Newsletters - May 2003

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Free radical chain reactions are implicated in most degenerative biological reactions. Free radicals on the surface of the skin therefore catalyze aging. Herbal extracts contain natural compounds that scavenge free radicals, or inhibit their propagation. These antioxidants are therefore useful in antiaging formulations and in formulations designed to maintain general skin health and integrity. Additionally, natural antioxidants also help to enhance the shelf life of fat-based topical formulations.

Skin rejuvenation:
Aging of the skin is a cumulative effect influenced by factors such as environmental pollution, chemicals, and atmospheric temperature fluctuations The major contributor to skin damage is exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet A and B radiation from sunlight penetrate the skin and accelerate damage due to free radicals. With prolonged exposure to sunlight, the collagen and elastin fibers which maintain the elasticity and integrity of the skin are broken down by the enzymes collagenase and elastase and the skin texture deteriorates. Herbal extracts and nutrients such as ursolic acid and rosemary extract which inhibit these enzymes and promote collagen and elastin synthesis therefore help to maintain the integrity of the skin Such products are therefore useful in preventing wrinkling and aging and in improving the appearance of photoaged skin.

Other compounds that help in improving appearance and texture include alpha-hydroxy acids and aleuritic acid. These compounds accelerate exfoliation thereby helping to soften hardened skin areas.

Natural tyrosinase inhibitors

Darker skin tones, patches and blemishes result from increased formation of melanin and slow breakdown of preformed melanin on the surface of the skin. Hydroquinone products used historically for skin lightening are no longer acceptable on account of their toxicity. Agents that affect the melanin biosynthesis pathway are widely distributed in plant materials. These natural ingredients offer safer alternatives to hydroquinone for use in topical skin lightening compositions.

Some herbal extracts and phytonutrients regulate the overproduction of melanin through inhibition of the natural enzyme in the skin, tyrosinase, which is responsible for melanin production. Some antioxidant compounds also help to break down preformed melanin. Typically compositions for skin lightening also include sunscreens, moisturizers and other functional ingredients that support skin health and appearance. Such compositions offer comprehensive protection to the skin and provide antiaging benefits as well.


  • Sabinsa Corporation
    20 Lake Drive
    East Windsor
    NJ 08520, USA

  • +1 732 777 1111
  • +1 732 777 1443


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