One of the latest skin care trends to capture the attention of consumers and brand formulators alike is the concept of ‘skin energy.’ In a recent company press release from ingredient manufacturer ROELMI HPC, the trend is explained as being self-descriptive and refers to the individual skin cell’s mitochondria.
Also known as the “powerhouse of the cell,” the mitochondria can degrade from aging, poor nutrition, stress, exposure to environmental pollutants, toxins, and even excessive blue light from technological devices like computer and phone screens, resulting in signs of aging like the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Therefore, the press release explained, “‘skin energy’ essentially means activating and energizing the mitochondria to regenerate and create collagen and elastin, use antioxidants, metabolize damage, and much more,” reducing the appearance of aging or sagging skin.
ROELMI HPC has developed an ingredient for skin care product formulation dubbed Ener-GY Plus, capitalizing on the concept of ‘skin energy’ to combat skin aging. To learn more about the potential impact of ROELMI HPC’s innovations in ‘skin energy’ ingredient technology, background information on the research and development of the Ener-GY Plus ingredient formulation, and plans for further innovation in this area, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Elisa Altieri, Market Manager, Personal Care at ROELMI HPC for her insights.
CDU: What is the potential impact of ROELMI HPC’s innovations in ‘skin energy’ ingredient technology on manufacturers and suppliers to the cosmetics and personal care product industries?
Elisa Alrieri (EA): The main aspect of the invention relies on Ener-GY Plus’ production method: it consists in the preparation of the glyceryl glucoside solution, comprising the reaction between glycerol and a glucose source. This reaction is catalyzed by an enzyme suitable for the α-glucosylation of glycerol, carried out in an aqueous fruit extract used as solvents, comprising zinc, copper, iron, manganese, sodium, calcium, and magnesium as trace elements.
Indeed, the technology involves only sustainable and biologically waters coming from upcycling process of Mediterranean fruits, allowing the development of a unique process (which is currently under patent registration).
Ener-GY Plus differs from competition on two aspects: the sustainable character built on the biotech origin, thanks to the use of upcycled active waters, and the proved efficacy targeting three different targets (skin energy, anti-age, microbiota care). Ener-GY Plus is therefore able to stimulate the mitochondrial activation in our skin cells, this means the improvement of ATP production, the molecule responsible for skin energy.
This cell energy is transformed in increase of skin elasticity, a very important factor in skin aging; increase of skin radiance, to have the best glow effect on the skin; and a restore of skin microbiota balance, a key element for a healthy skin.
CDU: Can you share some background information about Ener-GY Plus and ROELMI HPC’s work in this ingredient area?
EA: At ROELMI HPC, we committed to this innovation to allow the development of microbiome- and environmental-friendly compounds to reach any whole ecosystem wellbeing, from the skin to the environment harmony.
Ener-GY Plus (INCI Citrus Limon Fruit Extract, Glyceride Glucoside, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate) is a cell energizer, pro-age and microbiota-friendly ingredient designed to act on mitochondria, with their activation, into the skin cells.
It provides positive conditions for cell metabolism, promoting ATP production in mitochondria by a positive and significant modulation of cell energizing activity.
Ener-GY Plus prevents the signs of skin fatigue for a youthful complexion, improving skin elasticity, firmness, and radiance. Further evaluations confirmed that Ener-GY Plus helps in maintaining the physiological balance in the skin microbiota composition.
CDU: What role does the cell’s mitochondria play in the appearance of skin aging?
EA: Mitochondria are small organelles contained within each cell of body responsible for the production of energy (ATP) and play a key role in skin activities.
Known as biochemical powerhouses, they have many fundamental functions reach far beyond bioenergetics and providing metabolites for building macromolecules.
Mitochondria catabolize nutrients for energy, generating biosynthetic precursors for macromolecules, and compartmentalizing metabolites for the maintenance of homeostasis . Mitochondrial biogenesis is activated by numerous different signals in conditions of cellular stress or in response to environmental stimuli, such as aerobic exercise.
There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are key features in all ageing tissues, including skin. This is directly linked to skin aging phenotypes: wrinkle formation, hair greying and loss, uneven pigmentation and decreased wound healing ability. .
CDU: What ways can signs of aging be mitigated through better understanding of the cellular mitochondria’s role in this process?
EA: One of the main causes of skin aging is due to loss of energy in its cells. Lots of factors can compromise the skin’s energy, but the primary and major causal factors are aging and environmental factors.
Those factors can lead skin cells to lose vigor and therefore, their ability to turnover resulting in dull and tired complexion. The sustainment of the optimal level of skin cell energy, health, and turnover, helps to counteract the appearance of visible signs, like expression lines on the forehead and nose and around the eyes and mouth.
The best way to work on cell energy is to understand the biological pathways of the mitochondria. According to the endosymbiosis’ theory, mitochondria are the evolution of eukaryotic primitive cells’ ability to produce energy by incorporating aerobic bacteria.
They ensure cells survival, being the energy powerhouse where ATP production takes place. The decay of mitochondrial vitality is one of a major contributor to aging.
Recent studies have shown that young people have virtually no mitochondrial damage, whereas the mitochondria in the cells of elderly people are mostly damaged. Furthermore, external factors concur to accelerate the production of free radicals: as a result, the cumulative damage to the mitochondria makes them less efficient.
CDU: Were there any challenges in the research and development process of Ener-GY Plus? If so, what were those challenges and what solutions were developed and implemented to address them?
EA: The research of the most suitable production conditions required an intense evaluation of each single step, aiming at creating a valid tool directed to an evolutionary approach in sustainable cosmetics.
CDU: Does ROELMI HPC have plans for further research and development utilizing Ener-GY Plus or the technology behind this ingredient launch?
EA: Our R&D specialists have conceived Ener-GY Plus as result of the investigation on the enzymatic technology. Further analyses are currently under evaluation.
CDU: Anything else to add?
EA: The cosmetic market is living a real revolution regarding skin’s “micro” world and the skin microbiota environment. The care of alive microorganisms populating the skin ecosystem, already in the cosmetic spotlight, seems to be the key to achieve a long-term well-being and to prevent the so-called “skin dysbiosis”.
Ener-GY Plus concurs to take care of the global skin ecosystem, intended to keep the perfect balance for the skin microbiota survival.
 Spinelli JB, Haigis MC. The multifaceted contributions of mitochondria to cellular metabolism. Nat Cell Biol. 2018;20(7):745-754. doi:10.1038/s41556-018-0124-1
 Lane R. K., Hilsabeck T., Rea S. L., The role of mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related diseases, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics, Volume 1847, Issue 11, 2015