Mibelle AG Biochemistry is launching Happybelle-PE, a formulation that includes Monk's Pepper and Beta-Endorphin extract - said to have proven efficacy as an anti-wrinkle treatment, reports Simon Pitman.
The ingredient will be unveiled at the In-Cosmetics show in Berlin, 12-14 April and is claimed to be a breakthrough in providing rehydration and firmness to tired skin. The company has its own stand, in Hall D, number 74.
Switzerland-based Mibelle developed the ingredient Happybelle-PE based on an extract of dried monk's pepper berries. The ingredient was found in in vitro tests to significantly stimulate the proliferation of human epidermal cells in culture.
"We are currently working with a number of global cosmetic and personal care companies to develop formulations featuring Happybelle-PI for both facial and body skin care products," said Dr. Daniel Schmid, company spokesperson. "However, when we present the ingredient at In-Cosmetics, it will be the first time that it has been openly viewed by the industry."
Schmid says the ingredient is a good solution for both day and night creams and suits all skin types and ages. Furthermore it is also said to be competitively priced against other similar ingredients.
To demonstrate the in vivo efficacy, a cream with 1 per cent Happybelle-PE was tested in an independent study with women in an age range of 30 to 61. After four weeks the test product improved skin hydration by nearly 30 per cent and firmness by 20 per cent. The depth of the wrinkles was significantly reduced. A more radiant skin was stated by 90 per cent of those testing the product.
Beta-endorphin is a peptide hormone that normally works in human central nerve systems as a pain reliever. The most popular action of beta-endorphin is its creation of euphoria during exercise, which endurance athletes frequently refer to as 'runner's high'.
Beta-endorphin is also produced outside of the central nerve system. Two years ago it was discovered that our skin cells produce beta-endorphin. From this discovery scientists believe that it has a kind of autocrine role, involved in the regulation of skin cell differentiation.
In turn Beta-endorphin was shown to stimulate migration of keratinocytes and melanin production in melanocytes. Further to this, and most importantly for the cosmetics industry, it is also thought that beta-endorphin could have a potential in skin regeneration and wound healing.
"The fact that this ingredient contains endorphines is what really makes it something new on the market," said Schmid. "The newly discovered regenerative properties, combined with the fact that endorphines are said to be mood enhancing, should help to give it added marketing impetus."
Monk's Pepper, also known as chaste tree, is a large shrub native to the Mediterranean area. Monk's pepper berries have traditionally been used as plant medicine, mainly to regulate women's menstrual cycles and PMS.
There are scientific publications that have found a beta-endorphin-like effect of monk's pepper berries. This effect is thought to come from berry compounds that bind to the human beta-endorphin receptor or berry compounds that stimulate the production of beta-endorphin in humans. Since anxiety, depression and sleeping problems are symptoms of PMS, the mood enhancing beta-endorphins are thought to be involved in the beneficial effect of Monk's Pepper in the treatment of PMS.
Although Mibelle cannot market Happybelle-PI as a mood enhancing ingredient, the fact that it is an endorphin-based ingredient with skin regeneration properties is certainly a novelty for the market.