In recent years, we have seen an increasing blurring of the boundaries between skin care and colour cosmetics in terms of product formats, benefits, and claims. This certainly has not been lost on ingredient manufacturers, with a noticeable trend of traditionally skin care-oriented active ingredients being repositioned, and in cases re-tested, specifically targeting use in colour cosmetics.
The aim of this article is to explore and discuss examples of skin care ingredients that are being positioned for colour cosmetics, many of which have bespoke performance data. INCIs and descriptive wording associated with each ingredient mentioned in this article is taken from the respective manufacturer’s marketing information. For full information about any study data referenced within the text, and for details of exact compositions (including preservative options), please contact the relevant suppliers.
For the face
Facial colour cosmetics include liquid formats such as foundations, primers, blemish balm (BB) creams, colour corrective (CC) creams and powder formats including blushers and pressed powders.
MPC Milk Peptide Complex (Whey Protein) from CLR reduces the visible signs of ageing by reactivating skin cells and inducing the production of extracellular matrix molecules in the dermis, such as collagen type I, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin.In vivostudies have shown that formulations with MPC make the skin firmer and improve its elasticity.MPC quickly and effectively reduces wrinkle depth and improves the structure of the skin. MPC Milk Peptide Complex contains a complex of activated, natural signalling growth factors derived from milk, such as TGF-β. CLR recommends MPC for BB creamsdue to its multifunctionality and well-suited benefits.
Redyless (Propanediol (and) Aqua (and) Piperonyl Glucoside) from Solabia is an active ingredient that helps to stop facial flushing and chronic redness. Redyless helps to control facial flushing caused by sudden changes in temperature, consumption of alcohol and spicy food, emotional stress, pollution, and the sun. Redyless controls angiogenesis to reduce chronic redness and strengthens weakened blood vessels. Solabia has conducted extensive in vivoand ex vivotesting and recommends Redyless for use in facial colour cosmetics such as BB and corrective creams.
Miniporyl (Isopentyldiol (and) Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract) from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics is extracted from red clover and titrated in biochanin A to offer skin purifying and rebalancing benefits. The enlargement of pores is caused by corneocytes retaining their nucleus, which leads to abnormal desquamation and accumulation of cell debris, clogging pores. As a result, skin loses tonicity and firmness. These effects are further worsened by sun exposure, cigarette smoke, poor cleansing etc. Miniporyl improves keratinocyte differentiation to obtain nucleus-free corneocytes as well as inhibiting 5α-reductaseactivity to decrease sebum production. Overall the size and appearance of pores is reduced for flawless skin. The actions are promoted as perfect to apply into foundations, BB creams and other facial colour cosmetic formulations.
MultiSal Retinol (Silica (and) PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate (and) Retinol (and) Polysorbate-20 (and) Polyethylenimine (and) BHT (and) BHA (and) Lauryl Laurate (and) Zea Mays (Corn) Starch (and) Hydrolysed Corn Starch (and) Hydrolysed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate) from Salvona is based on the double-layered encapsulation of retinol. Retinol acts by inducing glycosaminoglycan and collagen synthesis, rejuvenating the firmness and youthful appearance of skin. One challenge regarding the use of retinol is its susceptibility to oxidation, which ultimately reduces its potency and limits effectiveness. Due to its ability to enhance skin turnover, retinol can cause irritation. When a formulation containing MultiSal Retinol is rubbed into the skin, the microspheres rupture, releasing the sub-micron spheres inside. The core is comprised of botanical lipophilic ingredients that partition into the skin, thus modulating the slow release of the encapsulated retinol over time. MultiSal Retinol reduces the appearance of fine lines in as little as 2 weeks. MultiSal Retinol is recommended for use in anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation plus facial and lip colour cosmetics.
SyriCalm (Aqua (and) Phragmites Communis Extract (and) Poria Cocos Extract) from CLR effectively reduces inflammation and supports skin in dealing with external stresses. Additionally, SyriCalm is designed to give effective support where environmental stresses challenge the skin e.g. shaving, depilation, or daily hygiene. It helps the skin recover its natural balance. Aside from its skin care applications, SyriCalm is also recommended by CLR for use in BB creams and similar facial colour cosmetic formulas.
SalSphere Anti-Ageing Lift (Aqua (and) Polyvinyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Coco-Glucoside Tartrate (and) Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (and) Beeswax (and) Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax (and) Lecithin (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Ethylhexylglycerin (and) Niacin (and) Tocopheryl Acetate (and) Glycerin (and) Resveratrol (and) Thioctic Acid (and) Dimethyl Sulfone (and) Panax Ginseng Root Extract (and) Portulaca Oleracea Extract (and) Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5) from Salvona is designed to instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and treats wrinkles from within, for a long-lasting, younger-looking appearance. SalSphere AAL offers visible results in as little as 10 minutes, yielding a lasting firming sensation. It is ideal for use in facial colour cosmetics includingfoundations, primers and concealers.
EPS Seafill P1.5 (Aqua (and) Alteromonas Ferment Extract (and) Phenoxyethanol) from Codif fills in lines and wrinkles to smooth the skin grain in just 15 minutes, while also stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis for longer-term benefits. Codif recommends EPS Seafill for use in primers, foundations or pressed powders.
Matilook (Glycerin (and) Aqua (and) Cydonia Oblonga Leaf Extract) from Solabia is an active ingredient obtained by the hydro-glycerinated extraction of quince Leaves (Cydonia oblonga). Quince contains hydroxycinnamic derivatives (≥4g/L) and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (≥1g/L), which are astringent molecules. It is recommended for use in formulations to revitalise the appearance of oily skin by refining the skin texture and limiting skin shine. With supportive data demonstrating the restriction of pore enlargement and providing mattifying effects, Solabia recommends Matilook as being an ideal targeted active ingredient for colour cosmetics.
Epidermist (Aqua (and) Saccharide Isomerate (and) Phenoxyethanol) from Codif is described as being perfect for use in a primer or foundation to not only mask pores, but act every day to decrease their appearance. It improves skin renewal and decreases bacterial growth for a smoothing effect on the skin grain,decreasing the visibility of pores.
DHA Rapid (Dihydroxyacetone (and) Troxerutin) from Merck generates quick tanning results. A smooth and particularly even skin tone is produced within a very short period. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties. Troxerutin is an anti-ageing component and an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It is used in cosmetics for its anti-oxidant effects based upon its iron chelating ability. Protecting the skin cells from singlet oxygen damage.
For the lips
It has traditionally been challenging to incorporate active ingredients into lip products, both due to them being typically anhydrous and due to the high temperature exposure during formulation preparation (often exceeding temperatures most active ingredients can cope with). There are several highly efficacious oil-soluble active ingredients now available on the market, which is driving innovation in lip care. Another key development has been the launch of lip oils,a trend we previously reviewed in Personal Care Magazine. Lip oils are typically cold-process, which allows incorporation of heatsensitive active ingredients.
Hydrasalinol (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Salicornia Herbacea) from Codif stimulates the synthesis of Aquaporin-8 (AQP8) and Aquaporin-3 (AQP3), which are involved in urea and water storage in the epidermis. Hydrasalinol reinforces epidermal lipid synthesis to improve skin cohesion. This oil-soluble active ingredient is said by Codif to be ideal for use in lipsticks to increase the hydration level of lips by up to 60 times.
Linefill (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Dimethyl Isosorbide (and) Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract (and) Tocopherol) from Provital Group is a vegetable-based active ingredient that is able to increase the accumulation of lipids in the adipose tissue, providing a greater volume to areas that have lost shape over the years. A fringe projection study was used to evaluate an increase in lip volume, with other data demonstrating its hydrating and anti-wrinkle efficacy.
Revinage (Bidens Pilosa Extract (and) Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil (and) Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil (and) Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil from Chemyunion is a plant-based alternative to retinol, mimicking the positive results of retinoids in stimulating the synthesis of dermal proteins and growth factors. Chemyunion conducted a lipstick study and found that 1% Revinage significantly stimulated the production of NMF, ceramide-3, and cholesterol
SWT-7TM L (Isopropyl Palmitate (and) Lecithin (and) Aqua (and) Swertia Chirata Extract) from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, is an active ingredient inspired by advanced regenerative medicine, boosts the selfrepair system of the skin and targets fast (up to 7 days) skin tissue recovery. It has a biomimetic action on adipose-derived stem cells featuring specific factors that ensure cell-to-cell communication. Its oil-soluble nature enhances bioavailability and boosts the results on vertical lines (responsible for tired and sad facial expression), wrinkles, volume, skin texture and lip lines, making it perfect for use in lip colour cosmetic formulations.
LIPerfection O (Brassica Alba Sprout Extract (and) Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride) from Mibelle Biochemistry, a purified extract of organic mustard sprouts, increases the volume and hydration of the lips. Sinalbin, a pungent flavour compound is the major phytonutrient in yellow mustard sprouts and is known to increase the capillary blood flow and cause redness. Mibelle demonstrated that LIPerfection boosts cutaneous blood micro-circulation, plumps the lips, and increases lip hydration after a single application.
TechnoHyal Hyapearl (Triolein (and) Sodium Hyaluronate) from Principium Europe is a highly effective lipo-available sodium hyaluronate suitable for colour cosmetics, including anhydrous formulations. This technology entraps hyaluronic acid in a matrix of synergistic triglycerides (Triolein) from 100% natural origin, enabling it to better penetrate the skin compared to hyaluronic acid in water. TechnoHyal Hyapearl significantly improves moisturisation, strengthens the barrier function of the skin and provides excellent skin-feel with a smooth gliding effect. The plumping and moisture-retention, plus ability to incorporate into anhydrous formulations, makes it perfect for use in lip products.
Vitaskin E (Raspberry Seed Oil/Tocopherol Succinate Aminopropanediol Esters) from Solabia is obtained via solvent-free enzymatic biocatalysis from raspberry seed oil and the succinate of vitamin E. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present in raspberry seed oil are stable to oxidation due to the ceramide-like structure used in Vitaskin E. It can help to repair the skin’s stratum corneum, reconstruct dense support tissue, and recover the skin’s barrier function for optimised hydration. It is promoted for use in lip formulations to help recover damaged lips, with supportive data demonstrating stimulation of skin repair process, activation of dermic regeneration, and reinforcement of the dermal-epidermal junction structure.
Pink Pepperslim (Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract) from Codif reactivates microcirculation to offer a radiance effect. Codif suggests that Pink Pepperslim ‘reboots’ the original carnation of lips,making it ideal for use in a restorative lip balm, for example.
Dictyopteris Oil (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Dictyopteris Membranacea) from Codif activates the mechanisms of lipidic nutrition and imparts a lip-plumping effect. It stimulates the synthesis of adionutrin and favours the storage of triglycerides by adipocytes for a nourishing action. Codif promotes Dictyopteris Oil as being perfect for use in plumping lip balms, oils or glosses.
Lash-enhancing and lash-shaping formulations remain ever popular, with mascara and related lash serums/creams continuing to see innovative new formats, benefits, and claims. This leads to the transfer of active ingredients and functional benefits from skin care and other categories including hair care.
Vitamin F Forte (Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid) from CLR has been shown to protect against hair breakage. Vitamin F Forte contains polyunsaturated essential free fatty acids originating from safflower oil, with a particularly high content of linoleic acid. CLR recommends Vitamin F Forte for its benefits in lash formulations including mascara.
Capixyl (Butylene Glycol (and) Water (and) Dextran (and) Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 (and) Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract) from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics is an innovative complex of a biomimetic peptide combined with a red clover extract for stronger and thicker hair and lashes. Eyelashes are said to be noticeably thicker and fuller after 4 weeks. It has a direct action on 5-α-reductase, which modulates dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to help prevent hair miniaturisation. It improves Extracellular Matrix (ECM) protein integrity in dermal papilla for better hair anchoring and reduces damage caused by inflammation, providing fuller, thicker and healthier looking hair and lashes.
Unifilma HVY (Dextrin Isostearate) from Chiba Flour Milling Co. Ltd forms a soft flexible film that is durable, stable, and long lasting. It shows excellent adhesion to skin and hair and great waterproofing benefits. It is ideal for use in curl enhancing mascara.
Curvelini (Linum Usitatissimum Seed Extract) from Assessa is based around the active ingredients of golden flax seeds. It combines bioadhesive soluble fibres, proteins, and oils rich in essential fatty acids. The bioadhesive polysaccharides improve the formation of hair curls with a soft, bouncy, and lasting hold adding a natural satin-like gloss to the hair. While primarily a hair care active ingredient, Curvelini offers potential use in lashenhancing formulations.
Orgasol EXD NAT COS Caresse (Nylon 6/12) from Arkema increases deposition on the lashes while avoiding clumping. It Improves curl effects, shortens drying time, and increases formulation rigidity. It also makes mascara application easier, resulting in an even and regular surface with superior glide.
Baicapil (Propanediol (and) Aqua (and) Arginine (and) Lactic Acid (and) Glycine Soja Germ Extract (and) Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract (and) Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Gluconolactone (and) Calcium Gluconate from Provital Group is a combination of three botanical active ingredients (Chinese skullcap, wheat, and soy) that reduces hair loss, stimulates growth, and increases hair density. Baicapil increases cellular energy and protects follicle fibroblasts against oxidative stress and senescence, thus improving follicular activity and extending the anagen phase of the hair cycle. In addition, it has been demonstrated in vivo that it improves the ratio of anagen hair versus telogen hair and increases hair growth and density. Primarily a hair loss active ingredient, Baicapil potentially offers benefits in lash formulations to stimulate growth and condition.
Finding active ingredients to benefit nail growth, strength and condition is very difficult, with few available options with proven efficacy. There are of course hundreds of keratin and protein-based active ingredients, however data is typically limited.
Lakesis (Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum) from Codif is an oil-soluble active ingredient that can be incorporated into formulations to increase the natural thickness and strength of nails. It works by stimulating the production of several keratins, which are essential for the nail matrix. It also stimulates keratinassociated proteins, which contribute to the rigidity and resistance of nails.
Ronacare Biotin Plus (Urea (and) Disodium Phosphate (and) Biotin (and) Citric Acid) from Merck is an easy to use powdered form of Biotin that has about a seventy-fold increase in water solubility. Biotin has been shown to increase the strength and conditioning effects of nails.
Skin care functional ingredient transfer
Aside from active ingredients, another important trend is the transfer of textures and formulation format from skin care (and other categories) into colour cosmetics, which in turn is expanding the opportunity for innovation. As a result, a lot of traditionallyskin care-oriented rheology modifiers and emulsifiers have been repositioned and retested to promote specific opportunities in colour cosmetics. There are many examples, including the following:
Ecogel (Lysolecithin (and) Sclerotium Gum (and) Xanthan Gum (and) Pullulan) from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics is a patented, optimised combination of natural origin ingredients derived from a green process: Lysophospholipids, xanthan gum, sclerotium gum, and pullulan. It is a natural phospholipid-based gelling-emulsifying agent, allowing the creation of natural gel-creams with an ultra-soft and light skin feel. Ecogel offers an excellent silicone-like slip, ideal for colour cosmetic formulations as well as skin care and hair care.
AuraSphere N (Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, VP/VA Copolymer) from Centerchem is a novel complex that provides unique visual and tactile properties. When used alone or in combination with other materials, AuraSphere N works to minimise the appearance of lines and wrinkles, while providing a soft, comfortable film. When applied neat to the skin, a smooth, matte finish is immediately noticeable. The result is a smooth, silky film, which makes the skin appear virtually free of fine lines. While often utilised in skin care-oriented formulations, Centerchem recommends AuraSphere N as being ideal for use in primers, BB creams, and foundations.
Olifeel Pearls (Triglycerides) from Brasca is a patented, non-hydrogenated rheological thickener for anhydrous systems. It can thicken natural, synthetic, and silicone formulations as well as offering suspension. Viscosity (linked to the polarity of the oil used) significantly increases in a dose-dependent manner. It provides a creamy, comfortable, and non-greasy touch and is promoted as being suitable for use in colour cosmetic formulations including mascara, foundations and BB/CC creams.
Dermofeel viscolid (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) from Dr Straetmans GmbH is a natural oil thickener supplied in a powder format with a melting point of approximately 60ºC. It is used to convert liquid oils into soft, creamy textures. The resulting formulation is an elegant, soft oil paste that is easily applied on the skin without smearing or dripping. There is no influence on the sensorial profile of the oils which makes it ideal for colour cosmetics as emolliency and coverage is retained. Dermofeel viscolid has been tested with various oils and is compatible with plant oils as well as ester oils, mineral oil, and silicones
Glucamate SSE-20 (PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate) and Glucate™ SS (Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate) from Lubrizol are emulsifiers that, in combination, have been shown to offer unique liquid crystal structures to benefit formulations including BB creams and other similar pigmented systems. As emulsifiers, they allow a high pigment loading, and the liquid crystal structure enhances delivery and spread on the skin. Lubrizol has demonstrated the robustness of the liquid crystal structures, even in extreme conditions. A BB cream study also showed how a Glucamate SSE-20 and Glucate SS emulsion system performed favourably on many fronts versus a Steareth2 and Steareth-21control, including for coverage, feel, pigment distribution, and strength of colour.
Olivem 900 (Sorbitan Olivate) from Hallstar is a PEG-free co-emulsifier typically used in skin care formulations. In colour cosmetics it improves the dispersion of powders and inorganic UV filters, also contributing to formulation water-resistancy. Oliwax (Hydrogenated Olive Oil (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (and) Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables), also from Hallstar, is a multipurpose stabilising lipid derived from ultra-refined pure olive oil. It is a highly lipophilic emollient that also improves the stability of emulsions and anhydrous systems. Traditionally used in skin care due to its excellent spreadability, its unique texture has been shown to benefit colour cosmetics. Together, Olivem 900 and Oliwax have the ability to give a structure to different oils, and improve pigment dispersion/suspension. They are recommended for use in lipgloss, lipbalm, lipstick, mascara and emulsion colour cosmetic applications for novel sensory opportunities.
Heliofeel (Glyceryl Stearate Citrate (and) Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate (and) Hydrogenated Lecithin) from Lucas Meyer Cosmetics is a natural emulsifier for the formulation of oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions. Easy to use, it is compatible with a large variety of oils and forms particularly stable emulsions in the presence of electrolytes and other destabilising agents that are often required in colour cosmetics. Polyvalent, it allows the formulation of a wide range of textures leaving a soft and velvety touch.
When reviewing the skin care-type claims being made by modern colour cosmetic products, it is difficult to find a dividing line between the two categories, especially with formats such as BB creams that sit in both and blur the boundaries. Many active ingredients are now available that have direct efficacy data in colour cosmetic formulations, which is a marked change in direction versus simply using theoretical benefits as has traditionally been the case. With more water-based (or water-containing) colour cosmeticformats available, there are increasing opportunities to incorporate traditional skin care-type active ingredients. Also with more oil-soluble active ingredients becoming available, there are new opportunities to add active benefits and claims to anhydrous systems.
From a rheological and textural perspective, the cosmetics industry has always utilised cross-category inspirationto create novel formats and opportunities. Colour cosmetics is enjoying this approach by utilising traditional skin care (and other category) emulsifiers, rheology modifiers and textural aids to boost innovation
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