Science never stops. So it follows that at P&G, like at many other multinational consumer goods corporations in the personal care and cosmetics business, researchers are always at work to discover what’s new, what else is possible, and what works better.
“P&G and Olay scientists are always seeking to identify new ingredients that can complement what we already use today,” Mike Flagler, PhD, senior scientist of Olay Beauty Technology Development, tells Cosmetics Design.
“Generally speaking,” he says “we screen hundreds and even thousands of ingredients when looking for new technologies, and cell regeneration is a biological mechanism we’re particularly interested in.”
Cell regeneration is especially interesting to Flagler and his team “because research suggests that enhancing the regenerative capacity of aging skin provides an approach for improving facial appearance,” as he tells this publication.
But before the benefit, comes the concern: “the natural processes of recovery and reorganization of damaged skin slow down with aging,” notes Flagler. “Cosmetic procedures such as laser treatments and chemical peels, which damage the skin and signal a wound healing response, have been shown to deliver clinical improvements in facial skin texture and uneven skin tone. So testing potential ingredients for their regenerative capacity has become a fundamental part of our screening process, which is how we identified carob seed as a promising candidate.”
Why study carob in the first place? asked Cosmetics Design. “It is…of particular interest to us because we found it to have complimentary benefits to our existing ingredients such as peptides which many years ago were identified as key activators of the wound healing process.” Plus it fits in with the safe and natural movement rippling through the personal care industry: “Carob seed is a plant-based ingredient that is even used in many foods so it has an established safety profile,” emphasizes Flagler.
But well before the modern age, carob intrigued people looking to live well. “The carob tree is quite an ancient plant and has been used for nutritional and wellbeing purposes for many centuries,” notes Flagler. “It attracted the attention of scientists as the plant is able to survive in harsh climates, and is one of the unique plants that have tolerance to both frost and extreme heat, due to ability to produce polysaccharides (acting as cryoprotectant and hygroscopic) and reduce respiration in times of stress,” he says.
A P&G representative confirms that “based on this scientific research, P&G has reformulated the award-wining Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with Carob Seed Extract to visibly help skin look and behave its best” and that “clinical results using Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream include improvement in the appearance of crow’s feet area fine lines and wrinkles and under-eye area fine lines and wrinkles.”
“To my knowledge,” Flagler tells Cosmetics Design, “carob seed did not pose any significant formulation challenges.”
However, he is quick to says that “my expertise is in the area of fundamental research into skin aging, as well as identifying and characterizing anti-aging actives, so I wasn’t directly involved with the reformulation.”
Nonetheless, work goes on. When asked about what carob seed can do for beauty beyond the skin-regenerative effect, Flagler replied, “to date we have only looked at the anti-aging benefits of carob seed but it might be possible that it provides other skin benefits as well.” Science never stops.