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 Welcome to the research area of Desert Pea Native Australian Skin care where we aim to provide you with up to date research being conducted into cosmeceutical ingredients and the benefits of cosmetic active ingredients. We have also included links to popular beauty blogs and websites dedicated to education the public about cosmetics, their benefits and the safety of the ingredients that are being used.

A recent blog that we found on bare faced truth confirmed by belief that an increasing amount of beauty therapists and aestheticians are in strong agreement that there needs to be more attention paid to scientific truths and integrity when it comes to claims made by manufacturers of cosmeceuticals. In particular more education was needed to judge good science from bad science. Below are lists of hyperlinks to research that will take you further into the realm of cosmetic science and lead you to a more educated and balanced view of the cosmetic industry.

Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal has been used for centuries for cosmetics and dermatology as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation associated with various skin conditions. Research has demonstrated that oatmeal is a good choice for gentle cleansing and moisturising dry, sensitive skin. The high concentration of beta glucan and starches within oatmeal are responsible for the protective and water holding functions of oats. There are different types of phenols present in oatmeal, which bestow antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties while the cleansing action is mainly due to saponins found in oatmeal. •

Oatmeal in dermatology: A brief review - link here • Cosmeceutical critique: Oatmeal - link here • Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties - link here • Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice - link here • Colloidal oatmeal formulations as adjunct treatments in atopic dermatitis - link here

D Panthenol

Vitamin B5 Panthenol or pro-vitamin B5 is a clear, water soluble, stable and low molecular weight cosmeceutical that readily penetrates into the stratum corneum. Panthenol is actually an alcohol, which is converted in tissues to D-pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, a component on coenzyme A in the body.

Generally used in cosmeceuticals for its moisturising, soothing and sedative properties and usually used at 2%. It can help in the treatment of sodium lauryl sulfate induced irritated skin by accelerating the skin barrier repair and hydration of the stratum corneum. Skin redness is also reduced more rapidly by panthenol treatment. Because D-panthenol is stable with a very low toxicity it is considered very safe to use in cosmetics. Low concentrations have been tested on humans with no induced sensitisation or significant skin irritation.

Overall, topical vitamin B5 can provide skin barrier improvement through its moisturising properties and for healthy ageing skin improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, texture, hyper-pigmentation, yellowing and redness. Added to these wonderful benefits it its excellent stability and safety make this a perfect cosmeceutical. • Skin moisturising effects of Panthenol-based formulations - link here • The effects of daily facial lotion containing vitamins B3 and E and pro vitamin B5 on the facial skin of Indian women: a double-blind trial - link here

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a bio-polymer naturally occurring in the skin and other tissues. Topical hyaluronic acid is made by fermentation process and can be modified to different molecular sizes. Hyaluronic acid by its nature has a very high molecular weight that allows the molecules to sit on the skin and forms a thin, permeable film, which hydrates and smooths the skin by attracting and holding in moisture to the skins surface. The strong moisturising effect of hyaluronic acid helps to reduce the appearance of aging and premature lines by improving elasticity, and tone, and supporting the skins natural protective barrier.

The reason that hyaluronic acid is such an effective moisturiser is due to its moisture holding abilities. Hyaluronic acid can hold hundreds of times its weight in water and can indeed provide effective skin hydration. We use low weight HA with a molecular weight of 50 kDa as it has been demonstrated to have the best penetration and anti-inflammatory potential of all examined HA molecules (50, 130, 300, 800 and 2000 kDa) in vitro. In respect to anti-wrinkle properties, only 50 kDa and 130kDa HA based creams have shown a marked effect in comparison to placebo creams after 2 months.

Interestingly, all HA formulations showed a strong difference when compared to placebo for skin elasticity values after two months. • Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid: Its effects on epidermal gene expression and skin ageing - link here • Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment - link here • The wonders of hyaluronic acid: Nature’s first cosmeceutical by Dr. Dennis Gross - link here • Hyaluronic acid for skin hydration and possibly a lot more - link here

Niacinamide vitamin B3

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) has much scientific evidence to back up its claims as a beneficial cosmetic active ingredient. Studies have shown niacinamide effective at decreasing inflammation and reducing redness associated with rosacea, reducing sebum production and associated acne formation, hydrating dry and ageing skin as well as improving the look of skin pigmentation caused by age and sun spots by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes. It is still unclear how niacinamide affects inflammation, but it has been shown to inhibit the histamine release and release inflammatory mediators.

It has also reduced the sebum levels resulting in less facial oil, acne and breakouts. Niacinamide has also been shown to increase lipid and ceramides biosynthesis in the stratum corneum. This improves and regulates the skin barrier function and reduces trans-epidermal water loss and increases the water content in the stratum corneum. Improving or correcting abnormal barrier function significantly improves sensitive skin by decreasing stinging and sensitivity. This may also account for increased skin smoothness and texture reported by patients using niacinamide containing products.

Hyper-pigmentation seems to respond well to topical niacinamide with moisturisers containing 2% and 5% niacinamide resulting in detectable decrease in facial pigmentation. Furthermore, niacinamide is stable, non-sensitising and well tolerated by most skin types. • Niacinamide research update - link here • Evaluation of anti-wrinkle effects of a novel cosmetic containing 4% niacinamide - link here • The effect of 2% niacinamide on sebum production - link here • How much do we really know about our favourite cosmeceutical ingredients? (some good information about topical niacinamide) - link here • Niacinamide: A B Vitamin that improves ageing facial skin appearance - link here • The latest cosmeceutical approaches for healthy-ageing - link here • Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness and hyper pigmented spots in ageing facial skin - link here • Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin - link here • Cosmeceutical critique: Niacinamide - link here • A double blind, randomized clinical trial of niacinamide 4% versus hydroquinone 4% in the treatment of melisma - link here • Advanced glycation end products (nutraceuticals including niacinamide and alpha lipoid acid to inhibit glycation) - link here

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is classed as a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and often used in cosmetics for its anti-inflammatory and exfoliating (keratolysis) effect. It is a derivative of aspirin and therefor patients allergic to aspirin, on other medications or pregnant should avoid using it. Because of its solubility in oil, salicylic acid is most useful for people with oily skin, blackheads and acne. Salicylic acid can exfoliate the skins surface from inside the pore where it unclogs the pore and aids keratolysis.

Resurfacing and exfoliating the skin reveals brighter healthier looking skin and creates a dramatically improved appearance and texture of the skin. It has also been shown that salicylic acid is more easily tolerated on the skin than AHAs and can therefore be used by those with sensitive skin and rosacea. Unlike AHA, salicylic acid can break down the fat cells on the surface of the stratum corneum without affecting the deeper layers of the skin. • Comparison of alphas- and beta-hydroxy acid chemical peels in the treatment of mild to moderately severe facial acne vulgaris - link here • Cosmeceutical critique: salicylic acid - link here • Study of a proprietary topical 0.5% salicylic acid-based treatment regimen containing Australian sandalwood oil in adolescents and adults with mild to moderate acne - link here • The difference between alpha and beta hydroxy acids - link here • Why you should be using salicylic acids - link here

N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG)

N-acetyl-glucosamine is an amino sugar found in human proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including hyaluronic acid. It is used in cosmetics for its skin brightening properties. NAG is a good skin penetrant that has proven to be helpful in reducing the appearance of hyper pigmentation through topical use at 2%. Used at 2% with combined 45 niacinamide the results were shown to be greater as well as being well tolerated by the skin. Other in vitro studies showed that topical formulations containing N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) led to increase in skin moisturisation, decreased skin flakiness and normalize stratum corneum exfoliation and could thus be used as safe and well tolerated alternatives to AHAs in skin care.

• Fast acne reducing benefits and mildness - link here • The effects of N-acetyl-glucosamine on stratum corneum de-squamation and water content in human skin - link here • Topical glucosamine targets pigment over production - link here • Reduction in the appearance of facial hyper pigmentation by topical N-acetyl glucosamine - link here • Synergistic effect of N-acetylglucosamine and retinoids on hyaluronan production in human keratinocytes - link here Combination of Niacinamide and N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) Topical niacinamide and N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) each individually inhibit epidermal pigmentation. Used in combination a 4% blend of niacinamide with 2% NAG reduced the appearance of irregular pigmentation significantly more than either topical ingredient used alone. • Reduction in the appearance of facial hyper pigmentation after use of moisturisers with a combination of topical niacinamide and N-acetyl glucosamine: results of a randomised, double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial. - link here • Topical N-Acetyl Glucosamine and Niacinamide increase hyaluronan - link here 

Oat Beta Glucan

Oat beta glucan is a polymer extracted from oats, with a long history of safe use in skin care and dermatology as a long-lasting moisturiser and anti-irritant. Research has indicated that oat beta glucan could be capable of penetrating the deeper layers of the skin and delivering significant skin benefits. Furthermore, it has been shown to work as an anti-irritant and speed up wound healing.

One study showed that oat beta glucan penetrated the epidermis and reached the dermis by passing in the gaps between cell walls resulting in significant wrinkle depth and height, skin roughness and improved skin firmness. • Study proving that oat beta glucan can penetrate the skin - link here • Beta-glucan may help treat skin disorders and remove fine lines and wrinkles - link here • Wrinkle reduction therapy: significant new findings in the non-invasive treatment of skin wrinkles with beta-glucan - link here • Ingredients: the humble oats comes of age - link here

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)

Magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) is a water-soluble derivative of vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid in its pure form is the most effective vitamin c to use on the skin, however when exposed to light and air will rapidly degrade and can cause irritation due to the low pH that needs to be used for products containing l-ascorbic acid. MAP, seems to have the same potential as vitamin C l-ascorbic acid to boost skin collagen synthesis, is non-irritating (pH7), and stable. • In vitro antioxidant activity and in vivo efficacy of topical formulations containing vitamin C and its derivatives studied by non-invasive methods - link here • Regulation of collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts by the sodium and magnesium salts of ascorbyl-2-phosphate - link here • Vitamin C derivatives: skin benefits of ascorbic acid without the downside - link here

Links Truth in ageing online ingredient listing.  Truth In Ageing was founded with a mission to offer truthful and unbiased guidance to people seeking to improve their physical health and appearance through skin care, hair care, health and beauty products, and salon and clinical treatments.

Realize beauty Realize Beauty is a cosmetic consultancy company specialising in brand development and sustainability. Our services for hire include writing, formulating, teaching, brand development and research. Smart skin care is an independent skin care information portal for savvy consumers. We don't sell skin care products or cosmetics. Nor do we endorse skin care manufacturers. Our goal is to help you make genuinely informed choices in skin care and rejuvenation. Skin type solutions is a scientifically derived resource developed and powered by dermatologists from around the world to provide unbiased and credible information for consumers and the beauty industry.

Skin care talk Forums and message boards to discuss skin care, beauty products and health related issues

Bare faced truth the bare faced truth behind beauty product claims Beauty Blogs A list of 50 Australian beauty blogs to watch Study cosmetic science Australian society of cosmetic chemists a professional scientific organisation that promotes the advancement of the theory and practice of the science and technology of cosmetics, toiletries and perfumery. Membership is open to individuals who are working or interested in the cosmetics, toiletries and perfumery industry. Institute of Personal Care Science Diploma in Personal Care Formulating based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK Society of Cosmetic Scientists) - link here • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (South African Society of Cosmetic Chemists) - link here