Skin is the largest organ in the human body. It is exposed to environmental insult of which UV light is considered to be the most harmful. UV exposure can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, erythema, breakdown of the extracellular matrix, wrinkling and skin cancer. Especially during the summer when the concentration of UV rays is the highest it is important to protect the skin and provide it with phytonutrients which help it to recover. I personally try to avoid direct sun exposure especially from 11 to 14 p.m. Nevertheless, even if you are in the shade, some UV rays still reach the skin due to reflection.

My purpose was to develop a skin care product that is to be applied at night, and would allow the skin to recover from the sun damage during the day and boost it’s self-protection capability. Antioxidant nutrients are essential for the skin in order to prevent fotodamage. These include α-tocopherol, certain flavonoids and β-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. For the basis oil I selected Almond Oil (B-1), which is high on oleic acid and α-tocopherol; Argan Oil and Rice Bran Oil (B-2), which have balanced proportions of oil / linoleic acid and are highly barrier-protective.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients that fall into the chemical category of polyphenols, found in almost all fruits and vegetables. They are reagrded to be UVA absorbent, cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory. One of the powerful falavanols is Green Tea. Green tea appears to enhance sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. In my skin care products, I use Green Tea Extract in the Water Phase.

Carotenoids

β-Carotene is in the carotene class of carotenoids, which is a strongly-colored red-orange pigment. β-Carotene inhibits free radical and singlet oxygen-induced lipid peroxidation in liposomes and the biologic system. It is a photoprotective agent and is thought to quench photochemical reactions in the epidermis involving singlet oxygen and oxygen radicals generated by UV exposure[1]

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot seed oil is a rich source of β-carotene, which is nourishing & healing for both sun damaged and aging skin. It also contains antiseptic and cytophylactic properties (stimulate the generation of new cells). The anti-inflammatory properties of carrot seed oil will calm down redness and even out discolorations associated with sun damaged skin.

Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract

I decided to boost the regenerating properties of the cream by adding the Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract. Sea buckthorn berry has a very impressive nutritional profile. It contains over 190 nutrients and phytonutrients, including vitamin C, which is 12 times higher than that of an orange. It also contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, making it a powerful superfood. This berry also has as much vitamin E as wheat germ, three times more vitamin A than carrots, and four times more superoxide dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that for the prevention of free radical damage, than ginseng. Furthermore, it’s the only plant source that contains omega 3, 6, 9, and 7.

Calendula Oil

Due to it’s rich content on beta-carotene, Calendula has good anti-inflammatory properties and is known to even the skin tone by reducing the visibility of age spots and sun damages. Study undertaken on Calendula Officinalis Essential Oil have shown that it has a natural sun protection property. Adding 2% of Calendula Essential Oil in the emulsion brought the SPF of the crème to the value of 14,84. Calendula Oil is an active component, which should be added to the cold emulsion.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is miracle plant when it comes to damaged skin. It has a long story: many cultures such as the Egyptians have even elevated the plant to a ‘god-like’ status.

The healing qualities of the Aloe Vera were utilized for centuries earning the name “Plant of Immortality”. It contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids[2].

Enzyme Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically. Aloe Vera provides 4 plant steroids: cholesterol, campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory and lupeol also possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties. Hormones Auxins and gibberellins help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, gibberellin (growth hormon) interacts with growth factor receptors on the fibroblast, thereby stimulating its activity and proliferation, which in turn significantly increases collagen synthesis. The Effects of Aloe Vera on skin exposure to UV and gamma radiation are essential. It boosts the production of the protein metallothionein, which scavenges hydroxyl radicals and prevents suppression of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the skin [3]. In other words, it increases the cells’ capability to defend against the effects of oxidative stress.

In the emulsion I replace the 50% of the Water Phase with Aloe Vera Gel.

For emulsifiers, I chose Dermofeel® GSC (INCI: Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, 1,5 g ), which is a natural palm oil free emulsifier derived from rapeseed oil, and Phospholipon® 80 H (INCI: Hydrogenated Lecithin, 0,5g), a powerful Co-Emulsifier, which increases the level of cell membrane penetration.

2

[1] Structure-antioxidant activity relationships of flavonoids and phenolic acids. / Rice-Evans CA, Miller NJ, Paganga G., Free Radic Biol Med. 1996; 20(7):933-56.

[2] Atherton P. Aloe vera revisited. Br J Phytother. 1998;4:76–83.

[3] Byeon S, Pelley R, Ullrich SE, Waller TA, Bucana CD, Strickland FM. Aloe barbadensis extracts reduce the production of interleukin-10 after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. J Invest Dermtol. 1988;110:811–7.