Power to the peptides

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing, Mintel

Peptide based ingredients that promise to have similar muscle
freezing effects to botox are the hot trend to watch in 2008, as
they appear in the new wave of ultra-scientific anti-aging
formulations hitting the US market.

Two examples of such ingredients include hydrolyzed hibiscus esculentus extract and acetyl hexapeptide that are appearing in increasing numbers of products, according to Mintel analyst Nica Lewis. The topically applied ingredients are reputed to inhibit muscle contraction therefore helping to prevent the formation of wrinkles in a similar way to botox injections, without the side effects. Hydrolyzed hibiscus escelentus extract provides a comprehensive anti-aging solution as its muscle freezing quality is complemented by anti free radical action, according to Cognis, a company that markets the ingredient under the name myoxinol. Acetyl hexapeptide is marketed as argireline by Spanish ingredients provider Lipotec, which claims the substance interferes with a receptor complex necessary for the fusion of neurotransmitter containing vesicles to the membrane surface. This in turn prevents muscle contraction and therefore the formation of wrinkles, says Lipotec. Although still fairly rare in terms of product numbers, use of these ingredients has increased significantly in the last year, and they are tipped as the next big thing in the anti-aging world. The number of product launches containing hydrolyzed hibiscus esculentus extract has increased five fold from 2006 to 2007 according to the Mintel new product database, although the ingredient still remains relatively niche. Acetyl hexapeptide has undergone a similar revolution - a sixfold increase from 2006 to 2007 - although the number of products in the database containing this ingredient is significantly smaller than the hibiscus extract, appearing in less than one precent of the total number of products in the database. Interestingly the vast majority of these products are launched primarily in the US with global rollouts following for some companies, said Lewis, attesting to the receptivity of the US market to anti-aging products. In fact, the US market for anti-aging products is forecast to double by 2011 according to the market research company. The ingredients are appearing in the new wave of anti-aging products characterised by ultra-scientific claims and medical or cosmetics surgery inspired marketing, according to Lewis. According to the analyst this is part of a new trend Mintel has called 'faux genomics'. "One day we expect consumers will have a pill or a capsule and a topical product customised to their DNA and skin's needs on that particular day of the month, taking into account climate and pollution for example,"​ Lewis explained. At present Mintel includes brands and products that push towards this concept as part of the 'faux genomics' trend.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Skin Care

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