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Behind the Beauty Scenes … ProTec Ingredia Proudly Presents: Adaptogens for stressed skin

This is a translation of my German blogpost Hinter den Beauty-Kulissen… ProTec Ingredia Proudly Presents: Adaptogene für eine gestresste Haut. Enjoy!

Stressiger Lebensstil und Skincare

In cooperation with ProTec Ingredia // 35 platforms, 200 exits, over 3.5 million travellers per day – that is Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. Unlike public transport in other capital cities, everyday operations at Shinjuku run almost always smoothly thanks to the station’s highly efficient organisation. During rush hour, however, Shinjuku is as unpleasant as New York, Paris or the Ruhr area in Germany. Whether it is by train, bus or car, travelling is usually pure stress! The daily commute, a hectic environment, time pressure and constant interaction with social media cause ongoing stress in the body. This new Chapter of my beauty series introduces several interesting plant ingredients that can help reduce the effects of stress on the skin.

Previously on Behind the Beauty Scenes: I’ve developed a monthly beauty serial story in cooperation with ProTec Ingredia GmbH. Our journey is leading us to the heart of the cosmetics industry – because without raw and active ingredients there wouldn’t be any beauty products. My cosmetic adventure started in October 2019 with a visit to an algae farmer in Brittany. Other episodes dealt with how beauty innovations are developed, highlighting some of the challenges associated with the manufacturing of cosmetic ingredients (how do you get the interesting properties of moss into a cream jar?) or finding out more about the field of cosmetic application technology. During a walk around the Research & Development facility of Codif I saw what true 360° sustainability means and learned more about the exciting new technologies that help measure the effects of active ingredients with the help of skin models. I also interviewed several key players from the cosmetic ingredients industry, like this private label manufacturer who told me how he selects the ingredients for his products and spoke with Study & Research Manager Dr. Franziska Wandrey from Mibelle Biochemistry about her interesting job. You can find all previous episodes in English on this page here.

What stress is

A key fact about stress might surprise you: Essentially, stress reactions aren’t a bad thing. They help us humans adapt to changing environments. For a brief time, stress helps our organism become especially efficient. In dangerous situations, this is essential for survival. When external or internal stressors affect us, the nerves in our body cause it to release stress hormones. Stress only becomes dangerous when the body is constantly under attack by stressors. Without essential relaxation periods, our physical and emotional balance can become permanently skewed. The results are physical and psychological problems. The effects of stress are also directly visible on the skin.

With adaptogens against stressed skin

Over the last years, adaptogens like healing mushrooms, ginseng or ashwagandha have become very popular in the nutritional supplements category. The term “adaptogenic” was coined in the middle of the 20th Century: It describes plant ingredients that help the body adapt to increased stress levels, boosting the body’s natural defences and protecting the cells from the effects of stress reactions. In cosmetic ingredients, adaptogenic substances work also well because they help make skin more resilient against inner and outer stress.

Moos im Wald

Breathe deeply and close your eyes for a virtual forest bath: A green carpet of moss covers the ground of a sunny clearing right in the middle of the woods. Let yourself drift for a while, away from the straight and narrow path. Listen to the sounds of nature. Enjoy the calm and the fresh air.

Moss: A master of adaptation

Mosses are truly skilled in adapting to stressful situations. The tiny green plants are incredibly resilient: They can resist direct sun exposure and heat as well as cold or frost, and can even survive microbial attacks. Mosses have specific properties that very few plants possess: When moss is injured through external factors – for example, by cutting into the plant – it grows young cell tissue (the so-called protonema) so that a new plant can develop. The ingredient MossCellTec™ No.1 from Mibelle Biochemistry is based on the strong adaptability of moss. Studies have shown that the biotechnologically manufactured moss extract improves the vitality of the skin’s cell nuclei to help reduce the effects of urban and climatic exposure on the skin.

Sonnenaufgang über dem Meer

Perfect for a morning meditation: A sunrise over the ocean. The water is still smooth, only a few sails are flapping in the wind. Seagulls are circling in the air. The world is still quiet and we have the entire day ahead of us.

Algae power against stress

For billions of years, algae have developed strategies to cope with dryness or UV radiation. Their stress resistance also makes these plants interesting for the beauty industry: French active ingredients manufacturer Codif was inspired by the defence mechanisms of the one-celled microalga Emiliania huxleyi and developed Idaskin. After external stress like UV exposure or air pollution, Idaskin regenerates the skin barrier twice as fast and helps it to rebalance itself.

Scientific studies show that our skin’s microflora is affected by stressful situations. The pH value changes and the skin tends to develop redness. In its active ingredient Actibiome, Codif combines a brown alga, a green microalga and mineral-rich marine source water with an exopolysaccharide. Bacterioplankton release these special sugar polymers to protect themselves from stress. After one week of regular usage of Actibiome, the skin has fewer red patches and looks more even-toned – even when stress levels are elevated.

Stress and its effects on the body are also the focus of Codif’s active ingredient B-Shape. Studies have shown that a hectic and stressful lifestyle can impair lipolysis (fat cell reduction in the body). B-Shape is based on an extract of the red alga Polysiphonia brodiei which boosts lipolysis in the skin’s fat cells. This can help to reduce undereye swellings, for example.

Natur - Entspannung am See

A bit of daydreaming whilst walking along a wooden footbridge above a lake. Letting your gaze roam, enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery while underneath your feet, the lake’s water is curling into gentle waves.

Neurocosmetic adaptogens

The stress hormones that are released when we feel under pressure increase the oxidative stress within the body. Too many free radicals can cause the skin to become quite literally thinner and drier. This is where Rejuvaveen from UK manufacturer Oat Cosmetics comes in. This active ingredient is manufactured from oat which contains antioxidant beta-glucans and the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Rejuvaveen regenerates the stress-weakened skin barrier and protects the epidermis from density loss.

Codif’s active ingredient Areaumat Perpetua helps to release relaxing molecules, the so-called ß-endorphins. The complex is based on an extract of Helichrysum, the immortelle plant, which has an immediately soothing effect on the skin and helps to reduce inflammation. Stressed-out sensitive skin in particular benefits from this active ingredient as Areaumat Perpetua makes the skin less reactive and strengthens its barrier function.

TiMOOD™ from Mibelle Biochemistry is manufactured from timut pepper and focuses on the skin-brain connection. Timut pepper (Zanthoxylum alatum) isn’t real pepper – it’s a close relative of Szechuan pepper berries. TiMOOD™ helps to boost the neuronal function of the skin so it looks more even-toned and glowing, with fewer red patches and impurities. At the same time, dopamines are released which demonstrably improve emotional well-being.

The ingredients from Mibelle Biochemistry, Codif and Oat Cosmetics are available to trade customers through the German distributor ProTec Ingredia.

In the next chapter, we’re celebrating the 50th chapter of my Beauty Soap. Stay tuned!

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