We stock a large range of well researched clinically proven cosmeceutical ingredients for our Private Label Skin Care range. There are literally hundreds of cosmetic ingredients on the market including many plant/fruit/flower extracts, various algae and a plethora of sensationalised miracle ingredients most of which have very little to zero evidence that they offer any real benefit to the skin.
Many plant/fruit extracts claim to contain ingredients like Vitamin C, antioxidants and Polyphenols, etc (which are all great ingredients) however the actual content of these ingredients in the extract is unknown, not standardised, and thus vary from batch to batch and often too low to be effective. In addition they generally are not the stabilised form (especially Vitamin C) so are quite unstable thus their effectiveness is questionable. More often they are included in the product to be on the label for marketing rather than offering any real benefit. Although the marketing hype of many of these ingredients sounds great the lack of evidence of effectiveness means we do not stock these ingredients. We do however understand you may still wish to include some of these in your product so if you wish to use an ingredient that is not listed below please let us know so we can source it for you.
1. Retinoids - Vitamin A
Retinol is considered the gold standard in Cosmeceuticals and one of the top performing skin actives currently available. When applied to human skin it penetrates and is sequentially oxidised into retinoic acid which provides all the benefits. Retinol can improve visible signs of photo ageing (meaning sun damage), enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone. Its ability to support collagen production maintains the skin matrix and thus prevents the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinaldehyde is another great Retinoid and considered even more effective than Retinol as it has less steps to convert into Retinoic Acid. The down side however is that it too like Retinol is also very unstable and also causes skin irritation.
We believe the best retinoid option is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate which is a new generation Retinoid. It is more effective than the two mentioned above, also more stable and far less irritating which makes it the clear winner. It binds directly to the retinoid receptor without the need for any conversion into retinoic acid, unlike retinol and retinaldehyde, and for these reasons is considered superior.
Retinyl Palmitate is often inaccurately referred to as retinol. It is an ineffective Retinoid that requires more steps to convert into the active retinoic acid form. It is a cheap option and not recommended but still found in many products on the market claiming to contain Retinol – so read the ingredient list!
Finally, there is Bakuchiol which is basically a natural plant extract which has similar effects to retinol on the skin. A study in 2018 found it to be as effective as Retinol however significantly less irritating. It is photostable which means it is safe to use in the mornings. We offer this as an alternative.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the most researched key ingredients used in skin care along with Retinol. As an antioxidant it destroys free radicals which contribute towards the ageing process. It also supports and maintains the skin matrix and thus prevents the appearance of wrinkles. Ongoing use has been shown to support collagen production which smooths the appearance of wrinkles, It also reduces the appearance of skin discolourations and it aids the skins barrier and repair response.
Yet despite these benefits because it is a small water- loving molecule traditional Vitamin C ineffectively penetrates the outer fatty layers of the skin with only about 1% of it actually being absorbed through the skin. Another issue is for it to absorb it requires an acidic pH that can irritate the skin. And finally Vitamin C rapidly oxidises in the presence of water making most Vitamin C containing products ineffective.
Forms of Vitamin C in Skin Care
There are several derivatives of vitamin C that have been developed to overcome its drawbacks. We have chosen the best ones available based on those that are the most stable, the ones that are best absorbed through the skin and finally the most effective ones. The forms of Vitamin C we use are:
1.Ascorbic acid — When properly formulated (anhydrous formulations) and used in concentrations of 5% or greater, this form helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin while fading signs of uneven skin tone and spots. Ascorbic acid also helps skin’s surface defend itself from free radicals and external stressors, lessening the effects of exposure to the elements.
2. Ethyl ascorbate is considered a next generation form of vitamin C that’s highly stabilised and is both water- and oil-soluble. Its research backed benefits include brightening and evening skin tone, soothing skin, and boosting elasticity by neutralising stressors that would otherwise damage skin’s supportive elements and boosting collagen production.
3.Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is a lipid (fat) soluble form of vitamin C which is backed by research for its ability to mitigate damaging effects of UV exposure. Some researchers theorise it has a greater affinity for skin because its fatty acid component helps aid penetration. This is also considered a stabilised form.
3. Vitamin B's
1. Vitamin B3 is also known as Niacinamide. Studies show niacinamide supports ceramide, collagen, keratin, hyaluronic acid and fatty acid production in the skin and thus it supports barrier and structural function of the skin and reduces moisture loss.
Topical niacinamide applied to ageing skin thus improves the appearance of skin surface structure and smooths out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces skin yellowing, red facial blotches, and pore size by reducing sebum excretion.
2. Vitamin B5 is also known as Pro-Penthanol. It has been used in formulas because it supports the skin’s barrier function thus improving hydration and maintains the proliferation of fibroblasts, the cells that create collagen. When Panthenol is applied topically it penetrates into lower skin layers and is absorbed into skin cells and processed into Pantothenic Acid (commonly known as Vitamin B5). Because it is absorbed deeply into the skin, it adds essential moisture and also has an anti- inflammatory effect.
Adenosine is the nucleoside that is most commonly associated with the body’s energy-transferring processes. When applied topically, adenosine-containing products show significant improvement in the visible signs of ageing as well as improving skin smoothness.
Lipoic Acid – A potent antioxidant research suggests that it can support the skin's dermal renewal process thus reducing the visible effects of ageing on skin, and improving the appearance without any noticeable side effects.
CoQ10 - We use an encapsulated version that allows the stabilisation of CoQ10 which cab be quite unstable. It is an endogenous cellular antioxidant that prevents photo-ageing and a decrease of wrinkle’s depth.
Resveratrol - We use an encapsulated version that allows the stabilisation of Resveratrol as it can be unstable. It can be used daily, acting as a powerful antioxidant, preventing skin ageing, protecting against the damages caused by UV rays and granting a series of benefits.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant superstar being one of the most well researched antioxidants. Its substantiated benefits include reducing the formation of free radicals from exposure to UV rays, promoting the healing process, strengthening the skin's barrier function, protecting the skin barrier's lipid balance, and reducing trans epidermal water loss. Attributed with antioxidant, anti-aging, moisturising, anti-inflammatory, and enhanced SPF properties, tocopherol acetate is a valued skincare active.
6. Structural Support Ingredients
Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) is a skin identical ingredient meaning it’s found in our skin in the spaces between the cells and it is used to maintain skin’s barrier abilities and reduce dryness. Studies have shown that NAG can promote collagen and hyaluronic acid production, increase moisture content of the skin, increase elasticity of the skin and increase exfoliation of the skin similar to alpha hydroxy acids but without the irritation which all contribute towards improvements in skin tone and texture.
Hyaluronic Acid - One of the most important properties of HA is its ability to bind water and regulate the hydration of tissues. HA can hold hundreds of times its weight of water, which is important with regard to ageing because one of the hallmarks of youthful skin is its moisture content. As we age HA degrades which causes our skin to lose moisture resulting in a loss of firmness and pliability causing the appearance of sagging or wrinkled skin. In addition skin identical ingredients like HA can also boost collagen production and strengthen and aid the skin’s barrier function. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid has a smaller molecule size than regular hyaluronic acid. Regular hyaluronic acid is larger and remains on skin’s surface helping hydrate the surface. Making hyaluronic acid smaller means it can reach a bit farther into skin’s uppermost layers for visibly enhanced results. We recommend to use a combination of both!
Ceramide Complex - Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found naturally in high concentrations in the uppermost layers of skin. They make up over 50% of skin’s composition, so it’s no surprise they play a vital role in determining how your skin looks.
Ceramides help hold skin together by forming a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors. In addition, ceramides—even more than retinol, niacinamide, and peptides—are one of the anti-ageing “powerhouses” responsible for supporting skin’s dynamic nature. Two particular ceramide precursors—phytosphingosine and sphingolipids—actually help skin make more ceramides.
We use a skin-identical lipid concentrate, which restores the protective barrier function of the skin that contains: Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine and Cholesterol. Its application will result in an enhanced moisturization and protection, ultimately leading to a less sensitive and less dry skin. It has a wide range of applications including moisturising products, Ageing and anti-wrinkle products, skin repair and skin protection.
7. Stem Cells
Apple Stem Cells - PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica is a patented liposomal preparation of apple stem cells extract derived from this rare Swiss apple. It is one of the only plant based stem cell products on the market that is clinically proven to visibly reduce the signs of ageing. It has been shown to maintain the longevity of skin cells, supports the growth of new skin cells and collagen as well as protect the skin from environmental damage due to it antioxidant effects.
Some companies try to pass off ingredients like hydrolysed rice/wheat protein as “peptides” trying to take advantage of the hype around peptides in cosmetics. Do not be fooled these compounds do not have any of the benefits provided by real cosmeceutical peptides that effect very specific cellular mechanisms to regulate the production of various matrix compounds within the skin like collagen for example.
Matrixyl Synth 6 - (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38)-stimulates the synthesis of six major molecules in the skin. These are: hyaluronic acid, collagen I, III and IV, laminins and fibronectin. By stimulating the synthesis of these 6 essential molecules it visibly smooths facial wrinkles. Its effect on forehead lines and crow's feet is similar to the effect of hyaluronic acid and collagen injections. MATRIXYL® synth 6 provides a rejuvenating effect by significantly reducing wrinkle severity.
Collaxyl (Hexapeptide-9) - increases Collagen I, III and IV expression as well as Laminin-5, filaggrin, keratin and other epidermal markers. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps with skin repair so effective against acne scars.
Copper peptide (GHK-Copper) - is one of the most studied of all cosmetic peptides and proven to help stimulate collagen production, strengthens elasticity and makes it smoother, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and combats skin damages caused by UV radiation. It also accelerates wound healing and reduces inflammation.
SYN®-AKE (Diaminobutyric acid benzylamide diacetate) has been developed as efficient smoothing and anti-wrinkle care particularly effective against expression lines by relaxing facial muscles. This active tri-peptide acts in a manner similar to Waglerin 1, a neuromuscular blocking compound of the venom of the Temple Viper. Acting at the post-synaptic membrane, SYN®-AKE is a reversible antagonist of the muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptor causing muscles to relax and thus reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Syn-COLL (Palmityl Tripeptide-5) has a unique peptide sequence to mimic the human body’s own mechanism to produce collagen via TGF-β. TGF-β is known as the key element in the synthesis of collagen. Thus SYN®-COLL actively regulates collagen production and makes the skin look younger.
Col Frag (Nicotiana Benthamiana Hexapeptide-40 sh-Polypeptide-47) – is a new generation collagen ingredient. It is a remastered concept of collagen for a new collagen era. Being a collagen fragment it is small enough to be able to absorb unlike traditional collagen which is too large to absorb through the skin. This is a type 1 fully functional Collagen fragment identical to human collagen type 1. It acts as building block for collagen synthesis and a collagen booster. Studies show its ability to effectively reduce wrinkle length and depth.
Glycolic Acid is most commonly used as a leave-on exfoliant for skin. Like other AHAs it works by ungluing the bonds of dead skin trapped to the surface so that spent cells can slough off and reveal the healthier, smoother skin hiding underneath. This type of exfoliation can be used to address numerous skin concerns, including sun damage, uneven tone, rough, flaky patches of skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. The major benefit of using an exfoliant with glycolic acid for your face is that it results in a smoother, brighter, and more even-toned complexion. In doing so, it also helps skin look and feel younger. Studies also show that glycolic acid significantly increases skin hydration. Not only is it a humectant, it also helps skin make substances like mucopolysaccharides, which boost skin’s ability to stay hydrated by increasing its natural content of hyaluronic acid.
Lactic Acid has similar benefits as glycolic acid but is more gentle so better for more sensitive skin.
Alpha Arbutin - Is a natural derivative of hydroquinone used to reduce the appearance of freckles, sun spots and hyper pigmentation.
Kojic Acid Dipalmitate - is another natural tyronase inhibitor used to reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation. The dipalmitate derivative is more stable and more effective than Koji
Caffeine - A great addition to eye creams to help reduce the appearance of puffiness.
Aloe Vera Extract/Cucumber Extract - are well known for healing and soothing the skin so great for sensitive skin.
Green Tea Extract - Early studies have shown that green tea can reduce sun damage, protect skin from cancer and decrease collagen breakdown.
Centella Asiatica Extract has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties in addition to being an effective antioxidant.
Special Note: Skin Microbiome
With the recent interest in the skin microbiome there are two ingredients that we feel are worth considering if skin microbiome is something you wish to address in your formulations.
These two include:
Prebiotic - Chlorella Vulgaris Extract is an effective prebiotic that supports healthy skin microbiome and also calms, soothes and reduces redness.
Postbiotic - Lactococcus Ferment Lysate - The biotechnologically obtained suspension contains fragments such as DNA, metabolites, cytoplasmic compounds and cell wall materials that acts as a regenerating agent, restructuring, anti-aging agent and anti-stress agent.
The key ingredients listed above are currently the clinically proven and most effective best options to use in our Private Label Skin Care range.
We also chose the best form available to ensure they remain stable and effective - such as
encapsulated forms, esters, etc.