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Stem Cells, Wellness and Claims Substantiation Take Center Stage at IFSCC Congress
By: Rachel L. Grabenhofer
Posted: October 24, 2012
The 2012 International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) Congress, held Oct. 15-18, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa, opened with a frenzy—the "African Frenzy" dancers, that is. Performers in traditional tribal dress drummed, stomped and chanted native songs of various Africa cultures, representing the beauty and diversity of the continent. Similarly, the opening ceremony keynote lecture by Aubrey Parsons of AP Consulting provided an overview of research under way examining the diversity of sub-Saharan and South African botanicals. For example, the fruit of Kigela africana, or "sausage tree," has been shown to have high flavonoid and coumarin content as well as anti-inflammatory benefits, among others.
Rooibos has extensively been shown to exhibit various benefits. "It's the new 'white tea' for skin and hair," said Parsons, "and in China, the market for it has grown significantly." Also, honey bush, or "cancer bush," is an African extremophile with the ability to heal burns and wounds, and soothe irritation. Buchu (Barosma betulina) leaf extract is chemically related to onion and garlic, and Parsons noted its chemistry is an interesting proposition to replace these flavor oils at a lower cost.
The outer shell or seed coating of the Ubuntu baobab is being examined as a new source for vanillin, which Parsons explained is especially exciting for the fragrance industry. Also within the Ubuntu family, mafura appears to have specific antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits, whereas ximenia is interesting for a multitude of benefits. "There is much research going on here," said Parsons.
Interest continues in the Barbadensis family, notably Aloe vera and feroux; in fact, this interest has led to the formation of the Aloe Council. Finally, tocotrienols are "literally changing the face of the personal care industry," remarked Parsons, "and interest in them is still growing."
Beyond an overview of phytochemical research, Parsons called out marketers who make outlandish product claims, undermining the credibility of the personal care industry. "I don't know how they get away with it," he said, illustrating advertisements in Africa and Indonesian media. One in particular claimed to "drive HIV from the body."