Younger looking skin thanks to... bacteria?
Advanced chemistry and biotech innovating for skin care
ReGeN-oPhytTM, Solvay’s new skin care active, is 100% naturally derived. Based on a breakthrough biotech innovation, it uses micro-organisms to produce a molecule that protects and rejuvenates the skin.
Carotenoids are well known as the red pigments that give their color to carrots, pumpkins and tomatoes – but also flamingoes and canaries – and that have beneficial effects on human health like preventing certain diseases and being good for eyesight, provided you ingest them in sufficient quantities. But the benefits of this family of molecules don’t stop at that: when applied on the skin, the antioxidant properties of carotenoids act as a natural barrier against UV rays and pollution and help it stay young. Sound like the kind of product that should be incorporated in a skin cream, doesn’t it?
From spring water to skin cream
The innovative aspect of ReGeN-oPhytTM is that it contains a colorless kind of carotenoid, phytoene, which means it can provide all the benefits to the cream it’s formulated with, without turning it orange. But how is it produced? Thanks to a cutting-edge biotech process that avoids grinding up metric tons of carrots… “the phytoene in ReGeN-oPhytTM is obtained through a fermentation process using a bacteria called Deinococcus,” explains Jonathan Sy, Marketing Innovation Manager at Solvay Home & Personal Care. “These bacteria are normally found in natural spring water. In this case, it was collected from a source in the French Pyrenees.”
Deinococcus is a crafty little bacterium that can survive extreme conditions and is capable of repairing its own cells by producing carotenoids, which “help counteract the effect of external aggressions. In a way, these bacteria can clean themselves from oxidation,” continues Jonathan. As a result, on human skin, phytoene provides protection from the sun and other aggressions such as air pollution. It fights oxidation caused by exposure to UV and pollution, improves skin elasticity and firmness, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating skin renewal, therefore combining preventive and repair functions.
ReGeN-oPhytTM is an example of our focus to deliver exciting and unique innovations to our customers. Whether it’s through internal innovation or by collaborating with third parties, our aim is to build a strong portfolio of innovative personal care actives.
Collaborative innovation for a new focus
“It’s the first time this molecule is produced through an biotech process at industrial scale,” says Sonia Renac, Vice President of Home and Personal Care, Solvay. “ReGen-oPhytTM is an example of our focus to deliver exciting and unique innovations to our customers. Whether it’s through internal innovation or by collaborating with third parties, our aim is to build a strong portfolio of unique and innovative actives for personal care.”
In fact, another launch in the skin care segment is scheduled for later in 2019. “Consumers are looking for safe, effective and naturally derived products”, adds Sonia, “and we are excited with the prospect of this ingredient and family of products in general.”
A low carbon skin care active
In addition to all the benefits it provides for the skin, ReGeN-oPhytTM also comes with the added bonus of being a low carbon footprint product. “Fermentation is much less energy intensive than other chemical synthesis processes and is fully compliant with the Green Chemistry Principles, as the bacteria only need to be kept at room temperature,” explains Jonathan. Also, obtaining carotenoids from bacterial cultures instead of fruits and vegetables avoids putting an additional strain on food production. ReGeN-oPhytTM will contribute to keeping skin young while sparing the planet.