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Naturally Turn Up the Volume with Echinacea Purpurea

Biocogent, LLC
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Christopher Judd*, Brian Costello, Brianna Scacchi, Joseph Ceccoli, and Paul Lawrence#

Biocogent LLC, 25 Health Sciences Drive, Stony Brook, NY 11790

Primary Author, Chemistry Group Leader; 

#Corresponding Author, Director of Research and Development

Wrinkles seem to be an inevitable result of skin aging. Anti-aging ingredients generally address wrinkling through optical effects or by enhancing extracellular matrix production and skin moisturization. But skin sagging and wrinkling also result from loss of the underlying fatty tissue that supports the skin. Volpura® EP, an active ingredient based on Echinacea purpurea, addresses skin aging by bolstering fat production to volumize the hypodermal layer residing immediately beneath the dermis. This activity is beneficial in anti-aging products for use on the face and hands (diminished fat pads with aging) and body contouring.  Volpura® EP also has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and is an environmentally-friendly ingredient that’s produced with a nearly “net-zero” carbon footprint.



Purple coneflower (E. purpurea) has a long history of medicinal use and today is a popular herbal treatment for colds and flu with potent anti-viral activities1. Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects are attributable to its high levels of phenolic acid derivatives and fatty acid alkylamides (FAAs). The FAAs also activate PPAR-γ, a master signaling factor within fat cells that stimulates fat production. This is the basis for the volumizing effect of Volpura® EP and a more youthful appearance of the skin.

Optimization of Anti-aging Benefits

Volpura® EP is produced using a multistep process that starts with a very efficient supercritical CO2 fluid extraction.  Further carefully controlled extraction and purification steps result in a potent adipogenic (fat-stimulating) product that is highly enriched in FAAs. When Volpura® EP is applied to resting adipocytes (fat cells) it activates PPAR-γ, which then upregulates the cellular adipogenic machinery. When present at just 0.3%, Volpura® EP increases fat production to five times the level in untreated cells. 


The anti-aging benefits of a topical formulation containing 2% Volpura® EP were demonstrated in a 12-week, placebo-controlled clinical study on 53 panelists.  In both men and women, wrinkles were reduced in the forehead, nasolabial and crow’s feet areas. In addition, there were very significant increases in skin elasticity (44%) and firmness (14%).

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Volpura® EP also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which ultimately yields an anti-aging benefit by protecting skin cells and the extracellular matrix from damaging hydrolytic enzymes and reactive oxygen species. When epidermal keratinocytes are treated with just 0.1% of Volpura® EP, production of TNF-a (a powerful signaling cytokine) in response to an inflammatory stimulus is dramatically decreased to just 20% of control.  Similarly, the activity of COX-2, an enzyme necessary for production of inflammatory prostaglandins, is reduced by 97% when cells are treated with 0.1% Volpura® EP.  In addition to their anti-aging effects, these potent anti-inflammatory activities also provide additional benefits when addressing sensitive skin problems.


Volpura® EP is a plant-derived ingredient that delivers anti-aging and skin-soothing benefits through facial volumizing/contouring, skin firming and anti-inflammation. It is produced from Echinacea purpurea using sophisticated extraction and purification technologies in a process that’s nearly carbon neutral.  Volpura® EP is the perfect ingredient for next generation products targeted to consumers who desire natural, anti-aging functionality while also demanding environmental responsibility.  

Forehead wrinkles were dramatically decreased by twice-daily application of a formulation containing 2% Volpura® EP.


1.  Hudson & Vimalanathan, 2011:  Pharmaceuticals 4, 1019


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