Ingredients round-up - some of the more unusual launches in 2009

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin care, Skin care products, Skin

Prickly pear seeds, milk extracts, snail serum, bog myrtle and grape stem cells are just a few of the more unusual ingredients that have cropped up this year.

In recent years unusual ingredients launches have included extracts of snake venom and even a cappuccino-based anti-ageing ingredient, and this year has been no exception, with new launches throwing up some equally weird and wonderful options.

Milk extracts have featured as a basis for two launches – both for skin care products and both technologically advanced solutions.

The first is an anti-microbial milk protein-based ingredient launched by New Zealand company Quantec that targets both the skin care and supplement categories.

The company has been developing its Immune Defence Proteins for three years, claiming that it will impart both anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties for skin care products.

Another milk-based ingredient was launched last month by US company PL Thomas and is derived from peptides found in the bovine colostrum, which is the first milk produced by a cow after giving birth.

The company claims that Nudremyl can be incorporated into topical products designed to reduce scarring and help skin heal after abrasive procedures, as well as anti-ageing formulations.

Snail serum for acne scarring

Still in the animal kingdom, snail serum is being proffered as the basis for a finished product that helps to treat acne scarring, launched by Andes Natural Skin Care.

The US company has launched a microdermabrasion product - BioSkinExfol - and a topical treatment – BioSkinForte - made from a serum secreted by a small mollusk snail from the Helix Aspersa Muller species.

Moving into the plant world, British beauty retailer Boots has launched a line of botanical-based skin care products based on an extraction derived from the leaves of bog myrtle, otherwise known as Sweet Gale.

After many years of research and development, Boots has discovered that the oils of the plant have a high anti-oxidant content, which efficiently combats the bacteria known to cause blemish-prone skin.

Prickly pear seeds

The prickly pear fruit that grows on cactus plants found all over southern Europe and North Africa is a common sight, but is now starting to appear in a host of beauty products thanks to its high anti-oxidant and anti-ageing properties.

French brand Les Sens de Marrakech, recently launched a skin care line that features an extract from the seeds of the prickly pear, which is claimed to be the first skin care brand of its type to use the resulting essential oil, sourced in Morocco.

And finally, although grape extracts have been used in beauty products for many years, Swiss company Mibelle claims to be the first to manufacturer an ingredient that is based on stem cells from a rare red grape variety.

Called PhytoCellTec Solar Vitis, it is derived from the Gamay Tenturier Fréaux grape variety originating from the Burgundy region, which the company claims can help protect human skin stem cells from UV damage.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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