Plant-powered plumping: 5 naturally-derived ingredients with anti-wrinkle potential

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

See a compellation of CosmeticsDesign articles on naturally-derived cosmetic ingredients with anti-wrinkle and anti-aging potential. © Getty Images - PeopleImages
See a compellation of CosmeticsDesign articles on naturally-derived cosmetic ingredients with anti-wrinkle and anti-aging potential. © Getty Images - PeopleImages

Related tags anti-wrinkle anti-aging Botanical extracts Skin care natural beauty

Researchers and suppliers spend lots of time trying to meet consumer demand for naturally-derived products and provide anti-wrinkle treatments for some aging customers.

While aging looks different for different consumers, based on genetic factors, Fitzpatrick scale skin type and exposure to external factors like sun and pollution, many consumers experience wrinkling as they age.

According to projections by Grand View Research, Inc, anti-wrinkle products are estimated to reach $21.4 billion globally by 2025 and make up around a third of the anti-aging market.

Below are five naturally-derived ingredients which show promise as anti-aging actives.

Coffee Cherries

Person picking coffee cherries off the plant.
Coffee cherry is generally a waste product of coffee production. © Getty Images - epicurean

Colombian company Sanam has partnered with US-based Flora Reserve to bring their antioxidant ingredient Naox Derma to the beauty industry. While the ingredient has already entered the supplement space internationally, Flora Reserve Managing Director Jeff Avila said it has huge potential in cosmetics.

Naox Derma is a coffee cherry extract derived from the pulp of the fruit, which is normally discarded, and among its cosmetics’ benefits claims are anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and blue light protection, among others. Avila said he sees the ingredient going into a broad spectrum of personal care items, including creams and serums.

According to third-party data presented with Naox Derma, the ingredient may be significantly more effective than some other botanicals and synthetics.

The research said Naox Derma has 80-90% more antioxidant activity than blueberries, pomegranates and grapes and has five times more polyphenol than green tea and grapes.

It was also tested as a protective ingredient, showing higher blue light protection than Retinol and Coenzyme 10, almost doubling ROS reduction from Retinol after 90 minutes.

Regarding urban dust protection, Naox Derma doubled ROS reduction at an hour compared to Retinol and Coenzyme 10 and maintained that lead through three hours.

Read more…

Snail eggs

Snail laying eggs, white egg
Snail eggs may be a source of anti-aging ingredients in cosmetics. © Getty Images - Emilie Billaudel

A research team out of Spain and France, San Juan et al, researched the use of an extract from the eggs of common garden snails as a skin stem cell-focused anti-aging ingredient. The team found the extract, known as IFC-CAF, appeared to protect the genome of a skin cell.

According to San Juan et al, aging causes many decreased skin functionalities, like decreased genome repair fitness, which may be improved or reversed given the right ingredient innovation.

Garden snails produce a secretion that can be topically applied to improve the integrity of skin, foster repair in aging skin and improve wound healing and skin repair after ionizing radiation, among other benefits, San Juan et al said.

“Our studies support the specific therapeutic activities of IFC-CAF via mobilization and protection of stem cell populations and skin regeneration through promoting physiological differentiation, together with activation of mechanisms counteracting genome damage,”​ San Juan et al said.

The research was performed in vitro and, while their early results appeared promising, the research team said further study would need to be done to determine the molecular principles involved so the extract could be effectively paired with ingredients that promote skin stem cell proliferation.

Source: Cosmetics

Cosmetics 2022, 9(1), 2;

Title: Cryptomphalus aspersa Eggs Extract Potentiates Human Epidermal Stem Cell Regeneration and Amplification

Author: L. San Juan et al

Red Palm Fruit 

Red palm fruit on a brown background
Red palm is usually used to create palm oil, but may have extra cosmetic benefits. © Getty Images - lcoccia

While palm oil is typically used as a carrier system for other ingredients, a research team out of Thailand, Plyduang et al, tested the potential for red palm extract to work as an anti-aging ingredient of its own, with promising results.

Crude palm oil contains 1% of its overall weight in antioxidative phytonutrients, which is promising in developing antioxidant extract, commonly used in anti-aging products. 

According to Plyduang et al, palm oil alone cannot be used in cosmeceuticals, but the team did a cold extraction and created a day and night cream with solid lipid nanoparticles.

Among the 68 female Thai volunteers, between the ages of 25 and 50, the team found a low incidence of irritation, 9% and 5% increased accumulation of water in the day and night cream respectively, and a 15% and 9% decrease in water loss.

They also found a 45% increase of elasticity and a 15-20% decrease in skin melanin content. Plyduang et al concluded that red palm extract in an SLN carrier is a viable candidate for anti-aging ingredients.

Source: Cosmetics

Cosmetics 2022, 9(1), 3;

Title: Formula Development of Red Palm (Elaeis guineensis) Fruit Extract Loaded with Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Containing Creams and Its Anti-Aging Efficacy in Healthy Volunteers

Author: T. Plyduang et al

Encapsulated Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed oil in a glass jug with seeds, fruit and leaves.
Grape seed oil can be encapsulated to provide anti-aging benefits. © Getty Images - Ivan Bajic

While activated grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, the extract is a dark purple powder, but encapsulation appears to be a viable solution to turn the extract into a viable anti-aging ingredient, according to a research team out of China and the US, Tao et al.

The researchers said encapsulating pigmented cosmetic ingredients in polymeric nanoparticles can allow for the ingredient to be active at a lower concentration, therefore decreasing the color in the formula. 

“With the rise in use of botanical extracts and their active ingredients in functional cosmetics, the importance and utilization of nanocarriers in skincare has also increased since their initial use over 35 years ago,”​ Tao et al said.

Tao et al were able to encapsulate activated grape seed extract with liposomes and micelles, creating a more soluble and light-colored ingredient. The ingredient showed increased production of collagen and elastin and protected against UVB-induced inflammation and DNA damage, as well as brightening skin and reducing melanin production, among other benefits.

A 2% topical formulation reduced wrinkles, improved brightness and increased hydration. Tao et al said the team’s next goal is to compare the transdermal absorption of encapsulated and non-encapsulated activated grape seed oil and do more testing and evaluation of the formulation.

Source: Cosmetics

Cosmetics 2022, 9(1), 4;

Title: Encapsulated Activated Grape Seed Extract: A Novel Formulation with Anti-Aging, Skin-Brightening, and Hydration Properties

Author: K. Tao et al

Wine-making byproduct

Winery workers treading red wine
Alcohols are often sources for upcycled cosmetics ingredients, including wide. © Getty Images - Morsa Images

Many consumers already drink wine for its potential health benefits, but the waste from its production may be a good source of bioactive cosmetic ingredients. 

A research team out of Lebanon and Italy, Hoss et al, published a review paper in Cosmetics exploring the viability of extracting active ingredients for cosmetics from wine waste. Hoss et al posit that waste from winemaking, grape pomace, could be a good source of phenolic compounds, known for their antioxidant, antiaging, anti-hyperpigmentation and photoprotective effects.

Hoss et al, along with previous studies, have found grape pomace is a good source of antioxidant activity because of the antioxidant present in extracts. Different researchers have tested six types of wine-making waste in cosmetic formulations for their antioxidant activity.

Grape pomace extracts tested better than BHT antioxidants, but Hoss et al said it’s important to validate the antioxidant activity of the chemical assay to determine the effectiveness of the grape extract, and that the ingredient capacity is dependent on the carrier system.

The extracts also show promise in cytoprotective effects, some types protecting fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

Both white and red grapes have been tested for their anti-aging effects. White and red grade stems fought elastase activity, a part of skin again. Other types of pomace showed inhibition of both elastase, collagenase and matrix metalloproteinase-1 enzymes, giving it potential as a source of antiaging bioactive ingredients.

Source: Cosmetics

Cosmetics 2021, 8(4), 109;​ (registering DOI)

Title: Valorization of Wine-Making By-Products' Extracts in Cosmetics

Author: I. Hoss et al

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