1. Usage of Synthetic Peptides in Cosmetics for Sensitive Skin
Diana I S P Resende, Marta Salvador Ferreira, José Manuel Sousa-Lobo, Emília Sousa, Isabel Filipa Almeida Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021 Jul 21;14(8):702. doi: 10.3390/ph14080702.
Sensitive skin is characterized by symptoms of discomfort when exposed to environmental factors. Peptides are used in cosmetics for sensitive skin and stand out as active ingredients for their ability to interact with skin cells by multiple mechanisms, high potency at low dosage and the ability to penetrate the stratum corneum. This study aimed to analyze the composition of 88 facial cosmetics for sensitive skin from multinational brands regarding usage of peptides, reviewing their synthetic pathways and the scientific evidence that supports their efficacy. Peptides were found in 17% of the products analyzed, namely: acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester, palmitoyl tripeptide-8, acetyl tetrapeptide-15, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, acetyl hexapeptide-49, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl oligopeptide. Three out of seven peptides have a neurotransmitter-inhibiting mechanism of action, while another three are signal peptides. Only five peptides present evidence supporting their use in sensitive skin, with only one clinical study including volunteers having this condition. Noteworthy, the available data is mostly found in patents and supplier brochures, and not in randomized placebo-controlled studies. Peptides are useful active ingredients in cosmetics for sensitive skin. Knowing their efficacy and synthetic pathways provides meaningful insight for the development of new and more effective ingredients.
2. Sensitive skin: Active ingredients on the spotlight
Marta S Ferreira, José M Sousa Lobo, Isabel F Almeida Int J Cosmet Sci. 2022 Feb;44(1):56-73. doi: 10.1111/ics.12754. Epub 2021 Dec 14.
Objective: Sensitive skin is characterized by self-reported sensory perceptions in response to stimuli that should not provoke unpleasant sensations. Cosmetic products for sensitive skin are designed to minimize these symptoms. This study aimed to unveil the most used active ingredients for sensitive skin in facial care products from the pharmacy and parapharmacy channel. Methods: A pool of products from the pharmacy and parapharmacy channel whose label included the expressions 'sensitive skin', 'reactive skin' or 'intolerant skin' were analysed. The active ingredients were identified from product compositions and ranked in descending order of occurrence. The scientific evidence regarding the mechanism of action and efficacy of each ingredient was also compiled. Results: Eighty-eight products from 19 multinational brands were included. Niacinamide leads the top, followed by Avena sativa, allantoin, glycyrrhetinic acid and derivatives and Laminaria ochroleuca. Ingredients that can reduce skin inflammation and act on the skin barrier were used in more than half of the products analysed. The clinical studies regarding the active ingredients used in these products remain sparse and lack methodological quality. Among the top ingredients, niacinamide, panthenol and acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester were the only ones studied on volunteers having sensitive skin, while acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester and palmitoyl tripeptide-8 were designed to act on the molecular targets involved in this condition. Conclusion: This study reveals the most used active ingredients in cosmetic products for sensitive skin, as well as the scientific evidence supporting their efficacy and the mechanisms of action. This insight is meaningful for dermatologists and other health professionals to provide customized advice based on the symptomatology of individuals with sensitive skin, and for the formulation of cosmetic products and design of new active ingredients.