Oxidative processes are all around us. As the metabolism of every living organism depends on conversions of chemicals with a high energetic content, and oxidation is involved in every cell, it is no wonder that nature has learnt to cope with oxidative systems and exploit them for energy production.
On the other hand, our life expectancy is growing and the intensity of solar radiation is increasing. Thus, the oxidative stress for our skin is much higher than years ago and we are approaching a natural limit of our skin’s resistance against the influence of sunlight, oxygen and other unavoidable oxidative burden.
The results of changes in the skin’s integrity, triggered by harmful oxidative reactions, are commonly known as premature aging of the skin. Therefore we have to protect our skin against oxidative reactions to avoid premature skin aging.
As nature offers perfect antioxidants, developed in many millions of years, it doesn’t appear useful to invent new compounds. We have to identify the right compounds and blend them to obtain the best possible effect for different applications. And as described above we have identified exactly two different systems that need protection with different requirements due to their nature.
Cosmetic formulations are nowadays increasingly complex formulations with sometimes expensive and often sensitive raw materials. There are growing numbers of active concepts in modern cosmetic products, many of them from natural origin and all these products have one thing in common: they are not living systems and lack restorable antioxidant systems. Therefore they are subject to quick deterioration if not protected.
In cosmetic compositions it has been found that the natural mixture of α, β, γ– and δ-tocopherols is more active against deterioration than the single species. The natural blend of Tocopherol guarantees a strong and long lasting effect for product protection.
For natural cosmetics tocopherols with organic sunflower oil as solvent is the right choice.
The protection of human skin in the sense of antiaging concepts follows other concepts. It has been shown that here it is the pure D-α−Tocopherol that shows the highest activity of the naturally occurring tocopherols.
Furthermore natural restoration of tocopherol happens by reduction with ascorbic acid to re-establish the tocopherol’s antioxidative capacity in living cells. This cycle can be mimicked and thus additional synergistic activity can be achieved by addition of ascorbyl palmitate. This component will make the tocopherols available for a longer time.
Slowing down oxidation is also achieved by addition of a chelating agent.
It is well known that certain heavy metal ions (e.g. iron, copper) act as catalysts for oxidative reactions.Therefore by adding a chelator like PA (INCI:Phytic Acid) and inactivating the metal ions by complexation the oxidation will slow down and thus be a first line protection against oxidation.
Phytic acid is one of the strongest natural chelating agent, exceeding the complexing power of EDTA for many metal ions.
Phytic acid can be used over a broad pH range (3-10), is derived from 100% natural sources and is fully biodegradable.
Commercially available synthetic D,L-Tocopherol is not as effective as the natural pure D-Tocopherol. That’s why our recommendation for an effective anti-aging concept will point at pure D-α−Tocopherol sourced from certified non-GMO plants.
Another elegant way to protect the skin is the use of Tocopheryl Acetate, This material is stable in the cosmetic formulation and unfolds its antioxidative properties only when it is applied on the skin.
There, with the help of enzymes present in our skin, fresh Tocopherols are generated from the precursor and will protect the skin.
The possibilities for anti-aging concepts are completed with our green tea extracts. The Phenon group of products with its high content of polyphenols delivers well known antioxidative protection to the skin.