According to the company, the new ingredient, Bakutrol, has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring action.
Derived from a plant extract of Psolarea corylifolia, a plant often used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine, the ingredient contains a compound called bakuchiol.
Unigen claims that bakuchiol has been shown to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and to inhibit various inflammatory pathways.
Fights against acne scars
In addition, the company claims the ingredient can also fight against the scars left by the acne lesions, setting it apart from the more traditional acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
Furthermore, Unigen was keen to point out that its clinical studies suggest there are no adverse effects; again unlike some already existing anti-acne ingredients that can leave skin irritated and dry.
The company’s tests also suggest the ingredient is compatible with other anti-acne ingredients such as salicylic acid and can be formulated into creams, lotions and gels.
The company claims Bakutrol has garnered significant interest with a number of cosmetics and skin care players, and it hopes the new ingredient will help it to tap into a significant market for anti-acne products.
Unigen’s estimates valued the anti-acne market at $600m in 2009 in terms of global sales, which represented an increase of 22 per cent from 2003.
In addition, the company estimates that nearly 85 per cent of the US population between the ages of 12 and 24 will develop some form of microbial or inflammatory skin condition such as acne, giving it high hopes for the ingredient.
The botanical player has a range of ingredients targeting a number of different industries including supplements and pet health, as well as cosmetics.
Its last foray into the world of cosmetics was with a skin whitening ingredient called Nivitol which it positioned as an alternative to whitening agents such as kojic acid and hydroquinone.
While it uses the same mode of action as kojic acid, they both inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase, the company claimed Nivitol was significantly more effective.