Monday, November 19, 2012

Cosmeceutical: Revital-Eyes

As I mentioned in yesterday's eye cream post, I wanted to use an ingredient from the Formulator Sample Shop called Revital-Eyes (INCI: Water and Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Camiellia sinensis leaf Ferment Filtrate, Punica granatum Ferment Filtrate, Caffeine Ferment Lystate Filtrate). I was intrigued by the various components in this ingredient and thought I'd take a look at what each of them could bring to the product!*

What is the benefit of using caffeine in our products, specifically an eye cream? Caffeine is known to constrict our blood vessels, which could reduce puffiness and dark circles under our eyes. It's also known to be an anti-oxidant, which could help fight oxidants on our skin. 

The first question is - can we absorb caffeine through our skin?

This study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology, noted that caffeine can be absorbed by skin, and the absorption rate increases when skin's barrier is disturbed. In other words, broken or damaged skin will absorb more caffeine than non-broken skin. 

This study from the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology noted that "Hair follicles contribute significantly to percutaneous absorption of caffeine after topical application in man in vivo only at times soon after application." The study wanted to "define the underlying relative penetration of caffeine through hair follicles and through intact stratum corneum with time", in other words, it wanted to know if caffeine could be absorbed by our hair follicles and, if it could, was it faster than being absorbed through the skin. The result - yes, it was faster. 

Unfortunately, we don't have hair follicles under our eyes, but these studies show that we can absorb it through the stratum corneum anyway. So yay! (There are many many studies about this - I thought I'd link to two of them...)

So the second question - what does it do for us? I've already addressed a few of the benefits in this post on caffeine in green tea extract, but let's do a little summary here! Studies have shown caffeine behaves as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Anti-oxidants can quell free radicals on our skin and anti-inflammatories reduce inflammation. 

This study found in the British Journal of Dermatology studied the effect of caffeine on mice who were exposed to UV light. They reported that "Caffeine applied topically after UV treatment resulted in a significant decrease in UV-induced skin roughness/transverse rhytides as assessed by treatment-blinded examiners." Now remember that this study was conducted on animals, and we can't necessarily extrapolate what happens to animals to use, but the caffeine was used at a realistic amount of 1.2% caffeine in solution. 

This all sounds pretty good to me. I'm not expecting miracles, but an ingredient that can reduce inflammation and offer some anti-oxidants are always welcome in my products!

It seems like probiotics are all the rage these days - what the heck are they? "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host" (FAO/WHO definition from this post on Wikipedia.) Lactobacillus specifically "convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid". So what does this mean for our skin?

This study on reactive skin from Experimental Dermatology noted "The results demonstrated that the volunteers who applied the cream with bacterial extract had a significant decrease in skin sensitivity at the end of the treatment. Moreover, the treatment led to increase skin resistance against physical and chemical aggression compared to the group of volunteers who applied the control cream." The study used 5% Bifida ferment lysate in water.

Reactive skin was noted as having a "marked sensitivity to physical (heat, cold, wind) or chemical (topically applied products) stimuli and by the impairment of the skin barrier’s ability to repair itself." I think this is a great definition! 

We can't necessarily extrapolate the results of Bifida ferment to be the same as lactobacillus ferment, but it is an interesting result, eh? In all honesty, I've done a ton of searching and still can't find anything on using this ingredient in skin care products. so I can't say much about what it brings to the mix. I did find a lot about using it in intimate care products for women, but nothing about using it on our eyes.

As an aside, lysis "refers to the breaking down of a cell, often by viral, enzymic, or osmotic mechanisms that compromise its integrity. A fluid containing the contents of lysed cells is called a "lysate". (From Wikipedia.) So something you see that might be called a lysate is broken down, generally to make it more available for our skin by being smaller. Hydrolyzed proteins go through a similar process to make them smaller so we might be able to absorb them better.

I've written quite a bit on Camellia sinensis or green tea extract. Click here for the PDF on the topic, or click here on the extract section and read the four posts on this lovely ingredient. There are tons of awesome benefits in using this extract.

We know all about the awesome power of pomegranate oil, but what about the water soluble part of this fruit?

Pomegranates contain polyphenols called ellagitannins, which are formed from ellagic acid and carbohydrates. A recent study found that using ellagic acid reduced the destruction of collagen and the inflammatory response, both of which are partially responsible for aging skin. It also shows promise in helping regenerate skin cells and helping to thicken skin.

They also contain anthocyanins, which are water soluble flavonoids that give colour and protection to plants. (They are anthocyanins when they contain a glucose molecule, anthocyanidins when they don't.) They are very good anti-oxidants, scavenging those free radicals that lead to rancidity and spoilage.

I can't guarantee these polyphenols are found in this specific product, but it does sound interesting, eh?

*In the interest of full disclosure, I received this ingredient, Revital-Eyes, from the Formulator Sample Shop. I made it very clear to the company that I would give an honest review of the ingredient on the blog. So my opinion of the product is my opinion and hasn't been influenced by anyone else. 


Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Susan,
I've worked with water-soluble Pomegranate extract in a few products and can't honestly say I could see, feel or notice any difference - even after a prolonged period of use.
Now, caffeine, that's an entirely different story :)

catherine said...

Hi. I've worked w pomegranate extract too...I think long term it's helping but so hard to know for sure!

Fyi to anyone who buys pomeg extract as a powder: I was surprised how low the solubility was in water...I didn't measure but maybe 10%. If you're having problems with powdered extracts (which I think I've read in other comments) I suggest it may be an issue of solubility.

Robert said...

Before I would consider ordering some Revital-Eyes to make a physical sample of an eye product containing this ingredient, I would like to know a bit more about the ‘science’ behind the ingredient.

For example, what is the process for ‘ferment lysate filtrate’? Caffeine itself is beneficial for the eyes but is caffeine ferment lysate filtrate the same as caffeine? Or is it something different? Anything different may not have the same properties as caffeine.

The Formulator Sample Shop website says about this ingredient that ‘FSS Revital-Eyes has been demonstrated during a three week anti-aging study and it was found that all eyes appeared more youthful at the end of the three weeks.’ Have you seen this study? If so, what is your evaluation of this study?

terriblybadgrrl said...

I've purchased a whole bunch of pure powder vit/supplements. Some, like say, Carnosine, have been implemented in cosmetic formulations. I'd love to experiment with them in a serum. Most of what I got, is wonderfully water soluble. I have many questions as to your invaluable opinion, but I'd start with the caffeine, since it's being mentioned here.
I got the Caffeine Natural Coffee Bean Extract. Dissolves in water, beautifully. I'd love to incorporate in in an eye cream. You've mentioned you're not sure of %.
Lets just say, if you were experimenting w/it, how would you go about it?
When I publish a comment to you, is there any way to bypass the 'proving i'm not a robot' thingy?(I forget what it's called, but it's a terrible pain).

Sabine said...

I incorporate Revital Eyes in my under eye cream and I personally noticed a difference within 2 weeks - the bags under my eyes for one vanished. I gave my eye cream to a spa owner to sample and she reported back to me within 2 days that she saw a big difference with regards to the dark circles and fine lines under her eyes.