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'Generation Z' Antioxidants
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: July 30, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Ergothioneine is beneficial not only in skin care, but also in sun care. Salmon reported that skin pretreated with ergothioneine does not burn as readily as untreated skin. “Ergothioneine sops up free radicals and quenches the chemicals in the skin. It donates electrons to molecules that need them,” said Salmon.
Which raw materials, then, could provide formulators with a source for this antioxidant? Interestingly, food scientists at Penn State identified white button mushrooms as carrying higher levels of ergothioneine than wheat germ or chicken liver.3
Niacin for Repair, Lightening
While vitamins A, C and E have been highly touted, vitamin B, specifically nicotinamide, is now receiving its share of attention from the dermatology community. Nicotinamide, also called niacinamide or nicotinic acid amide, is an amide of vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid. “In the past few years, we have realized how important vitamin B is for the skin,” said Salmon. “Niacinamide works by increasing cell energy so it can better repair DNA.”
In addition DNA repair, skin lightening is the among other benefits that niacinamide can provide. In a study by the University of Cincinnati and Procter and Gamble, researchers reported a dose-dependent inhibition of melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes with the application of niacinamide.4 “Niacinamide enhances the epidermal turnover, thickens the epidermis, and reduces collagen glycation,” said Salmon. The future of niacinamide, according to Salmon, will include increased dosages, especially since the material exhibits anti-cancer properties.
Salmon notes that product lines such as NIA 24 from NiaDyne, Inc., formulate with niacinamide and are claimed to enhance DNA repair and epidermal cell turnover as well as create a more even pigment distribution.