Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cosmeceuticals: Pepha-Tight

Pepha-Tight (INCI: Algae extract from Nannochloropsis oculata and pullulan) makes claims that it can protect human fibroblasts from oxidative stress, increase the formation of collagen in our skin, and promotes a long term tightening effect.

Nannochloropsis oculata is a phytoplankton that contains high levels of B12. It is fermented to produce more of the good stuff we want in a cosmeceutical (see below). Pullalen is a glucan gum produced by black yeast that behaves as a film former and binder and also provides a skin tightening effect which can lead to a smoother skin texture.

The main consistuents of the algae and pullalan are polysaccharides, amino acids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12. We know polysaccharides create a light film, help with inflammation, and offer skin soothing. We know Vitamin C is a proven anti-inflammatory that can stimulate collagen formation, lighten skin, treat hyperpigmentation, and heal wounds. And we know amino acids can film form and moisturizer without oils (take a look at our proteins like silk or oat proteins). Does this combination of phytoplankton and glucan gum make your skin feel tighter? Subjective reports indicate that it does in that women who use Pepha-Tight feel that their skin is tighter.

So does it work as it is claimed? It looks pretty good. The science is there for the components like polysaccharides, Vitamin C, amino acids, and Vitamin B12, and the subjective feeling of skin tightening is reported by people who use it, so it sounds good to me.

Pepha-Tight comes as a yellowy viscous liquid that is water soluble and should be used in the cool down phase as it's sensitive to heat. Its suggested usage is at 1% to 5%, and it can be used in water soluble or emulsified products. It is easily washed off, so keep it in your leave on products as opposed to your cleansers! When storing it, the suggestion is to keep it away from light and at temperatures between 10˚C to 25˚C. It has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 and works best in products with a pH range of 5 to 7, so you won't be using this in a moisturizer with AHAs any time soon.

Here are a few recipe ideas. This eye gel sounds interesting and wouldn't need many ingredients (you can substitute the Diocide for your preservative of choice and substitute the methyl gluceth-20 for any water soluble oil you wish. And here's a facial cream with this ingredient (for the love of all that is good, please don't write to me for ideas for substitutions for the various ingredients you don't have. I will be here all day!)

I won't be formulating with this ingredient any time soon. It's not that I have any issues with whether it works or not, but it goes for $15 to $18 for 30 ml (1 liquid ounce), and that's far too pricey for my tastes! You can take any water soluble product (like a toner) or emulsified product (like a moisturizer) and add it at 1% to 5% in the cool down phase - you don't need a special recipe for it.

And here are two data sheets on this topic - find them here and here.

I really encourage you to take a look at the first one because I can't quite figure out what this possibly female, possibly vampiric, swimmer on the cover has to do with a skin tightening active. My husband and I pondered about this a good long while this morning, so there's 10 minutes of my life I'm never getting back.

Join me tomorrow for more fun with cosmeceuticals!

1 comment:


susan please tell me...........will pullulan by it self do the same as pepha-tight or is it the combinations in pepha-tight?
appreciate the answer