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    Home > Chemial News > Cosmetics Industry News > The natural green trend is getting stronger, and the whitening ingredients of characteristic plant resources are favored

    The natural green trend is getting stronger, and the whitening ingredients of characteristic plant resources are favored

    Echemi 2021-03-19

    In recent years, more and more consumers have used whitening cosmetics for the purpose of whitening skin. Therefore, various cosmetic whitening ingredients have become the focus of attention in the cosmetics industry and are widely used. Through the review of cosmetics whitening active ingredients and characteristic plant resource whitening ingredients, it provides a certain reference for the research, development and application of cosmetics whitening ingredients, especially for the research, development and application of characteristic plant resource whitening ingredients.


    As we all know, people admire beauty, women are more eager for the beauty of the skin, and Asian women pay particular attention to the whiteness of the skin, which also makes the research on whitening cosmetics develop very rapidly. In the rapid development of whitening cosmetics, whitening active ingredients have played an extremely important role. Many whitening ingredients used in cosmetics are well known, such as salicylic acid and its derivatives, vitamin C and its derivatives, arbutin, tranexamic acid, ellagic acid, kojic acid and so on. In recent years, with the development of science and consumers' pursuit of green and natural consumption trends, whitening ingredients derived from characteristic plant resources, such as licorice extract, chamomile extract, angelica extract, rhodiola extract, etc., have also been Become a hot spot and focus of industry research.


    Overview of Whitening Cosmetics Regulations




    Japan adopts classification management for cosmetics, dividing cosmetics into two categories: ordinary cosmetics and quasi-drugs. The specific efficacy claims of a product determine the category of the product. Among them, whitening products are quasi-drug products. If it only claims to "brighten the skin" without further claiming its "inhibition of melanin production" and other effects, it belongs to ordinary cosmetics. For the cosmetics claimed to have whitening functions (such as inhibiting melanin production, diminishing stains), the production company needs to submit the safety and effectiveness certification and efficacy evaluation report of the raw material, and then the review committee of the Japanese industry will review the rationality of the submitted content Conduct an audit. Only after obtaining the relevant approval can the product be affixed with the "quasi-drug" label and carry out corresponding publicity. Japan has a relatively clear list of raw materials used in the production of quasi-drug whitening cosmetics, but there is no list of raw materials for whitening products. Therefore, in Japan, what kind of raw material has a whitening effect under what amount of use needs to be studied and mastered by enterprises according to the actual situation.




    The relevant laws and regulations of South Korea ("Korea Cosmetics Regulations") also adopt classification management measures for cosmetics. Korea divides cosmetics into two categories: one is general cosmetics and the other is functional cosmetics. Products with functional effects such as whitening, anti-wrinkle, sun protection and sun-tanning aids, products such as hair dyeing, hair removal, anti-dropping, alleviating acne, alleviating dryness of atopic dermatitis, alleviating shrinkage lines and other products are functional cosmetics. The functional cosmetics in the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) of Korea include products that help skin whitening, including functions such as "reduce melanin precipitation, inhibit the formation of dark spots and freckles, and reduce skin Pigments, cosmetics that help skin whitening". In South Korea, the launch of whitening cosmetics requires the Korea Food and Drug Safety Agency to review the safety and effectiveness of the products. For the whitening agent ingredients applicable to Korean regulations, testing can be carried out in accordance with the "Functional Cosmetics Standards and Test Methods".




    The "Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics" (hereinafter referred to as the "Regulations") point out that "the country shall implement classified management of cosmetics and cosmetic raw materials according to the degree of risk." Cosmetics are divided into special cosmetics and ordinary cosmetics. Cosmetic raw materials are divided into used raw materials and Two types of new raw materials. The state implements registration management for special cosmetics and record management for ordinary cosmetics. The "Regulations" stipulate that "cosmetics used for hair dyeing, perm, freckle whitening, sunscreen, and anti-hair loss, and cosmetics that claim new functions are special cosmetics." The state manages new raw materials with high risks such as sunscreen, freckle whitening, hair loss prevention, acne removal, hair dyeing, coloring, and antiseptic, as well as new raw materials with new functions according to the registration system, and other new raw materials according to the filing system. At the same time, the National Medical Products Administration will formulate and publish cosmetic classification rules and classification catalogues based on factors such as cosmetics' efficacy claims, sites of action, product formulations, and users. Among them, special cosmetics can be produced and imported only after being registered by the State Council's Drug Administration.


    Classic cosmetic whitening ingredients


    1. Salicylic acid and its derivatives


    Melanin in the skin is usually transported to the upper stratum corneum along with the differentiation and maturation of keratinocytes. Salicylic acid can accelerate the exfoliation of keratinocytes. Salicylic acid also has the effect of promoting the penetration of other ingredients, so it can be used in combination with other whitening ingredients in cosmetics. At present, potassium methoxysalicylate is one of the derivatives of salicylic acid, which is widely used, and can inhibit the synthesis of melanin by hindering the activity of tyrosinase. It has also been reported that it has the effect of regulating the synthesis and differentiation of keratinocytes, so it can adjust the keratinization process of the skin, let melanin fall off with the normal metabolism of the stratum corneum, and reduce the problem of skin dullness caused by the accumulation of melanin in the stratum corneum.


    However, as a small molecule acid, salicylic acid has strong permeability and can dissolve the stratum corneum and destroy the sebum membrane. It easily penetrates into the dermis and subcutaneous tissues. Therefore, it is easy to stimulate the capillaries and nerves in the deep skin, leading to irritation. happened.


    2. Vitamin C and its derivatives


    Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, its mechanism is mainly to reduce the melanin in the skin through reduction, thereby reducing dark spots, but due to environmental factors can continue to oxidize, vitamin C needs long-term use to maintain the whitening effect. Since the production of melanin is a step-by-step oxidation process, vitamin C has excellent reducibility, such as reducing o-quinone to inhibit the production of melanin and inhibit the action of peroxidase. However, due to the good solubility of vitamin C in water, its water-oil distribution characteristics indicate that it is not easy to penetrate into the stratum corneum of the skin, and it is easily oxidized and unstable, so its application is limited.


    Vitamin C in cosmetics is usually used together with ingredients containing metal ions to reduce its own oxidation or add its derivatives. The more common vitamin C derivatives are water-soluble magnesium phosphate salts.


    3. Arbutin


    Arbutin is derived from plants of the Rhododendron family and belongs to a glucosylated hydroquinone derivative. It is reported to have the effect of reducing tyrosinase activity. At the same time, it is reported that arbutin can also inhibit the melanin in the skin. Body mature function. Based on the difference in chemical structure, arbutin can be divided into α-arbutin, β-arbutin and deoxyarbutin. The price of β-arbutin is lower than other isomers, but the whitening effect of α-arbutin and deoxyarbutin is better than β-arbutin. The effect of deoxyarbutin in reducing melanin formation is the best of the three types. Its whitening effect is 10 times that of hydroquinone, 38.5 times that of α-arbutin, and 350 times that of β-arbutin. Whitening after stopping use The effect is still long-lasting, and its safety is 4 times that of hydroquinone.


    The results of arbutin research on the whitening mechanism show that arbutin can inhibit the formation of melanin by inhibiting the related genes of melanin synthesis. A study found in 2009 that arbutin achieves whitening effect by reducing the level of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in melanocytes.


    In recent years, reports of arbutin allergy have also appeared, and in vivo and in vitro tests have also shown that it has certain cytotoxicity. The relevant documents of the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety specify the addition limit of α-arbutin in face cream and body milk (2% and 0.5%, respectively), and β-arbutin in face cream does not exceed 7% (hydrogen). Quinone is less than 0.0001%) without risk. Studies have found that the risk of β-arbutin is that it can be decomposed to produce hydroquinone under certain conditions.


    4. Nicotinamide


    Niacinamide is a type of B vitamins and is widely used in the treatment of skin problems such as photosensitive dermatitis. Studies have shown that nicotinamide has a better inhibitory effect on inflammation. According to modern scientific research, the whitening mechanism of nicotinamide includes the following three aspects: ①inhibit the synthesis of melanin; ②inhibit the transport process of melanin in the stratum corneum; ③accelerate the shedding of melanin in the stratum corneum.


    With the application of niacinamide, studies have also found that once the concentration of niacinamide exceeds 4%, about 20% of people may have intolerant reactions, such as redness, itching, edema, and tingling on the skin. . Therefore, it is relatively safe to use on the skin at a concentration below 2%; however, clinical trials have found that nicotinamide has a significant effect when the concentration exceeds 3%. Therefore, people with sensitive skin, poor skin barrier function or dermatitis should use skin care products containing niacinamide with caution.


    5. Kojic acid


    The application and discovery of kojic acid originated from the daily work and life of ancient people. Kojic acid can chelate with the copper prosthetic group on tyrosinase and reduce the activity of tyrosinase through competitive inhibition reaction. Kojic acid can also block the intermediate products in melanin production and inhibit related protein (TRP-2), so as to achieve the whitening effect of inhibiting melanin production. Kojic acid has poor stability to light and heat, is easy to oxidize and change color, is easy to chelate with metal ions, and has poor skin absorption.


    Featured plant resources

    Research progress of whitening ingredients


    The depth of the skin color is mainly related to the melanin in the epidermis. Melanin is synthesized in melanocytes, then transferred to basal cells through melanocytes, and distributed in various layers of epidermal cells with the migration of keratinocytes, and finally with keratinization Exfoliation of the cells from the surface of the skin. The melanocytes at the bottom of the skin are a key factor affecting the melanin content in the skin. In the process of skin renewal, the tyrosine in melanocytes is gradually transformed into eumelanin or pheomelanin through a series of oxidation reactions. Therefore, the main solutions to the skin whitening problem include: ① reduce oxidative free radical damage caused by ultraviolet rays through protective measures; ② inhibit melanin signal pathway related signal transmission receptors; ③ inhibit melanin synthesis; ④ inhibit melanin transport; ⑤ accelerate melanin in Exfoliation metabolism of the skin surface.


    At present, the mechanism of many characteristic plant whitening ingredients is also based on the above approach. Through modern scientific research, the common characteristic plant resources used for whitening effects are as follows:


    1. Resveratrol and its derivatives


    Resveratrol is mainly produced in plants. It can be extracted and separated from grapes and other plants. It can inhibit the function of melanocytes and the activity of tyrosinase, and reduce the synthesis of melanin in melanocytes. Resveratrol is also related to the related proteins TPR and MITF in the production of melanin, and can also inhibit the mRNA and protein expression of transcription factors. Studies have shown that topical resveratrol can have a certain effect on the color of the skin, can play a whitening effect, and has no adverse reactions and is highly safe. However, resveratrol is unstable and has poor bioavailability during use. At present, its derivatives such as pentaalkyl ether derivatives and tetraester derivatives can effectively inhibit the synthesis of melanin and have relatively high bioavailability. Therefore, resveratrol and its derivatives are widely used as skin whitening ingredients.


    2. Saururus chinensis extract


    Saururus chinensis is a plant of the genus Saururus in the family Saururus chinensis. It is mainly distributed in Henan, Hebei, and the Yangtze River basin in my country. Studies have shown that Saururus chinensis extract can inhibit the proliferation of B16 melanoma cells and the activity of tyrosinase, and reduce the content of melanin. Studies have also shown that the skin care cream containing Saururus chinensis extract has less skin irritation and high product stability, and the whitening effect is significantly higher than that of the control group. Saururus chinensis extract, as a plant-derived whitening ingredient, is expected to have broad application prospects in the field of cosmetics.


    3. Camellia extract


    Camellia flower bud extract has the effect of inhibiting melanin production. Studies have shown that the extract of Dian camellia branches and leaves has better effect on cell proliferation and inhibition of tyrosinase activity than arbutin. At the same time, safety test results show that its safety is better than arbutin, and it can be used in cosmetics for whitening The functional ingredients.


    4. Licorice extract


    The active ingredients of licorice extract are mainly flavonoids. Among them, glycyrrhizin can lighten the accumulation of melanin; the main function of licorice flavonoids is to achieve whitening effect by inhibiting the activities of various enzymes in the formation of melanin, such as inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase and dopachrome interconversion enzyme. Studies have found that skin care products containing licorice extract are helpful in the treatment of chloasma and post-inflammatory pigmentation, and have fewer adverse reactions and higher safety. Usually, the amount of added in whitening products is more than 10%. However, the use of flavonoids in licorice is relatively expensive due to the high requirements of the separation and purification process.


    5. Rhodiola extract


    Rhodiola extract mainly contains salidroside and flavonoids. Studies have shown that salidroside can reduce cell membrane damage caused by ultraviolet rays. The extract can inhibit the synthesis of melanin and at the same time reduce the activity of tyrosinase. It is an effective skin whitening ingredient. Research on the safety of Rhodiola rosea extract has shown that low concentration (under 5%) Rhodiola rosea extract has no irritant effect on the human body and can be safely used in cosmetics.


    6. Tea extract


    Tea is a famous trading raw material in my country's history. It contains a variety of recognized whitening active ingredients, such as theaflavins and catechins (EGCG). Theaflavins and EGCG have a variety of physiological effects, including inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes and inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, thereby exerting a whitening effect. In addition, it can prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging skin cells, and has a good antioxidant effect, thereby enhancing the whitening effect.


    Researchers have studied the ethanol extracts of more than 100 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine, and the results show that: Glycyrrhiza glabra, Galla Chinensis and other ingredients have an inhibitory effect on the abnormal increase of pigment components in the skin. Studies have found that plants such as rhodiola extract, licorice extract, ginkgo extract, and windproof extract have a strong inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity, and can be developed and used as whitening ingredients in whitening cosmetics. It can be seen that plant resources will gradually become the target of whitening ingredients in cosmetics, and the whitening ingredients of characteristic plant resources will surely become a hot spot in whitening cosmetics.


    Outlook and summary


    Cosmetics with whitening effects have always been a hot spot in the cosmetics industry. At present, the active raw materials in whitening products still use niacinamide, tranexamic acid, ascorbyl glucoside and other ingredients as hot spots and the raw materials in the more popular filing products. However, it can also be seen that plant whitening ingredients represented by Glycyrrhiza glabra extract and Scutellaria baicalensis root extract have gradually become high-growth raw materials in whitening products. With the implementation of the "Regulations on Cosmetics Supervision and Administration", my country's supervision and requirements for whitening cosmetics will be further strict and standardized, and there are more clear regulations on the safety and efficacy of whitening products. The whitening ingredients of characteristic plant resources benefit from the safety and environmental protection of plant ingredients. With the development of science and consumers' pursuit of green and natural consumption trends, whitening ingredients derived from characteristic plant resources will also become the focus of research on whitening efficacy materials and the focus of industry attention.

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