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Increasing Elasticity of Skin With UV Light Activation

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Abstract: This article describes how Morinda citrifolia polyphenol-coated tricalcium phosphate can be combined with key amino acids derived from yeast to form a powder that transforms harmful UV light energy into beneficial red light energy. As described below, the powder was shown in vitro and in vivo to improve the elasticity of the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles upon activation with UV light.

Light holds energy that has been shown to interact with the skin, influencing its appearance and its physiochemical composition. UV light causes erythema, DNA damage and the breakdown of the collagen and elastin matrix, leading to overall photoaging. Visible light, particularly red light, has been linked to improved wound and acne healing, and it has been shown to reverse the visible signs of aging. Polyphenols extracted from Morinda citrifolia (noni fruit) have the ability to absorb that UV light and fluoresce red light. By stabilizing these polyphenols to a tricalcium phosphate substrate, a photoresponsive powder has been created that, when blended with key amino acids isolated from yeast, forms BioLumenTM Firm (INCI: Yeast Amino Acids (and) Tricalcium Phosphate (and) Morinda Citrifolia Extract ), a powder active that improves elasticity of the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles upon activation with UV light.

In vitro Testing

A full thickness tissue modela was treated with 1 and 2% powder active, treated with a sunscreen blend of 7.5% ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and 1.5% benzophenone-3 (SPF 15) and evaluated for expression of elastin. To evaluate for expression of elastin the powder active and sunscreen-treated tissues were either exposed to 20 mJ/cm2 of UVB radiation or kept in the dark and incubated for 24 h. This process was repeated for four days, and the tissues were analyzed for soluble elastin concentration. Figure 1 shows the results from the elastin assays.

The sunscreen model initially compared an untreated control kept in the dark (green) versus an untreated control exposed to UVB radiation (red), where a significant decrease in elastin expression was noted. To further test this model, the tissue coated with just the sunscreen blend and exposed to UVB (yellow) showed no change relative to the untreated, dark control, proving that the model is efficacious and the sunscreen prevents the UVB radiation from reducing the elastin expression in the tissues and has no significant effect of its own.

The data from the elastin assay indicates that both a 1% and 2% treatment of BioLumenTM Firm provide a statistically significant increase in elastin production compared to the untreated control. The samples with the BioLumenTM Firm and sunscreen treatment kept in the dark (light blue) show no statistically significant effect on elastin, illustrating that the efficacy is dependent on photoactivation by UV. The 2% powder active treatment with UVB provides greater than 50% increase in elastin expression over an untreated control in full thickness skin tissue. An increase in elastin results in antiaging benefits as supported by recent publications.

In vivo Testing

To examine the ability of BioLumen FirmTM to impart an antiaging effect on living skin, an 86 person, double-blind, full face study was conducted for 60 d. The panel was divided into four groups where all groups applied a daily application of SPF 8 lotion for the duration of the study. Group I used a placebo lotion with no active incorporation. Groups II and III applied a lotion containing 2% and 5% BioLumenTM Firm, respectively. The panelists in Groups I, II and III were required to spend at least 2 h per day in natural sunlight, and were asked to document a log to support the daily sun exposure. Group IV was a control group, applying the base lotion containing 2% BioLumenTM Firm at night. All panelists were evaluated at baseline, Day 15, Day 30 and Day 60 for the following: skin elasticity measurements using a cutometerb, skin tone/radiance evaluations by an expert dermatologist and photographic review utilizing a photography system. At the end of the 60 day study, a subjective questionnaire was completed by all panelists.

Elasticity Evaluation

The biomechanical properties of human skin are a complex combination of elastic (elastin fibers) and viscous (collagen fibers and surrounding intercellular ground substance) components. A cutometer is used to evaluate elasticity in human skin, as it allows the measurement of the viscoelastic properties of the skin in vivo. Ryu et al. showed that skin elasticity, measured using a cutometer device, decreases with age mostly due to environmental factors such as UV light, pollution, smoking, etc. but also due to intrinsic aging.

The results of the elasticity evaluation are outlined in Figure 2. The panelists in Group III, who were treated with 5% BioLumenTM Firm, reported an increase in skin elasticity in 82% of panelists after 60 days. On average, there was a statistically significant 15% increase in elasticity.

Dermatological Evaluation of Skin Tone/Radiance

The appearance of human skin undergoes many changes upon aging including age spot formation from melanin, hyperpigmentation and a dulling of skin appearance resulting from collagen degradation and hemoglobin buildup. The panelists in the study were evaluated by a dermatologist, who tracked changes regarding skin tone and radiance improvements.

The evaluation reported that daily application of 2% BioLumenTM Firm offered the most drastic improvement in skin tone/radiance, with an improvement in appearance in 100% of the panelists after 60 d. There is no improvement in the group treated with 2% of the powder active at night, indicating that the BioLumenTM Firm in the presence of light provides a notable benefit in the appearance of skin.

VISIA CR Photograph Results

The photographs taken from the camera indicate that BioLumenTM Firm improved in the overall appearance of the skin. Visible improvements in the appearance of fine lines in the crow’s feet area of the eyes, as shown in Figure 4, were seen over 60 d. Reductions in skin crepiness were also observed, along with a reduction in deeper lines and wrinkles, as seen in Figure 4.


The influence of light on living cells is crucial to drive processes like photosynthesis in plants and vitamin D synthesis in humans. Light has the power to energize cells and their metabolic pathways. Contemporary light treatments, such as laser therapy, prove that light can enhance tissue structure in the dermis, thereby improving the appearance of skin. BioLumenTM Firm is designed to target similar effects achieved by light/laser treatment without the aggression of laser radiation; rather rejuvenating skin tissue through exposure to sunlight.

In vitro studies conducted on full thickness tissue models indicate that BioLumenTM Firm boosts elastin production in the presence of UV light and sunscreen. In vivo studies confirm an increase in skin elasticity in panelists adhering to a daily 5% BioLumen Firm regimen. An improvement in skin tone/radiance was also demonstrated in vivo, with 100% of the daily treatment panel exhibiting improvements; the night treatment group applying BioLumenTM Firm at the same dosage demonstrated little improvement.

The daily treatment panel’s improvement confirms the ability of UV light to energize BioLumenTM Firm and elicit repair processes in the skin. The overall skin effect following the BioLumenTM Firm treatment is evident in the photographs, depicting a reduction in fine lines and overall skin improvement on the majority of panelists.


  1. M Kizoulis et al, Upregulation of elastogenesis and its potential for skin aging benefits, J Invest Dermatol in press 471 (2010)
  2. HS Ryu, YH Joo, SO Kim, KC Park and SW Youn, Influence of age and regional differences on skin elasticity as measured by the Cutometer, Skin Res Technol 14 354–358 (2008)




Figure 1. In vitro elastin analysis results depicting efficacy of BioLumen™ Firm in the presence of UVB and sunscreen

Results of elastin assays after treatment with the powder active

Figure 1 shows the results of elastin assays after treating tissues with the powder active and sunscreen and exposing the tissues to UV radiation.

Figure 2. Percentage of panelists showing an increase in skin elasticity

Elasticity measurements after treatment with BioLumen™ Firm  and activation with UV light

Skin elasticity was measured after treatment with the powder active and sunscreen and exposure to UV radiation. Skin elasticity was measured with a cutometer at Day 15, Day 30 and Day 60 relative to the baseline.

Figure 3. Photographs of the eye area after treatment with BioLumen™ Firm

Photos of the eye area after treatment with BioLumen™ Firm

Photographs of the eye area after treatment with BioLumen™ Firm and activation by UV radiation, showed a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles.

Figure 4. Photos of the eye and cheek area after treatment with BioLumen™ Firm and activation with UV light

Photos of the cheek area after treatment with BioLumen Firm and activation with UV light

After skin was treated with BioLumen™ Firm and activated with UV light, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in the eye contour area as well as crepiness in the cheek area were reported.


a The EpiDerm FT Skin Model is a full thickness skin model manufactured by MatTek Corp., Ashland, Ma., USA.
b Cutometer MPA 580 is a device manufactured by Courage + Khazaka Electronic GmbH, Köln, Germany.
c VISIA is a complexion analysis system manufactured by Canfield Imaging Systems, Fairfield, N.J., USA.

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