A group of scientists from Geneva discovered a protein in spider venom that has anti-aging effects. Taking a protein molecule from the venom and applying it to the skin showed the protein blocked a specific nerve signal leading to instant muscle relaxation, which resulted in an immediate anti-wrinkle effect.
With similar properties to botulinum toxin or Botox—without the use of injections—the newly discovered protein can be used in creams to act on a receptor found at the skin surface.
Working Without Feeling “Under Pressure”
In 2008, Reto Stöcklin, entrepreneur and world-renowned expert in venoms, learned of a newly discovered spider, named Heteropoda davidbowie, in Malaysia.
With the support of research projects and another scientist’s doctoral studies, Stöcklin investigated the venom of the spider, which was found to be harmless to humans. Of the 136 toxins identified, HDB-243—named after Heteropoda davidbowie—was found promising for use in cosmetics.
Investing in Venom
Originally founded by Stöcklin, Geneva-based biotech company Atheris SA has been specializing in animal venoms for more than 20 years. After this discovery, the company added on a cosmetic branch, Matoxine.
The company has a database of more than 50,000 molecules identified in venom and is recognized internationally for its collection of venoms. The company has also supported the launch of drugs to help:
- Gluten intolerance
- Multiple sclerosis and
Additionally, the company helped to develop three cosmetic ingredients.
Reaching for the Moon
The team has launched a crowdfunding campaign called “instant moonlight” on Indiegogo in hopes of raising $25,000 to develop a range of cosmetic products for men and women utilizing the HDB-243 peptide.
Other Intoxicating News
In related news, according to Popsugar, bee venom provides significant benefits for. A sheet mask product, Ladykin Ice Cold Mask With Bee Venom, was developed consisting of royal jelly extract and bee venom to hydrate, nourish and firm the skin. The moisture-packed sheet mask uses both ingredients to aid mature and dry skin types.
Clearly, consumers are obsessed with youth. So much that they go to 'toxic' lengths to preserve it. This could mean new and additional safety tests for product developers and potentially stricter regulations abroad.