IRB to launch skin defense ingredient at in-cosmetics Milan

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Plant stem Stem cell Cell

At this year’s In-Cosmetics in Milan, Italian green biotech company IRB is launching Marrubium vulgare Stem G, a plant stem cell ingredient that is claimed to maximize the self-protection of the skin from environmental stresses.

The ingredient is based on cultured stem cells from the Marrubium vulgare plant (also known as White Horehound) and is rich in phenylpropanoids, particularly forsythoside B which is claimed to induce the skin’s endogenous defense mechanisms through activation of the Nrf2 transcription factor.

“The active substance we have identified in Marrubium vulgare is an activator of the endogenous skin defensive system and it helps skin to be better protected against environmental stresses such as oxidation, UV exposure, chemical irritants or toxic substances,”​ IRB’s R&D manager, Roberto dal Toso told

Strong antioxidant activity

Tests on incubated human keratinocytes using a 0.015% concentration of forsythoside B showed that it increased the expression level of the protective phase II enzyme Heme Oxygenase up to 8000% after 72 hours (compared with the untreated control), thus improving the skin self defensive systems.

An in vitro​ test using a Trolox equivalent showed the antioxidant activity of Marrubium vulgare stems G to be two times more efficient than resveratrol and vitamin C, common natural antioxidant benchmarks.

According to IRB, Marrubium vulgare stems G has several applications in skin care, including in detoxifying formulations, anti-stress or anti-pollution creams and in products that prevent photo-ageing.

Biotechnology process

A presentation on the ingredient will be given by dal Toso on 30 March 2011 during in-cosmetics in Milan, who will also highlight the advantages of the technological approach used by IRB to obtain the plant stem cells. According to the company, the sustainable process results in a higher level of standardization and end-user safety.

“The benefits of the process are that we use just a small portion of the plant at the beginning to originate the plant cell culture, and once the cell line is established we do not need the plant anymore, which is respectful of the environment”​ said dal Toso, adding that the same standardized quality can be provided all year round, as the process does not depend on the weather or quality of the harvest, which guarantees the efficacy of the ingredient.

“Since our ingredients grow in a sterile environment there is no contact with the outside, and this ensures the total absence of pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides, which are very frequently contained in botanical extracts, meaning the ingredient is safer for the end user,” ​he said.

Related topics Formulation & Science

Related news

Show more