Biotechnological Substances Used in Cosmetics

cosmetic collagen
writer Zeynep Aktas

In our previous article, we took a brief look at the cosmetics industry and cosmetic science and emphasized the importance of biotechnological applications in this field.

Read: Cosmetics and Biotechnology

In this article, we will talk about peptides and proteins, which are biotechnological substances used in cosmetics. If you're ready, let's start.

Peptide and Proteins

Peptides are short chains of amino acids. Some are found naturally in the human body and play a variety of biological roles, particularly as signaling molecules or regulatory molecules in a variety of physiological processes, including defense, immunity, growth, homeostasis, and reproduction. On the other hand, biomimetic peptides are compounds that have an amino acid sequence identical to physiological peptides (oligopeptides with a sequence ranging from 10 to 15 amino acids), but are synthesized biotechnologically [1].

Amino acids, peptides and proteins, often referred to as "the building blocks of life", have long played important roles in both nutrition and health. Peptides and proteins involved in the formulation of cosmeceuticals, cosmetic are the most popular components in the market [1]. Let's list them:

  1. They stimulate cell regeneration and proliferation,
  2. They increase cell motility,
  3. It has tissue repairing and healing effects,
  4. They increase O2 transport to cells,
  5. They reduce the signs of skin aging,
  6. They form high-weight proteins necessary for hair care [2].

The most commonly used protein-derived substances; collagen, elastin, keratin and glycoproteins:

1. Collagen

Collagen, which is frequently used in cosmetic preparations, is known as one of the building blocks of the skin. Collagen can be considered a drug rather than a cosmetic. Among the different forms of collagen used in cosmetics, there are collagen amino acids, collagen hydrolysates with molecular weights between 1000 and 25000 Daltons and collagen fibers with 1.000.000 Daltons. Except for fiber, all of them have moisturizing properties.

collagen fibers cosmetic used in masks Absorbs thirty times its weight in water by acting as a microsponge and when moistened, it forms a gel-like structure and gives the skin a proper shape.

It also binds to a mucopolysaccharide called chondroitin sulfate. they provide healing by adding to the injured place in burns. Injectable soluble collagen, on the other hand, has a positive effect on the removal of wrinkles when absorbed by the dermal tissue [3].

2. Elastin

Elastin is a polymeric substance that exhibits plastic flexibility in the presence of water. The changes in mechanical properties seen with aging of the skin are due to the degradation of the elastin network, that is, the addition of lipids to their hydrophobic groups and the increase in calcium and magnesium content.

The main reasons for the use of elastin in cosmetics are that it increases the elasticity of the skin due to the viscoelastic property of the substance, and soluble elastin prevents the losses in the skin's own elastin and eliminates aging. Preparations containing elastin-derived peptides are used as cleansing creams and wound healers [3].

3. Keratin

The first keratin cosmetic product was a hair growth product, containing keratin hydrolyzate derived from rabbit fur and human hair. Keratin has a protective colloid effect on the skin, increases the moisture-retaining property of the skin, minimizes hardness and wrinkles, and protects the skin against cracking and irritation caused by detergents [3].

4. Glycoproteins

Glycoproteins provide the epidermal change process. One of them, fibronectin, is found in fibroblasts bound to collagen. Fibronectin is known to play a role in cell adhesion. According to the experimental results, both fibronectin and fibrinogen play an important role in wound closure by creating a suitable substrate for the migration of epithelial cells [3].

In addition, various peptides with remarkable biological activity have been synthesized in the last few years. These peptides are only in cosmetics It can be used in various fields, not only in therapeutics, immunology and food sciences. Synthetic compounds, called biomimetic, bioactive or topical peptides, consist of modified amino acid chains that enhance already existing physiological functions such as increasing skin permeability, stability, solubility and better interaction with cell receptors.

These synthetic compounds are formulated and used topically for the improvement of various skin damages such as aging, hyperpigmentation, oiliness, and wrinkles. They also stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, accelerate wound healing, increase fibroblast proliferation, and act as growth factors or firming agents [1].

Read: Chemicals Found in Cosmetic Products and Their Hazards to Health

Bioactive peptides account for 10% of all pharmaceutical companies' sales. Cosmetic product containing bioactive peptide in its formulations must be subjected to efficacy and safety tests for commercialization [1]. In Table 1, the uses of various peptides and proteins in cosmetic products are given.

peptides found in cosmetic products


[1] Sena İstanbulluoğlu, Selin Seda Timur, R. Neslihan Gürsoy, ''Biotechnological Active and Excipients Used in Cosmetics'', Hacettepe University Journal of the Faculty of Pharmacy, 2020

[2] (ET: 10.11.2020/22/02 XNUMX:XNUMX)

[3] Erem Memişoğlu, Filiz Öner, ''Cosmetic Preparations Containing Protein Applied to the Skin'', FABAD J. Pluırm. Sci., 19, 153~165, 1994

About the Author

Zeynep Aktas

Born in 1998, a Chemical Engineer who believes that science will save the world and works to become a scientist.

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