Organ of the
GD Society for Dermopharmacy
Cosmetics and Skin Care from dermatological View
Current Trends in Dermocosmetics
The number of active substances in cosmetical products has lately considerably increased. This applies in particular to active substances for the prevention and cosmetic treatment of skin ageing. Special importance is attached in this context to the active substances that are to protect the skin from harmful effects of UV radiation or repair of UV-related skin damage. Seldom these substances or their chemical example originate from nature. However, there are also recent developments in the field of elements and galenics of cosmetic products.
The average life expectancy has substantially increased in the last decades. As skin is the organ that reflects ageing in the most visible way, increased significance has been placed on dermocosmetics containing active substances against skin ageing. Moreover, a well-groomed appearance plays a more and more prominent role in today's society. Since cosmetics - in contrast to drugs - do not have to be authorized before launched to the market, a high degree of effectiveness and tolerability, i.e. a possibly high VW-index (VWI) should be a primary objective. This seems the more important if one considers that results of surveys reveal that every third consumer of cosmetics has already been faced with intolerability of a cosmetic product. Decisive extents of influence on the VWI are high-quality elements, optimised galenics as well as differentiated active substances.
Recent basic Elements
Besides water, fats and oils are the central raw materials for high-quality bases of dermocosmetic preparations. To the recent developments in the sector element substances belongs the application of fats and oils of vegetable origin. An example of this substance is for instance coco-mono-glycerid sulphate that is synthesized from coconut oil and glycerine  and has the properties of an anionic surfactant.
An additional group of partial synthetically modified vegetable raw materials are the protein-fatty acid condensates that equally belong to the anionic surfactants and are very well skin-tolerable. The non-ionic alkyl polyglycosides  composed of sugar and fatty alcohol distinguish themselves as well through excellent skin tolerability and a very low irritative effectiveness.
Current galenic Systems
Modern skin care products have to come up to demanding standards in particular regarding effectiveness and tolerability. A differentiated galenic basis is therefore just as important as the incorporated active substances. One of the targets for the development of a topical formulation is the establishing of a qualified system for the release of these substances.
As vehicle for a controlled release of cosmetical active substances and the optimization of the availability of active substances in certain skin layers, nanodisperse systems as liposomes, nano-emulsions and lipidnanoparticles gain more and more in importance. Thus, in some dermocosmetics uncharged liposomes are applied the most important effect of which can be seen in the increased hydratation of skin . Moreover, liposomes allow a fixing of active substances in the upper skin layers. A washing out and continuing penetration are hereby impeded. The more difficult washing out raises for example the waterproofness of UV-filters.
In many cases even better suited than liposomes are nano-emulsions. Similar to liposomes they enhance the penetration of cosmetic active substances and intensify thus their concentration in skin . Moreover, nano-emulsions gain more and more in importance because of their cosmetic intrinsic activity. By infiltrating of qualified lipids by means of nano-emulsions, the barrier function can equally be improved. Beyond it, lipidnanoparticles have been patented under the names Lipopearls® and Nanopearls® . They seem to allow an improved stability of chemically unstable active substance as well as a controlled release of active substances, enhanced hydratation and a good control effect by film formation.
Many dermocosmetics consist of two or more substances that are not miscible with each other and only reach a sufficient stability by certain additives. Often such formulations are stabilized with classical emulsifiers of the type of ionic or non-ionic surfactants. These low-molecular, amphiphile substances, however, may cause incompatibilities as skin irritations over and over again. Systems that are stabilized by classical emulsifiers with polymers or solid matters serve as alternative systems.
Intrinsic und extrinsic Skin-ageing
Skin ageing is understood today as a consequence of a combination of chronological, intrinisic skin ageing and extrinsic skin ageing determined by exogenous noxae. In this context it is proceeded from the assumption that the intrinsic or chronological skin-ageing is a consequence of genetical processes leading to a decreasing functionality of the skin. The intrinsic skin ageing entails fine wrinkles in skin. Intrinsic ageing skin shows additionally a loss of elasticity.
The extrinsic skin ageing is determined by exogenous effects in particular UV-radiation. Also smoking is considered as noxa. The formation of reactive free radicals, also called reactive oxygen species, is considered to be an essential mechanism leading to extrinsic skin ageing . These extremely reactive substances entail the oxidation of most varying cell elements such as DNA, proteins and membrane lipids [5, 6].
Furthermore, the expression of metalloproteinases is induced by UVA-radiation . This leads to a reduction of collagenic and elastic fibers. Further, a deposition of elastotic material comes about as well as an increased development of glycosaminoglycanes. Clinically extrinsic skin ageing typically occurs at skin areas that are exposed to environmental influences. Here it superimposes the symptoms of intrinsic skin ageing. It is characterized by coarse wrinkles and elastosis.
If one considers the complex mechanisms that may lead to ageing symptoms of skin it is comprehensible that there is a large number of possible attempts in order to influence the ageing of skin. This is why in the following the latest scientifically investigated and at present frequently used active substances as well as some innovations are dealt with.
Vitamin A and its Derivatives
Vitamin A and its derivatives belong to the longest applied anti-ageing substances. Used are both vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin-A-acid (tretinoine) and the aldehyde retinal (retinaldehyde). All derivatives of vitamin A exercise their specific effect on the nuclear receptors and have a complex impact on the skin tissue via their effects on the gene-expression. By applying tretinoine, a very good effect on the typical symptoms of skin ageing with epidermal and dermal effects could be proven . Accordingly, the activity of collagen and elastine-decomposing collagenase are impeded by the vitamin-A-acid. The synthesis of new collagen is stimulated and damaged collagen- (type I and III) and elastine fibers are re-organized . As drug available on prescription only, tretinoine may no longer be used for cosmetic preparations.
Similar as for tretinoine, recent scientific investigations have also shown a positive effect on ageing symptoms of skin  for retinol. Thus, by using retinol both with intrinsic and extrinsic skin ageing, a reduction of the mRNA-expression of the collagenase (MMP-I) as well as a stimulation of the collagen-synthesis  is effected. In contrast to vitamin-A-acid, retinol is also allowed for applications in cosmetic products. It is employed as active substance in numerous dermocosmetics and very well tolerated.
As for tretinoine and retinol a stimulation of the collagen synthesis and a reduction of the collagenase activity could also be shown for retinaldehyde. Partly, a restoration of damaged collagen fibers with restructuration of the connecting tissue has occurred . In comparison with tretinoine, retinaldehyde has partly been better tolerated .
Oestrogens and Phytooestrogens
In the frame of the menopause, the female oestrogen levels distinctly decrease. This leads among others to a weaker influence of oestrogens at the cells of the skin. Sinking oestrogen levels are therefore considered as a factor for intrinsic skin ageing with post-menopausal women. In various studies, a positive effect of topically applied oestrogens on elasticity and wrinkle formation of skin could be demonstrated. Also a stimulation of the collagen metabolism combined with a rise of the collage type III has been shown . The exact scientific evaluation of effects of oestrogens in the context of skin ageing has nevertheless not been completed.
In contrast to oestrogens that are available on prescription only, the so-called phytooestrogens are applied in cosmetical products. This implies different substances of vegetable origin such as isoflavone, cumestane and lignane, as for example in soy and soy products, green tea and ginseng . Scientific investigations regarding the effect of these substances on skin ageing is however not yet terminated, however positive effects on phytooestrogen-containing creams on skin ageing become apparent.
Antioxidant Vitamins C and E
Vitamin E or α-tocopherol
belong to the lipophile antioxidants. Therefore, it can is able to catch
free radicals especially in the lipophile milieu of biological systems
for example at cell membranes. By topical applications of vitamin E, an
additional protection by reduction of UVA-induced oxidative stress can
be caused. A significant decrease of peroxidized phospholipids under the
application of vitamin E could be shown . Further, vitamin E also
impedes the gene expression of the collagenase  by an inhibition of
the proteinkinase C activity. Additional investigations have shown that
vitamin E is able to protect from a ROS-related inhibition of the collagen
biosynthesis and a ROS-caused stimulation of the glycosaminogklycansynthesis
Further substances with anti-oxidative properties are coenzyme Q 10 and
flavonoids. An analysis has shown a reduction of the oxidative stress,
a decrease of the collagenase activity by applying coenzyme Q 10 .
Flavonoids are a large
group of polyphenolic compounds that have been found in plants and correspondingly
in the most varied foodstuffs of vegetable origin . Flavanoles, flavanones,
antho-cyanidines, flavones and flavonoles belong to the flavonoids. Important
examples are the polyphenoles with epica-techine, epigallocatechine and
epicatechnin-3-gallat as the most significant representatives. Lately,
a photo-protective effect could be proven in vivo for green tea phenols.
When applying of green tea phenols before UV exposition, a significantly
lower number of "sunburn cells" showed, a considerably lower
decrease of Langerhans-cells as well as distinctly less DNS-damages than
with previous application of these substances .
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