Italian and Japanese companies join forces on olive extract

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Antioxidant

Italian botanicals manufacturer Indena and Japanese cosmetics giant
Kanebo have joined forces to develop an olive fruit extract
designed to provide moisturizing and anti-ageing properties for the
skin care category.

Tapping into a huge global growth in demand for naturally derived ingredients on the back of consumer demands for products that provide health and wellness properties, the two companies have spent five years co-researching and co-operating on the project.

The resulting Opextan extract focuses on the the high levels of polyphenols found in olive fruit, and more specifically verbascoside. This particular polyphenol is found in high levels in the olive fruit extract and is claimed to be a highly effective active ingredient for skin care formulations.

Verbascoside forms a part in the Opextan formulation and is said to exert a free radical scavenging activity that can have a direct impact on skin health. The company says it can prevent oxidative damage associated with wrinkle formation, skin thinning and dehydration.

During the research and development process the olive varieties were screened and selected by Indena botanists who pinpointed the best harvesting period and methods to ensure the highest levels of verbascoside and other polyphenols.

During this peroid, Indena managed the process of industrialization to produce the ingredient, while final efficacy tests were conducted by Kanebo.

"Preclinical and clinical evidence of its free radical scavenging capacity was obtained successfully in our laboratories,"​ said Dr. Takeshi Ikemto, Kanebo R&D manager.

Further to the ingredient's antioxidant effects, the team also investigated the link between skin dryness and blood glucose levels by the team working from the Tohoku University, in Miyagi, Japan.

It found that Opextan's active properties had a direct effect on the health of the skin, preventing oxidative damage associated with wrinkle formation, skin thinning and dehydration.

Consequently, patents for the ingredient's active properties have been filed by both companies as a treatment for UV damage, wrinkle formation and as a hair tonic.

The joint agreement means that Indena will promote the ingredient worldwife, while Kanebo will market it in Japan under the name 'Bella Vista'.

Olive oil has been used as a beauty treatment since Greek times, when it was used to bathe in, followed by an exfoliation process. Now its anti-oxidant and moisturising properties have made it popular in a variety of, mainly natural based products, that include lip balms, shampoo, bath oils, soap, massage oils and skin creams.

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