Merck Launches Self-tanning and Lightening Actives

Merck has added two new actives to its RonaCare brand of cosmetic ingredients—one for self-tanning without UV exposure and one to lighten and illuminate the skin. According to the company, tan skin remains a beauty ideal in western societies, whereas light-colored skin is particularly prized in Asian cultures. Common to both is the desire to prevent signs of skin aging, an effect that both ingredients offer.

RonaCare Bronzyl (INCI: Not Provided) stimulates the production of melanin and activates the natural tanning process. In this way, the active contributes to an even tan and induces the skin to build up its own natural UV protection. Both effects inhibit skin aging caused by exposure to UV radiation. Using the product slogan “Skin wears summer,” Merck is marketing RonaCare Bronzyl predominantly in Europe and the United States. The active ingredient can be incorporated into day and night creams, multifunctional body care and anti-aging products. Supplied as a white powder, the active offers cosmetic manufacturers particular advantages such as high purity, safety in use, color neutrality and stability in cosmetic formulations as well as proven performance.

Scientific studies on human tissue cultures have shown that the active caused a 43% increase in melanin in the basal layer after 10 days. "The market segment for cosmetic active ingredients that use a biological mode of action to allow the body to tan is still very new. We are convinced that this technologically sophisticated segment will see strong growth in the coming years and we look forward to helping to shape it," says Michael Weiden, head of the functional materials business field.

Conversely, RonaCare Pristine Bright (INCI: Not Provided) prevents tanning of the skin, decreases hyperpigmentation and freshens skin color. The complexion appears more radiant, flawless and transparent. Merck will be using the slogan “Skin goes porcelain” to launch RonaCare Pristine Bright in an established, yet important market growing at annual average rate of 5%. Since competing active ingredients often have insufficient toxicological safety and a tendency toward instability and discoloration in formulations, modern ingredients are in high demand in the cosmetics industry. This lightening active is pure, white and odorless. It is safe to use, easy to formulate, stable and effective in the final product. Its efficacy has been demonstrated in one ex vivo and three in vivo studies. Changes in skin color and in skin pigmentation as well as a reduction in hyperpigmentation were the primary parameters studied. In three in vitro studies, Merck tested the efficacy against that of comparative compounds that are already marketed and recognized as effective. This active inhibits tyrosinase. Due to its excellent efficacy, low application concentrations suffice to achieve the desired effect. The product can be incorporated into facial day and night creams in combination with UV filters or into anti-aging products.

These actives will be presented to the public for the first time at the SEPAWA Congress on Oct. 9-11, 2013.

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