Many products will claim to hydrate, smooth, and tighten sagging skin – but what good is this if it’s only true for one skin type? This is why inclusivity is a key concept in beauty today. Its meaning is expanding, and now, it’s so much more than, say, offering a broad range of foundation tones. It’s about acknowledging the impact that traditional knowledge and remedies have on beauty.
These narratives invoke the heritage and culture of more identities, making the product more relatable. Moreover, traditional, recognizable ingredients also forge connections with health and wellness. Consumers associate these ingredients with safety – which is more important to consumers than ever. Post-pandemic, 27% of consumers are paying more attention to ingredients than a year ago (Mintel, 2020).
In response to these evolving consumer demands, Provital developed Ethicskin. Created with raw materials sourced in collaboration with the eco-ethical initiative Mujeres y Ambiente, in Queretaro, Mexico, this formula speaks to the need for natural, healthy beauty products informed by traditional knowledge.
Harnessing soothing remedies from Mexico
The key ingredient in EthicskinTM is Heterotheca inuloides, more commonly known as arnica mexicana. This small yellow flowering plant is native to Mexico and most abundant in temperate areas in the central region of the country. Traditionally, it is also called Cuateteco and it is highly valued for its anti-inflammatory properties, either applied topically or ingested as a tea. These benefits – and other newly discovered activities – have been confirmed by the scientific team at Provital and the University of Querétaro, and subsequently, applied to skincare.
This is because of the plant’s broad-spectrum benefits. These come as a result of its remarkable action on both keratinocytes and fibroblasts, which are directly involved in various processes that impact aging, including epidermal hydration, microbiota regulation, glycation oxidative stress, and the so called “inflammaging”. This occurs via the modulation of the expression of various genes directly related to specific endogenous pathways.
This action was confirmed via several in vitro tests, which revealed that EthicskinTM stimulated skin cells towards a multifunctional gene expression profile. For example, EthicskinTM was found to upregulate Hyaluronan synthase 1 (HAS1) by 289%. This is an essential enzyme for hyaluronic acid synthesis, whose great water-binding capacity forms a porous gel that can tighten sagging skin and ensure the diffusion of metabolites and nutrients.
Equally, EthicskinTM was found to stimulate antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as β-defensins and cathelicidin. In addition to antimicrobial activity, these compounds have been reported to stimulate the expression of tight junction proteins and the transcriptional repression of pro-inflammatory genes – and therefore contributing to increase skin firmness and diminish the “inflammaging” process.
Comprehensive trials for truly inclusive beauty
The in vivo trials yielded promising results – but to create a truly inclusive beauty product, you need to ensure broad-spectrum benefits translate to a broad spectrum of skin types. As a result, all in vivo assessments were performed on a multi-ethnic panel of 71 female and male Caucasian, African, Asian, and Latino volunteers. Positive trends for all the measured parameters were already seen after only 14 days of treatment, and the improvements continued to increase up until the end of the treatment.
Aside from the many tests performed to assess the broad ranging benefits of this ingredient, to better study its effect on skin firmness, Uf measurements were taken at 30 different points distributed around the face. By means of a color scale for Uf values, Provital was able to create, for the first time, colored facial mapping for fitness. This allowed the positive evolution of the global firming effect on the face to be visualized.
Tighten sagging skin – no matter the skin type
These trials provided empirical evidence that EthicskinTM not only enhances the proper dermal function but can also tighten sagging skin, creating a visibly younger-looking appearance – and this is but one of its benefits. With a positive impact on hydration, microbiota balance, and radiance, EthicskinTM is a wholly multi-functional ingredient.
This was the case for all skin types, demonstrating Provital’s commitment to truly inclusive beauty. Influenced by traditional, sustainably sourced medicinal plants, EthicskinTM responds to the demand for an expanded definition of inclusive beauty – one that harnesses tradition to create products that promote wellness.