The Switzerland-based company has taken inspiration from one of the country’s most famous exports, and hopes the ingredient will tap into the trend for merging food and cosmetics.
NanoCocao is a nanoemulsion of oil extracted from the nibs of the ‘Criollo’ cocoa bean, chosen for its rich aroma and flavour, according to the company.
Feel good factor
The neurotransmitter anandamide is one of the active chemicals within the extract which, when in the brain, is associated with a feeling of a euphoria and relaxation.
Anandamide, which binds to the cannabinoid receptors found in the central nervous system, is involved in the reduction of pain, the stimulation of mood and the relaxation of muscles.
However, cannabinoid receptors are not only found in the central nervous system. They have also been identified in the mast cells, hair follicles and nerve cells of the skin leading the company to investigate anadamides potential as a skin care ingredient.
According to the company, an in vitro study using human muscle fibres illustrated that application of the anandamide decreased the frequency of muscle contractions after a 24 hour period.
The effect was completely reversible and normal muscle fibre behaviour resumed after 48 hours, according to the company’s test.
Researchers at the ingredients company then tested the extract in vivo on the skin of 20 volunteers. NanoCocao was applied twice daily for 28 days to the skin around the eye area and improvements were reported in 95 per cent of the subjects, the company claimed.
In a similar placebo controlled trial wrinkles in the crow’s feet were reduced 8 per cent compared to the placebo treatment.
Due to its relaxing and anti wrinkle properties the company advise formulators to use the ingredient in relaxation products, wellness and spa products as well as colour cosmetics.