director of RAW Cosmetics and R&D Tour Leader for in-cosmetics Asia and Global.

Welcome to the Formulation Friday series, brought to you by in-cosmetics Asia. We have a range of topics to present you with from oily skin and pores, to dry hair – and have selected some brilliant ingredients to support your targeted formulations.

LR: We’ll be using this series to take a look at the latest ingredients and demonstrate how these can be used in different formulations for a variety of functions. We’ll be taking you through the formulation process, sharing hints and tips on how to get the most out of them, as well as the technology that can help along the way.

RAW: The first topic in our series is urban pollution, which is characterised by the contamination of both indoor and outdoor environments. So when we consider pollution, our minds usually shift towards air pollution, which is mainly chemical, mostly from industry, vehicle exhausts, cigarette smoke, but also paint and pesticides.

However, we are living in a Digital Age and are constantly exposed to radiation from mobile phones and other screened devices which is now more commonly known as electropollution, or E-pollution. It introduces biologically toxic frequencies into our environment and has been linked with skin and health issues.

Pollution is capable of penetrating deeper layers of the epidermis causing inflammation, dehydration, and can lead to the loss of elasticity and firmness thus increasing the likelihood of prematurely aged skin. Previously UV was considered to be the most damaging radiation of the solar spectrum, however, research is emerging which shows that exposure of IR and blue light also results in significant damage. IR causes dysfunction in our cells and tissues and induces the production of free radicals on the skin. Blue light inhibits the production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm or our body’s natural clock. Excessive use of screen devices, especially before bedtime can lead to changes in sleeping patterns and result in a reduced quality of sleep whilst also contributing to photo-ageing of the skin.

We know and appreciate the importance of SPF products, but whilst they prolong the time that we can spend in the sun by blocking and filtering UVA/UVB rays; they don’t prevent the damage induced by IR or blue light.

Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients you may consider adding into your formulations to protect consumers from this type of damage.

The first ingredient to be featured in today’s video is InfraGuard from Mibelle Biochemistry.

The science is based on mitochondria which are the “powerhouses” of our cells, IR is absorbed by the mitochondria and disturbs the production of energy which is essential for the proper functioning of our cells and tissues. Blue light known as high energy visible light from computer screens and devices causes oxidative damage and contributes to the photo-ageing of the skin by delaying barrier recovery in addition to disrupting the sleep cycle.  

InfraGuard combines tara tannins which are a powerful anti-oxidant with sunflower sprouts in order to efficiently protect the skin against harmful effects of infrared as well as blue light.

Here are the main points on why you should incorporate InfraGuard into your formulations:

  • Blocks IR and blue light-induced free radical formation
  • Protects mitochondrial DNA
  • Inhibits light-induced skin ageing
  • Prevents the loss of skin density upon exposure

Let’s go to Lorna in the lab for more on this ingredient.

LR: InfraGuard comes supplied as either a liquid grade or a powder grade. We have the liquid grade here which has an orange tint to it and is preserved with 1% Phenoxyethanol, or alternatively, if you want to go preservative-free the powder grade doesn’t have any added preservatives and comes supplied as an off-white powder.

The powder has double the concentration of active matter as the liquid grade, so the liquid grade was tested in vivo at 2%, and we’d recommend using that level. But if you are working with the powder grade you would only need to use 1% to have the same amount of active matter.

The powder dissolves very readily into deionised water, so here I have just mixed some water with 1% of the powered grade and it went in very readily with spatula stirring. Mibelle Biochemistry recommends adding InfraGuard in the cooldown phase of emulsions, keeping the pH below 7.5, and they also recommend avoiding the use of strong acids and bases with this material.

RAW: With the growing concerns surrounding digital ageing, our internal repair system is not fast enough to offset the overexposure to blue light. There is a risk that some cells might become damaged and their DNA becomes mutated. The accumulation of mutated DNA is the main source of photo and digital ageing.

Our next ingredient: ALGAKTIV GenoFixDay by Greenaltech takes us back four thousand million years ago to a stark and hostile environment when life began with cyanobacteria. These extraordinary microorganisms invented photosynthesis and were able to thrive under the most challenging conditions by developing radiation repair mechanisms. Cyanobacteria are able to repair DNA whilst protecting themselves against UV radiation. GenoFixDay contains two synergistic enzymes that combat the signs of digital and photo ageing by harnessing the power of blue light.

So, we will fast forward to our current decade where the environment is still sometimes quite hostile and can challenge and weaken our skin barrier continuously. Air pollution like smog, CO2 emissions and cigarette smoke can cause allergies, inflammation and premature ageing. We actually have another ingredient from Greenaltech which works nicely with GenoFixDay, ALGAKTIV Urban Skn strengthens the skin barrier, cements the stratum corneum, soothes the skin against chemical aggressors and defends skin from urban dust

Here are the main points on why you should incorporate GenoFixDay & Urban Skn into your formulations:

  • They combat digital and photo-ageing
  • Boost firmness and reduce wrinkles
  • Shield skin from urban pollution
  • Strengthen the skin barrier
  • Soothe skin against chemical aggressors

LR: Algaktiv Genofix Day comes supplied as either a liquid or a powder. I’ve got the powder grade here and as you can see is a blue crystalline solid and is ten times the concentration of the liquid grade. So the supplier actually recommends rehydrating one part powder with nine parts water when working with it in formulations.

I am just about to rehydrate some Algaktiv Genofix Day, I’m adding the powder to the water in a 1:9 ratio as recommended by the supplier and we will just leave it here stirring at around 300-500 rpm for several minutes until the powder fully dissolves.

You can then use this liquid in your formulations, the supplier recommends using the liquid within five hours of when the solution is freshly made.

The liquid grade was tested in vivo at 2% so we would recommend using either 2% of the liquid grade or 0.2% of the powdered grade.

Algaktiv Genofix Day uses liposome technology so it can be incompatible with surfactants above their critical micelle concentration, which is worth bearing in mind when formulating. The supplier recommends adding it to the cool-down phase of emulsions, keeping the pH between 4-8 and avoiding strong agitation that can cause foam as that can actually disrupt the liposome structure.

Algaktiv UrbanSKN is an oil-soluble active that has been tested in vivo at 1%. As you can see it has a slight yellow tint to it and it’s stable for several hours up to 80 °C so you can add it to your hot oil phase in a hot process emulsion. Greenaltech do recommend adding an antioxidant for optimal product and colour stability and they actually recommend using 0.2% Tocopherol when working with this material.

RAW: Carotolino is our next ingredient by Lipoid Kosmetik and as the name suggests, it’s based on a combination of carrot derivatives, carrot root extract, carrot seed oil and beta-carotene.

Carotenoids are present in all green plants and have been found to perform a dual functionality. So absorbing blue light and protecting against oxidative stress by neutralising reactive oxygen species. The mechanism can be transferred to humans as carotenoids behave similarly in skin cells.

Healthy looking, vibrant skin requires an adequate level of carotenoids which would usually be obtained from the fruits and vegetables we consume. However, another element of this ingredient is we can now topically apply carotenoids to balance pale, greenish skin tones.

Here are the main points on why you should incorporate Carotolino in your formulations:

  • It absorbs blue light
  • Neutralises blue light-induced oxidative stress
  • And improves skin colour

LR: Due to its high carotenoid content, Carotolino has a very intense red-orange colour. And if you are worried at all about what that looks like in a formulation, I have taken 2% here which is the recommended level and diluted it in MCT oil. You can see it does impart a yellow to orange colour which may or may not be wanted in your formulation.

Carotolino has been shown to be stable for up to 4 hours up to 80C so in terms of formulating you can add it to the oil phase of the hot process emulsion.

RAW: IBR-UbBioTect by IFF-Lucas Meyer is an aqueous extract of Inula Helenium – commonly known as a wild sunflower. It provides a unique solution for our modern day lifestyles.

It has shown its great potential in regulating gene expression involved in optimal skin barrier function and inflammation response whilst demonstrating effective protection against blue light-induced oxidative stress.

Here are the main points on why you should incorporate IBR UrBioTect in your formulations:

  • It promotes and strengthens skin barrier
  • Reduces blue light-induced oxidative stress
  • Delays signs of premature ageing

LR: IBR-UbBioTect is a water-soluble active that comes supplied as a liquid form with a slight brown tint to it. It has been tested ex vivo and in vivo at 1%, is stable between pH 4 and 8, and the supplier would recommend adding it to the cool-down phase of emulsions below 40C. Having said that they have actually tested that it is stable for up to 2 hours at 90C so if you did need to add it during a hot process it should be ok.

RAW: Thank you for joining us for this week’s Formulation Friday.

LR: We hope you enjoyed the video and that you will join us again when we come back with new formulation challenges.

RAW: You can learn more about these ingredients at the in-cosmetics Formulation Lab with Lorna or join me on an R&D tour live on the show floor.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *