The new treatment for irritated skin

NioSkin™ HMR, Niosomal Norway Spruce Extract

Irritated skin can be caused by weather, aggressive beauty treatments, poor diet and lifestyle choices.

These and other factors can cause generalised or localised reddening, chapping and a tight feeling that are the main presentations of a skin condition that may occur occasionally or be chronic and recurring and cause marks and lesions as well as permanent sensitivity. In addition to external manifestations and sagging, ageing skin can also present with the loss of elasticity associated with mild signs of irritation and cause physical and psychological discomfort.

An effective, targeted treatment should restore the skin’s correct balance and the barrier function as main defence against external factors, and also improve the skin’s elasticity and exchange of water with subcutaneous layers. This affects the skin’s appearance and also prevents irritation and delays degenerative processes and ageing.

Although HMR has proven to be an excellent anti-irritant during in vitro testing (see Tab. 1), it cannot effectively penetrate the skin barrier.

The 7-hydroxymatairesinol (HMR) is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to have a specific effect on the skin for reducing irritation and restoring correct tissue function while respecting and rebalancing the skin and acting on factors associated with ageing. Linnea uses a proprietary process to extract HMR solely from the knots of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) growing in forests in the temperate climate zone of Europe. The knots are separated from the rest of the wood using an eco-sustainable process to achieve the highest possible HMR yield.

Table 1 – Anti-pollution test
In vitro evaluation of the release of proinflammatory interleukins (IL-1, irritation marker) in non-treated (NT) NIH 3T3 fibroblasts following exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) and then treated with NioSkin™ HMR. After 24 hours’ exposure NioSkin™ HMR reduces IL-1 by 38% (sample HMR + PM2.5) compared to the sample exposed to particulate matter (PM2.5).

A solution that enables to maximise the properties of HMR is encapsulation in niosomes, which are vesicles that can modify the release of phytoactives made up of polyglycerol esters.

Recommended usage: 2% w/w

Delivering HMR via modified release systems, such as niosomal, enables a product to be created that is highly bioavailable to the skin: NioSkin™ HMR can maximise the anti-irritant efficacy of Norway spruce lignans thanks to the synergistic action with protective, skin-friendly niosomal esters and the properties of the delivery system (see Tab. 2, the absorption differences between HMR and niosomes).

Table 2 – Permeation test
Assessing skin absorption by testing permeation on a skin model (Merck-Millipore Strat-M® synthetic membrane in a Franz cell). The niosomal form enables a high absorption rate of HMR, which is not normally possible. The increased absorption can be linked to specific activity.

The exclusive anti-irritant properties of NioSkin™ HMR have been assessed by challenge testing with a chemical agent (sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), see Table 3), and by measuring how it works on pre-existing blemishes (see Table 4). The irritation test shows that NioSkin™ HMR consistently and rapidly reduces the reddening caused by SLS (5%), which means it can be used in “intensive” formulations.

Table 3 – Skin irritation test
Measurement of the index of erythema after irritation caused by SLS 5% under occlusion on the skin of the volar forearm of 12 healthy subjects for 12 hours.
C- = skin treated only with SLS 5%;
C+ = application of hydrocortisone
17-butyrate 0.1% cream;
HMR = application of O/W emulsion with 2% NioSkin™ HMR;
Con = control O/Wemulsion.
Evaluations at 30, 60 and 120 minutes showed a significant and fast erythema reduction for HMR group, comparable to that of cortison cream.

Skin irritation test
visual representation of the anti-irritant effect of NioSkin™ HMR after 120 minutes of treatment.

The daily application of NioSkin™ HMR significantly reduces redness, marks caused by irritation and fine lines, improving the evenness of the skin (see Table 4) and affecting the ageing process (data not shown).

Table 4 – VISIA II test
Analysis of morphological alterations of facial skin (uniformity of the skin tone and number of localised red areas) following application of a O/W emulsion with NioSkin™ HMR vs the control emulsion.
Results: after 28 days of daily application to the facial skin of 15 subjects with localised redness and altered skin, the number of red areas had decreased by 9.50% and the redness index (spot score) had decreased by 7.17% proportional to the uniformity of the skin tone. Measurements were taken at 7, 14 and 28 days.

Sensitive and irritated skins tend to be further weakened if subjected to repeated harmful stimuli. Measuring transepidermal water loss (TEWL) shows whether the skin can maintain its water balance and thereby react correctly to harmful irritant stimuli and retain a good complexion. NioSkin™ HMR reduces TEWL via biochemical mechanisms and by introducing normalising factors and diminishing skin reactions to irritant stimuli (See Tab. 5).

Table 5 – TEWL test
Measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by continuously applying a O/W emulsion with 2% NioSkin™ HMR vs the same placebo emulsion on the skin of the forearm of 12 healthy subjects for 28 consecutive days. Measurements were taken at 7, 14 and 28 days.
Results: after 28 consecutive days of treatment, TEWL was reduced by 18.50% compared with the control.

Skin elasticity is an indicator not only of the ageing process, but also, and more importantly, of the skin’s ability to bounce back after responding to dehydrating and harmful stimuli and retain its integrity and function. Daily use of NioSkin™ HMR for 28 days significantly improves parameters of elasticity, such as the Young’s Modulus (see Tab. 6), retraction time and viscoelasticity (data not shown).

Table 6 – Young’s Modulus test
Measurement of the ratio of stress to tension that can be exerted on the skin following the application of a O/W emulsion with 2% NioSkin™ HMR vs the control on the skin of the forearm of 12 healthy subjects for 28 consecutive days. Measurements were taken at 7, 14 and 28 days.
Results: after 28 days, the Young’s Modulus was reduced by 13.98%, compared with the control.

Thanks to the combination with its aglyconic lignan phytocomplex, HMR has a global effect on normalising both young and ageing skin, slowing structural degeneration and delaying ageing, which increases when used on sensitive skin.

NioSkin™ HMR can be used to produce colourless cosmetic emulsions, solutions and suspensions with a pleasing texture, superior cosmeceutical proprieties and an efficacy profile that make it ideal for intensive treatments as well as preventing and treating sensitisation, especially for older skin.

NioSkin™ HMR, an invaluable, effective, natural ally for irritated skin.

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