Patent Picks—Skin Imaging, Carnitine Creatine for Skin, Sclareol for Antiaging and More

Chosen biweekly by Rachel Grabenhofer, senior editor, for their relevance to personal care, Patent Picks are taken from publicly available sources. This edition features recently issued patents relevant to the skin care category.

Imaging Apparatus and Methods for Capturing and Analyzing Digital Images of the Skin
US Patent 7764303
Publication date: July 27, 2010 
Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. (Skillman, NJ, USA)

According to this patent, the disadvantages and limitations of known apparatuses and methods for skin imaging and analysis are overcome by the described invention, which includes an imaging station for capturing images of a subject in a given ambient lighting environment. The imaging station houses an aperture where the subject is presented to capture images of it, a digital image capture device, a light for illuminating the subject during image capture, and a computer for controlling the image capture device and the light. The housing contains the digital image capturing device and the light. In addition, the housing at least partially limits ambient light, if present in an ambient lighting environment, when the digital image of the subject is captured. In one embodiment of the present invention, the imaging station has the capability of taking a plurality of digital images of a subject under a plurality of illuminating conditions, storing, displaying and analyzing the digital images.

Cosmetic Compositions Having Carnitine Creatinate and Methods for Use
US Patent 7763655
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: Avon Products Inc. (New York, NY, USA)

This patent describes a topical composition containing carnitine creatinate in a cosmetically acceptable vehicle. Also provided are methods for improving the aesthetic appearance of skin and for inhibiting the induction of lipid synthesis and formation of cellulite in skin. According to the patent, carnitine creatinate is a salt of the acid-base reaction between carnitine and creatine. In the described invention, the carnitine creatinate is present at 0.01–25% w/w of the total composition, more preferably at 0.05–10% w/w and most preferably at 0.1–5.0% w/w.

The composition is reportedly useful in preventing, ameliorating or treating: acne, oily skin, oily hair, oily scalp, skin blemishes, breakouts and improves skin texture. According to the patent, the composition may be applied to the skin one or more times per day to maintain a desirable aesthetic appearance to the skin or maintain skin’s appearance as being substantially free of cellulite. Typically, beneficial results are observed following daily application of the topical composition for a period of one week.

In another aspect of the invention, a hydrogel patch is used to incorporate the carnitine creatinate, which is admixed with a hydrogel base. The patch can be affixed to an area of the skin where an individual aims to reduce the appearance of fat; for example, the inner thigh. The patch is applied for four or more hours per day for one or two days, after which the patch is removed. A second patch is then affixed, and the process is repeated over an extended period of time—from four up to 12 weeks.

Topical Solution Containing a Chromane or Chromene Derivative
US Patent 7763647
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: Laboratories Expanscience (Courbevoie, France)

This invention relates to compositions intended for external topical use comprising a solution containing a chromane or chromene derivative, preferably a flavonoid, dissolved in a suitable solvent. The invention also relates to a method for preparing such compositions and the use of said compositions as sun protection agents for the skin with benefits including anti-erythemal, antioxidant, anti-radical, anti-inflammatory or vasculotropic activities.

According to the patent, natural or synthetic compounds of the flavonoid type, such as flavones, flavanones, flavonols, aurones and chalcones, are potent antioxidants and often exhibit high inhibitory activities for enzymes in general. In particular, genistein is known as a preventive agent against skin problems including cancers induced by UV radiation (WO 97/46208). Genistein may thus be administered by the topical route in order to prevent and treat skin inflammations and irritations such as erythemas.

The applicant has discovered that the sun protection activities of a compound such as genistein increase significantly when the compound is solubilized beforehand in an appropriate solvent such as polyethylene glycols, polypropylene glycols, derivatives thereof, ethoxylated fatty alcohols and polyols, and mixtures thereof. While such micro/nanoemulsions are typically not homogeneous, and the quantity of active ingredients contained therein is difficult to determine and prepare, the inventor reports it was found possible to use polyethylene glycol in combination with a compound such as genistein in order to form a true solution, free of these disadvantages. Furthermore, polyethylene glycols, polypropylene glycols, esters thereof and ethoxylated fatty alcohols and polyols are not aggressive for the skin, offering advantages for the formulator of facilitating stable emulsions while providing, through their solvent power, the solubility of the active ingredients of the composition.

Method of Treatment of Skin with External Preparation Composition
US Patent 7763595 
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: Lion Corp. (Tokyo)

This invention describes an external preparation used for preventing or treating symptoms or diseases related to dermatopathy caused by dryness, UV rays and aging such as: wrinkles and skin sagging, pigmentation of the skin, skin roughness and coarse texture, and skin diseases such as psoriasis, lichen, ichthyosis, keratosis, Darier's disease, pustulosis, acne, eczema and atopic dermatitis.

The preparation comprises a specific acyl glucosamine derivative that does not have side effects and has an excellent effect for dermatopathy and other skin diseases. In particular, studies have shown the material to have effects such as: wrinkle improvements on mouse skin irradiated with UV rays; anti-acne benefits; coarse texture improvements on mouse skin irradiated with UV rays; improvement of skin roughness caused by sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS); and pigmentation improvement in guinea pig skin irradiated with UV rays.

Methods for Treating Conditions Associated with the Accumulation of Excess Extracellular Matrix
US Patent 7763580
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: University of Utah Research Foundation (Salt Lake City, USA)

This patent includes methods and compositions for reducing and preventing the excess accumulation of extracellular matrix in a tissue and/or organ or at a wound site using a combination of agents that inhibit TGFβ or using agents that inhibit TGFβ in combination with an agent or agents that degrade excess accumulated extracellular matrix. The compositions and methods of the invention are used to treat conditions such as fibrotic diseases and scarring that result from excess accumulation of extracellular matrix, impairing tissue or organ function, or skin appearance in a subject.

Essential Oil-based Cleaning and Disinfecting Compositions
US Patent 7763575
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: Ohsoclean, Inc. (San Francisco, CA, USA)

The disclosed patent entails cleaning and disinfecting compositions for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing inanimate and animate surfaces. Such compositions contain thyme oil or thyme oil and origanum oil, a salt of a transition metal, sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate and water. According to the patent, the compositions are surprisingly stable and as such, may be provided to consumers in the undiluted state. The cleaning and disinfecting compositions are botanical, environmentally sustainable, non-toxic and mildly scented.

Method for Detecting Candida on Skin
US Patent 7763442
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. (Neenah, WI, USA)

This patent describes a method and system for rapidly detecting Candida on the skin of a host, such as an infant with diaper rash. The method includes contacting a dermal sample with a colorant that exhibits a certain spectral response (e.g., color change) in the presence of Candida. For example, the colorant may change from a first color to a second color, from colorless to a color or from a color to colorless. The colorant is typically capable of differentiating between Candida (e.g., Candida albicans) and other microorganisms commonly associated with diaper rash, such as S. aureus and E. coli.

Thus, when a dermal sample is placed into contact with the colorant, the color change may simply be observed to determine whether the infection is caused by Candida. If the color change occurs to a certain extent (e.g., from yellow to bright red), it may be determined that the test sample contains Candida. Likewise, if a color change occurs to a lesser extent (e.g., from yellow to faint orange) or not at all, it may be determined that the dermal sample contains other microorganisms (e.g., S. aureus or E. coli), no infection is present, or that the infection is simply due to other causes. Regardless, it will become readily apparent whether or not treatment for Candida is needed.

Topical Turmeric Skin Care Products
US Patent 7763289
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Assignee: JoAl's Products, LLC (Saginaw, MI, USA)

In the described invention, a topical skin care product is disclosed that contains therapeutic concentrations of turmeric and other constituents that are colorless upon application to the skin. The product can be used for cosmetic, protective, and healing purposes without staining skin or clothing yellow. Specifically, the invention contains approximately 0.05–10% extracted turmeric components. The ratio of turmeric extract to neutralizing agent is about 1:1–1:20 (turmeric: neutralizing agent) and in some cases can be as much as 1:40. The pH value of the neutral composition is about 2–5. The present invention also provides a skin care product of from 1–40% neutral composition in a lotion having a pH of about 1.5–7.0.

The neutralizing agent of the present invention comprises at least one extract referred to as a berry extract and it can be made from any suitable plant such as: blueberries, coffee berries, coffee beans, green tea, pomegranates, bilberries, raspberries, black raspberries, cherries, saskatoons, serviceberries, strawberries, chokecherries, huckleberries, buffaloberries, grapes, blue/purple grapes of many varieties, goose berries, bearberries, moonseed berries, mountain currant (Ribes novadense), teas, spinach, asparagus, uva ursi, or mixtures thereof. The neutralizing agent optionally further comprises an acidic solution wherein the pH value of the acidic solution is below 6.0.

W/O Type Emulsified Cosmetic
US Patent Application 20100166684
July 1, 2010
Assignee: Kokyu Alcohol Kogyo Co., Ltd. (Narita, Japan)

This patent describes a novel w/o type emulsified cosmetic comprising a diester of neopentylglycol with isononanoic acid. Said cosmetic reportedly exhibits not only a refreshed feeling upon use without unfavorable stickiness after application, but also a proper oily feeling. The cosmetics obtained have: good affinity to the skin, little occurrence of creasing and/or makeup deterioration, no oily sheen after long periods of time between applications, little irritation to the skin, and excellent safety to the skin. In addition, the cosmetic can be removed with commercially available cleansing agents, it provides good dispersion of pigments, and it exhibits good storage stability.

W/O Type Sunscreen Cosmetic
US Patent Application 20100172850
July 8, 2010
Assignee: Tokiwa Corp. (Yokohama, Japan)

This w/o type sunscreen cosmetic is said to impart superior emulsion stability without little or no whitening on the skin. In addition, it is easy to spread, non-oily, and has excellent applicability. According to the patent, the invention comprises particulate zinc oxide subjected to surface hydrophobizing treatment and/or particulate titanium dioxide subjected to surface hydrophobizing treatment, silicone branched type polyglycerin-modified silicone and isostearic acid, wherein the content of the silicone branched type polyglycerin-modified silicone is 1.5–% w/w of the total composition and the content of the isostearic acid is 0.1–10% w/w of the total composition.

Cosmetic Composition Containing at Least Two Osmolytes with a Moisturizing or Antiaging Effect
US Patent Application 20100166814
July 1, 2010
Assignee: LVMH Recherche (Saint Jean de Braye, France)

The present invention relates to a cosmetic composition that comprises a combination of at least two osmolytes chosen from the group comprising taurine or a derivative thereof; inositol, betaine and trehalose. This composition is intended for restoring, maintaining or reinforcing moisturize in the skin; and/or for protecting it against different types of stress; and/or for preventing or retarding the appearance of the signs of aging in skin, or for attenuating the effects thereof, or alternatively for promoting cell or tissue longevity.

Antiwrinkle Agent and Skin Cosmetic Composition
US Patent Application 20100173989
July 8, 2010
Assignee: Kao Corp. (Tokyo)

The present invention describes a sclareol derivative antiwrinkle agent and skin cosmetic composition having excellent anti-wrinkle effects on skin, especially at exposed locations, and a high degree of safety. The sclareol derivative is obtained by acylating an extract of Salvia scarea lamiaceae.

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