Human skin, like every other organ, is subject to chronologic aging. Unlike other organs though, the skin is in direct contact with the external environment, therefore suffering aging as a sequence of environmental damages. The primary environmental factor that causes the aging of human skin is the sun’s UV irradiation; our main protection against UV rays is melanin.
WHAT IS MELANIN?
Melanin is a pigment produced and stored in the interior of melanocytes, in a compartment called melanosome. In the skin, the melanosomes are located at the basal layer that separates the dermis from the epidermis. However, an altered production of cutaneous melanin can cause considerable problems of aesthetic nature, especially in hyperpigmentary conditions, such as melasma, pos-inflammatory pigmentation, freckles, or lentiginosis.
The development of actives for clearing hyperpigmented lesions, or for safely reaching general clearing is one of the biggest challenges of the cosmetic industry. Mainly because nowadays the most used active principles are synthetic and cause many side effects, specially in the extracellular matrix (ECM).
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is composed by collagen, elastin, proteoglycans (including hyaluronic acid), and non-collagenous glycoproteins, forming a complex three-dimensional network between cells of different tissues in a way specific to each organ.
Collagen is the main structural protein of this tissue, having a direct relation to dermal thickness and mechanical resistance. Its quantity diminishes as we grow older and due to external factors, such as UV radiation.
Hyaluronic acid, a polysaccharide of high molecular weight, is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthetised at the plasmatic membrane of the fibroblasts. Its capacity of retaining water suggests that HA can perform an important role in the maintenance of the extracellular space, facilitating the transport of ion solutes and nutrients, and preserving the hydration of deep tissue.
Thus, macromolecules from ECM, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, are bioactive and modulate cellular events, like adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, and viability.
BBA ON THE SKIN
Organic BBA possesses clearing activity, due to the reduction in melanin synthesis, and anti-aging benefits. It stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, a natural polysaccharide of the human skin, with high water retention capacity, giving elasticity and vigour to the skin.
Moreover, this active allows for the increase in density of the collagen fiber nets of the skin. This way, the ingredient has a firming effect, in addition to promoting deep hydration and softness sensation to the skin.