How a fragrant cosmetic active ingredient lets your skin shine
No one can deny that the last two years have been a very stressful time.
We could observe that not only our minds were sometimes on the edge of endurance, but also our skin. This is because stress leads to the release of stress hormones, having an effect on the entire body – and thus also on the skin. It’s time to calm down again, especially because the world order seems to be under pressure and one stress seems to take over from the next. As such, the topic of stress will remain with us in the cosmetics world for some time to come, and it has become a big trend.
But what can be done to soothe both the mind and the skin? Have you ever thought about scents? Many essential oils have been employed in aromatherapy for thousands of years. When used as fragrance oils or perfumes, they not only make you smell good, but also influence your state of mind. It has long been known that the scents of rosemary, citrus and pine have a stress-relieving effect.
All of these aromas are present in MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE, an oily CO2 extract from the South African resurrection bush Myrothamnus flabellifolia.
Figure 1: Myrothamnus flabellifolia, a true resurrection bush. It can completely dry out for months just to revive after a refreshing rain shower.
Figure 2: Scent profile of MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE judged by a neutral female panel. It exactly reflects the assessment of a trained panel of fragrance experts (not shown). The size of the words corresponds to the number of mentions.
Rosemary, for example, can reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol.
Citrus scents can have anti-depressive effects. Both are ideal when stress reduction and mood enhancement is required.
A Japanese study found that a leisurely walk through a pine forest (Shinrin-Yoku) significantly reduces anxiety, depression and stress, and this “treatment” can now even be prescribed by a doctor. One of the main ingredients of the scent of pine is the fragrance cedrol. Just a tiny amount of it is enough to lower blood pressure and heart rate when inhaled.
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The idea that fragrant cosmetic ingredients can benefit the skin is not just enshrined in traditional systems of medicine (such as Ayurveda) but is increasingly being investigated by scientists. Sandalore, for example, a fragrance obtained from sandalwood, can have a positive influence on the differentiation and maturation of keratinocytes and can enhance the skin barrier. Bitter flavours, like amarogentine, bind to bitter taste receptors and have a similar effect.
During ageing or in stressful situations, the important calcium gradient of the skin is disrupted and the skin can look dry and dull. However, for a flawless, radiant skin, an excellent skin surface structure and an intact skin barrier are required. Calcium-regulating cosmetic active ingredients are thus a good choice when the objective is to create a remarkable, radiant complexion. In view of the fact that small amounts of the right fragrance are sufficient to induce unconscious positive reactions of our body and mind through our sense of smell, it is apparent that such tiny amounts will also have an effect on skin. And this is exactly where MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE comes into play.
During transformation from stratum spinosum cells to stratum granulosum cells, the keratinocytes dramatically increase their metabolism and trigger a battery of calcium-dependent gene expression and enzymatic activities. Multiple stress factors, like mechanical impacts, radiation and wounds, disturb this pivotal calcium gradient while it also becomes less pronounced during the ageing process. The result is a less effective cornified envelope and skin barrier, as well as a reduced capability to cope with inflammatory stresses. Without a properly functioning calcium gradient, the skin loses its moisture and dries out.
It has long been known that certain extrinsic molecules can have beneficial effects on skin. These are often molecules with a pleasant odour that also have holistic positive effects, as is the case in aromatherapy. Such fragrance molecules can indeed stimulate the maturation of keratinocytes by activating olfactory and bitter taste receptors present on their surface. Activation of these receptors lead eventually to an improved and fully moisturised epidermis (figure 4).
Figure 3: MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE quickly moisturises the skin, especially in very dry skin regions, where moisture is needed most.
Clinical studies have shown that MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE can elicit a more positive mood in persons under stress by instantly lowering levels of stress hormones. It generates exceptional radiance by activating five triggers: it balances facial hydration, reduces redness, brightens, reduces roughness and increases gloss. In addition, the skin barrier is strengthened, and the skin becomes more elastic. The lips become plumper and wrinkles on the lips as well as on the skin are reduced.
Figure 4: The 5-fold action of MYRAMAZE®-ESSENCE for a vibrant skin.
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