Cosmetic Peptides and Consumer Communication: A Q&A with Lipotec's Cristina Carreño, PhD

On Apr. 15, 2013, experts from Lipotec (acquired by The Lubrizol Corporation in 2012) appeared on Lifetime Television's The Balancing Act to talk about anti-aging skin care, with particular attention to the company's innovative peptides.

Lipotec's Raquel Delgado, PhD, chief innovation officer; and Cristina Carreño, PhD, director of business development, discussed the company's innovations and offered advice to consumers looking for efficacious anti-aging skin care. Although this video can be viewed online, Cosmetics & Toiletries sat down with Carreño at Suppliers' Day 2013 to talk more about peptides, advances in anti-aging skin care and ways for suppliers and manufacturers alike to better communicate skin care science to the consumer.

C&T: How was Lipotec chosen to discuss anti-aging skin care technology on the Balancing Act?
CC: They wanted to communicate the technology behind cosmetics, and they felt that we were the right partner to talk about that technology. Lipotec is known in the industry for our peptides; we were one of the first players in the industry for peptides, starting in the 2000s. The Balancing Act approached us to talk about this subject, and we were excited for the opportunity to help tell our story.

C&T: How has the peptides market changed since Lipotec first became a player?
CC: When our peptides were first introduced, it was a novel approach to skin care based on real science and developed following a similar strategy used in the pharmaceutical industry. At that time, peptide were mainly used for anti-wrinkle purposes. Now, there are peptides for a variety of different targets such as scalp treatment, sagging, DNA repair, etc.

C&T: How does Lipotec identify novel peptides?
CC: We first identify the biological pathways that play a role in a cosmetic need. We invest a lot of effort in R&D. Of the 100 people in the company, 40 are in R&D from all scientific backgrounds. Once the pathway is identified, we can investigate a material that modulates that pathway.

C&T: What was one of the most novel peptide breakthroughs in the cosmetic industry?
CC: Argireline hexapeptide [INCI: Acetyl Hexapeptide-8] was a breakthrough peptide in that it attenuates the appearance of expression wrinkles with a similar in vitro mechanism of action to Botulinum neurotoxin. The concept broke the market when it was introduced and still sells well 10 years later.

C&T: What are challenges in the peptide market?
CC: It is difficult to bring novel peptides to the market, that is why R&D is so important. You can have amazing science, but you have to be able to communicate it to the consumer, which is sometimes difficult.

C&T: How can suppliers and manufacturers better communicate ingredient science to the consumer?
CC: Consumers look for appealing claims substantiated by science. It helps for this communication to be visual; for example, videos that tell the story behind the science. Also, explanations of the science in magazines can be helpful, but the level of science has to be adapted accordingly to teach the consumers what is happening in the skin when they use the product. Consumers have to learn the technology, so any educational tools supporting skin science understanding aids this explanation.

C&T: What is on the horizon for Lipotec and the peptide market?
CC: New peptides will counteract and delay the signs of aging. The reception on our Juvefoxo hexapeptide [Proposed INCI: Acetyl Hexapeptide-50] has been great so far. It can delay senescence in aged cells. We are also working on biotechnology from a marine origin. We had our first launch in this category several years ago [Antarcticine glycoprotein (INCI: Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract], and we expect to expand our portfolio of ingredients of this nature in the following years.

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