Estelle Loing, Ph.D., global R&D director for IFF/Lucas Meyer, authored a new article for the May 2018 edition Cosmetics & Toiletries about protecting squalene from pollution-initiated oxidation. In this podcast, she explains the inspiration for this work.
Surprises the team found along the way included squalene differences between ethnicities, and squalene as a potential pollution indicator in skin. Loing also explored the next steps in this work. The following is an adapted excerpt; click on the podcast below to hear more.
Loing: Our company has privileged access to a large and unique variety of botanical extracts in Australia, so we decided to look at the plants available and were drawn to lemon myrtle, which is actually the queen of lemon herbs in Australia. The leaves of this tree are especially rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, with very strong antioxidant activity—eight times that of blueberries. This was our first inspiration and we decided to work on this specific plant.
The other inspiration comes from the fact that recently, papers have been published describing sebum and the human sebum complex. Also, squalene, which makes up 10-16% of the sebum complex, has been identified as very sensitive to oxidation.
We've been reading these papers and have taken an interest in squalene, since it is uniquely human and each ethnic type has a different composition of sebum and quality of squalene. So, we decided to test our lemon myrtle extract to see if it could have a protective effect on sebum and squalene. This was the focus of the paper.