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Creatine and Carnitine patented to treat skin discoloration

By Simon Pitman , 29-Mar-2007

The Avicena Group says it has secured a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office to 'use of creatine or creatine compounds for skin preservation,' in response to the US FDA's proposed ban on the skin whitening ingredient hydroquinine.

The news marks a significant development in the field of skin whitening, skin brightening and anti-aging fields, which are increasingly focusing on the treatment of blotches, liver spots and general discoloration. Indeed, Belinda Tsao-Nivaggioli, Avicena's chief executive officer said that the was an effective treatment for uneven skin pigmentation and provided a new approach to a common dermatological problem. The new patent applies to the company's Nurigene skin care line, which is said to promote optimal cellular regeneration and protection by nourishing the skins cellular growth environment thanks to the inclusion of creatine and carnitine. The company says that clinical studies is has instigated have demonstrated that the skin care regimen leads to improvements in skin cell turnover, skin firmness, skin elasticity and the skin's ability to retain moisture. The company, which develops dermatological products using biotechnology, says that it developed the creatine and carnitine invention, after the FDA proposed to ban hydroquinone in February 2007. This ban would see all OTC and prescription skin bleaching products containing the chemical to require application for new drug approval if they want to remain on the market. The cosmetics industry has tried to defend what it sees as inconsistencies with the studies on hydroquinine cited by the FDA, which are claimed not to be consistent with use in cosmetic products. Indeed, of the studies cited by the FDA, one was based on the effects following oral ingestions, while the other was based on a topical formula that contained a 10 per cent concentration of hydroquinine, when the FDA clearly states that the limit is 2 per cent. Although creatine and carnitine may act differently than hydroquinone on skin, personal care innovators continue to look for alternative paths such as these to meet the consumer demand for skin lightening products. Skin whitening and skin brightening have proved to be particularly popular in Asian markets, where women seek a paler complexion, but in more recent years these type of treatments have become more popular due to the association of lighter skin tones with a more youthful looking appearance.

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