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The main phytochemicals in cosmetics: PHENOLS (Part 3: Defence against free radicals)

As we have said in previous posts, free radicals and the oxidative stress it causes are directly related to premature aging.

A diet rich in antioxidants, as well as moderate exercise and a “healthy” lifestyle, are powerful weapons in the fight against “cellular oxidation”.

The use of anti-OX cosmetics will also help replenish the anti-OX systems that we have endogenously due to oxidative stress and age we are losing.

In part 1, we talked about the main antiOX vitamins. In the second part, we focused on a group of phytochemicals: terpenes. In this third part, we are going to focus on another family of phytochemicals: phenols, whose use in cosmetics, as in the case of terpenes, is more than interesting.

PHENOLS Among these, we highlight:

  • Flavonoids: flavones, anthocyanins (red pigments of red wine, blackberries, raspberries …) and proanthocyanidins (mainly present in grape seed extract).
  • Other non-flavonoid polyphenols, such as hydroxytyrosol and verbascoside.

Flavonoids have important properties for the skin, which could be summarized in:

  • High antioxidant power, acting as a “garbage dump” of free radicals.
  • Improve circulation because they are protective of the capillary vessel and reduce its fragility.
  • Inhibit histamine release.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antibacterial properties.

Hydroxytyrosol, is a molecule that is extracted from the olive, and among its main functions, we highlight:

  • Its antioxidant power:

o   Electron collector:

* Oxygenated species

* Reactive nitrogen species

o   DNA Protector

o   Chelating metal ions

  • Protects cell structure.
  • Protects skin lipids. In fact, the standardized olive extract in hydroxytyrosol has the following declaration by the European Food Safety Agency: “Olive polyphenols prevent oxidative damage of lipids.”
  • Stops bacterial proliferation.

Finally, verbascoside is a compound that is attributed many medicinal properties, highlighting:

  • Its antioxidant activity. It significantly reduces the generation of free radicals and lipid peroxidation.
  • Anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Antibacterial activity.
  • Depigmenting activity, since it inhibits tyrosinase activity and consequently inhibits melanogenesis and has a positive effect on skin blemishes.

Adding a bioactive part of a vegetable to a cosmetic, and thanks to the properties and versatility of the extracts that we have in nature, allows the formulation of cosmetics with very interesting properties for the skin. From 5punto5, we study and work with numerous plant extracts, with very important active components that can respond to people’s skin needs.

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