Living means feeling, and feeling involves laughing, crying, worrying, etc. All these mood states go together with a continuous contraction of the facial muscles which leads to expression wrinkles. These fine lines are the first to appear when aging and reveal the most frequent of our moods.
Apart from using cosmetics, people have tried to tackle expression wrinkles for years by avoiding an excessive amount of smiling or eyebrows raising, or even resorting to aesthetic clinics; thus, limiting their freedom of expression.
The most effective known way to prevent the appearance of these fine lines is neurotoxin injections that paralyse the muscle, thus preventing muscle contractions and as a result avoiding wrinkle appearance. The use of this technique can lead to several undesirable results, from losing the natural expression of the face to serious biological consequences if the product is not applied properly by a professional.
There are some cosmetic ingredients in the market that act in the neuron or in the muscle, modulating the muscle contraction without paralyzing it. A much safer alternative.
Muscle contraction initializes when a stimulus arrives at the neuron, followed by a change in the polarization and an action potential. Then, the classical SNARE proteins (syntaxin, VAMP and SNAP-25) assembly to form the SNARE complex, which allows a vesicle containing a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine, ACh) to fuse with the membrane and release ACh. This neurotransmitter binds to its receptor on the surface of the muscle cell, inducing a depolarization followed by a release of calcium ions from the endoplasmic reticulum to the sarcoplasm where binds to troponin allowing the actin-myosin cross-bridge and further sliding (muscle contraction).
Until now, several ingredients have been developed with the aim of working in the pre-synaptic (neuron) or in the post-synaptic pathway (muscle) to try to reduce these expression lines.
At Lipotrue, we have developed Munapsys™ in collaboration with neuroscience experts. Munapsys™ is a botulinum toxin-like peptide obtained by in silico design. It is the first active ingredient capable of acting on both the pre- and post-sypnactic pathways of muscle contraction with the addition of a new protein involved in the SNARE complex assembly (Munc-18).
Munc-18 is a novelty in the Cosmetic speech, and it is key for the assembly of the SNARE complex. Munc-18 must bind to syntaxin to allow the assembly with SNAP-25 and VAMP.
Munapsys™ competes with Munc-18 for its position in syntaxin, obstructing SNARE complex assembly and the release of the acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmitter into the synapse. In vitro, it reduced Munc-18/syntaxin binding by 37% and ACh release a 12% less than a pre-synaptic benchmark (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8).
In the post-synaptic pathway, Munapsys down-regulated genes of proteins involved in AChR clustering (this step is key for binding with ACh), depolarization of the muscle cell, calcium mobilization and actomyosin cross-bridge and sliding.
Munapsys™ also showed to modulate muscle contraction in a co-culture of human neurons and human muscle cells, with a good recovery after removing the active ingredient proving not to paralyze the muscle. Moreover, its performance was better than a pre-synaptic benchmark (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8) even at a lower concentration.
In vivo, one panel of 18 women (35-55 years old) applied a cream with 3% Munapsys™ on one half of the face and a placebo in the other for 14 days. Another panel with the same characteristics applied also a cream with 3% Munapsys on half face and a cream with 5% of a combination of benchmarks in the other for 14 days. The benchmark was a blend of a pre-synaptic (Acetyl-Hexapeptide-8) and a post-synaptic (Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate) benchmarks.
In terms of efficacy, Munapsys™ showed very good results against placebo in all the parameters related to roughness measured. It significantly improved average roughness (Ra), average relief (Rz) and maximum relief height (Rt) and the maximum wrinkle depth at 14 days thus proving a remarkable effect against expression wrinkles. Its efficacy was higher than placebo by 7%, 10% and 7% in Ra, Rz and Rt.
In addition, Munapsys™ turned out to be more effective using only a 3% dose than the 5% benchmark combination dose.
Moreover, there were more volunteers showing efficacy to the cream with 3% Munapsys™ than with the 5% benchmark.
Since many neurotoxin products are currently used to reverse the effect of a drooping smile, a test was conducted on 10 women to see if a cream containing 3% Munapsys™ was able to improve the lowering of lips of the volunteers.
The results showed that on 33% of the volunteers, Munapsys™ lifted the commissures a mean of 14% providing them with a happier smile.
All these evidences conclude that Munapsys™ mechanism is a real upgrade in the expression lines field. Let yourself enjoy from the efficacy of a new generation of botulinum-like ingredients. A safe real beauty filter.
Munapsys™ (INCI: Acetyl Hexapeptide-1) is a Lipotrue’s high technology active ingredient which is IECIC listed and Halal certified.