Chair of the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists Giorgio Dell’Acqua told CosmeticsDesign the innovation in the topical anti-wrinkle space is currently centering around using existing technologies more effectively.
As skin ages, processes like collagen production are decreased, and external factors like lifestyle and sun exposure can cause the skin to age at an accelerated pace. This aging can result in wrinkling, particularly for those in the lower end of the Fitzpatrick scale.
Dell’Acqua said anti-wrinkle formulation focuses either on replenishing what has been lost, like collagen or by fighting factors that cause skin aging, like the use of antioxidants to address ROS.
Making vitamins more effective, bioavailable and stability
Vitamins are a common element in anti-wrinkle formulation, for example, vitamins A, C and E, and formulators are looking for ways to deliver those ingredients more effectively.
“You need to work on the stability of the molecule, the bioavailability of the molecule, the penetration of the molecules, but you also need to work on a concentration that is safe,” Dell’Acqua said.
Increasing stability in vitamins is important because they can oxidize in a formulation, which will change the color of a product and may turn off consumers, he said.
Making vitamins more bioavailable is also important in making anti-wrinkle products safe for consumers. For example, Dell’Acqua said some consumers use a high level of retinol, but that is not safe for consumers with sensitive skin. If the vitamin were more bioavailable, it would be more accessible for those consumers.
He also said formulators are working on long-term delivery of active anti-wrinkle vitamins.
Standardized extracts, superfoods
Botanical extracts, particularly from superfoods, are taking a bigger role in anti-wrinkle formulation and Dell’Acqua said formulators are working to standardize them.
Taking extract from a plant high in vitamin C isn’t enough in developing cosmetic ingredients, and he said it’s important that concentrates be available with standardized active vitamin levels.
“Working with the concentrated extract is definitely something that we'll see more and is becoming very interesting, especially in the ingestible industry to deliver the right amount of the actives within the extract,” Dell’Acqua said.
Formulators are also working to improve bioavailability of extracts so ingredients like hyaluronic acid can be as effectively delivered topically as in an injection.
Biofermentation of plant cells has also become more popular in the production of active plant extract for anti-wrinkle and other formulations, he said.
Other areas of interest
Outside of those large areas of innovation, Dell’Acqua said there are several more specific areas of development in anti-wrinkle formulation.
In the plastic surgery space, he said some peptides are being developed that “mimicking pathways that are meant to increase synthesis” of elements like collagen.
In a less direct anti-wrinkle treatment, he said there has been more research focused on microbiome-health ingredients, which are generally considered to contribute to improved skin aging.
Anti-wrinkle ingestible are also a popular area of development, though Dell’Acqua said many attempts at creating effective products haven’t been ultimately successful yet. He said he suspects the industry will see more development, research and product launches in the area.