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Mintel reveals unusual new skin care ingredients

By Guy Montague-Jones , 30-May-2008

Mintel has uncovered an array of ingredients that are more commonly associated with the contents of a witch's cauldron than skin care products.

Dipping into its Global New Products Database (GNPD), the market research firm found snake venom, snail slime, breast milk and placenta extracts among the latest offerings from the cosmetics industry. "There are now so many skin care products to choose from and manufacturers increasingly have to look at the world around us in a new light to find bizarre, new ingredients to make their products stand out from the crowd," said Mintel beauty analyst Alexandra Richmond. Reproductive skin care One family of ingredients finding its way into skin care plays on the reproductive benefits and nutritious value of bodily fluids For example, Spermine is an antioxidant normally found in seminal fluid that Norway-based Bioforskning has recreated in a laboratory for its anti-ageing range. The firm claims the nature-identical antioxidant is 20-30 times stronger than vitamin E and offers numerous benefits including delayed cell ageing and UV protection. Sales manager Rita Onvik told CosmeticsDesign.com its strength as an anti-oxidant gives Spermine enormous potential in the industry but its penetrative powers are also important. Bioforskning's website claims: "All research indicates that Spermine is the only antioxidant, which is capable of penetrating the horny layer of the skin (i.e. stratum corneum)." Painful prospect Another group of unusual ingredients targeting the anti-ageing market revolves around the theme of poison and pain. Syence Skin Care Laboratories has turned to the snake to turn back the clock by using a snake venom peptide in its skin cream. The company claims the ingredient works like Botox slowing muscle movement in the face and therefore relaxing wrinkles. Along similar lines China-based Profael Specialty Skin has launched an anti-wrinkle product with bee mucas extract called Nourishment, which is claimed to tighten and smooth the skin. Fishing around The final selection of ingredients highlighted by Mintel are sourced from the murky depths. These include hand cream with shark oil and moisturizer containing squid ink extract. While most of the products in this category are found in the Far East Mintel did discover an anti-ageing cream from Italy-based Angelo Caroli that is formulated with a sunscreen extract from cuttlefish.

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