Earth Day, a little help for our Planet!

Earth-DayWe are now entering the 46th year of Earth Day, the occasion that constantly attracts the interest of critical and eco-friendly consumption. Several challenging ideas and good actions are on the table to ignite passion and motivate people to action in saving our Planet. In 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness: channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, earth day movement continues to lead with groundbreaking ideas and with the power of a simple example: TREES for the EARTH, let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth! Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable. Among principal goals of Earth Day, there is the need to promote a major consciousness in the citizens with respect to purchases and life-style. Hoping that the decision makers will be guided by means of strict criteria of social and economic sustainability.

In our own small way, how can we contribute to the main goal of environmental protection and promote ethic and eco-friendly consumption?  BeC, as a natural cosmetics company, has recently devoted a growing attention toward organic and eco-friendly cosmetics, for this reason we created our organic cosmetics line Terra biocare. Beside having a high amount of ingredients coming from organic farming, the organic cosmetics have low impact on environment during each production process. Indeed, even natural ingredients will not allowed in a certain formulation if they do not guarantee low environmental impact. Such  attention includes packaging materials in the overall supply chain. In eco-friendly cosmetics development, particular attention is paid to the easiness of waste management in the overall supply chain.

On the occasion, we report here an abstract of an interview by CosmesiDoc where we’ve been asked how sustainability issues could be linked to the cosmetic world:

Environmentally conscious consumers address their attention to environmental protection by choosing not only sustainable food but also eco-friendly wellness products. In particular, organic cosmetics are eco-friendly products that represent the harmony between Man and Nature. Our certified organic cosmetic line is directed to everyone who wants to approach a more conscious, ethic and eco-friendly life-style, without sacrificing their efficacy. This very relevant point deserves further attention: if consumers give away their full satisfaction with the efficacy of a certain product, sooner or later they will be disappointed and will change their mind, the will go back looking for something that better meets their actual needs.  It would be a failure! It is important that organic products have good efficacy and fully satisfying performance, in order to be perceived not as a renouncement. The environmentally conscious choice will then be sustainable in the long-term for the consumer… that is really sustainable!

However, BeC commitment to the environment does not deal exclusively with the organic Terra biocare line: since long ago, BeC has been adopting an integrated Quality and Environment Management System, for R&D, production and commercial activities, according to the international standard ISO 9001 (Quality) and ISO 14001 (Environment). The system guarantees the continuous improvement, year by year, of both the performance and the monitoring of environmental impact, prompted by previously achieved results. Among the pursued goals, BeC uses only certified FSC paper as material for secondary packaging of all products. This guarantees the responsible management of forests and the sustainable handling of natural resources.

Environmental protection, ecology and sustainability are the driving forces that have to lead industrial production, from little craft business up to the big industrial firms, wishing more awareness for every actor of the supply chain. Thanks to Earth Day, let’s commit to promoting knowledge and exchange of ideas for an eco-friendly and better future… the Earth will thank us!

Cellulite, how to treat it?

silueCellulite  (or edematous sclerotic – fibrous edematous paniculopathy) is an aesthetic condition characterized by alterations of the subcutaneous tissue, uneven fat distribution and tissue tone loss. Sex, ethnicity, genetic and hormonal disorders, skin thickness and distribution of body fat, along with a lack of fitness and a high-fat diet, are all factors that can influence the formation of cellulite.

A body affected by cellulite presents skin with “orange peel” or “mattress” texture. Several factors may contribute to the appearance of this condition. Fat cells or “adipocytes” tend to increase in volume with subsequent compression of the surrounding blood vessels. The slowing down of blood circulation determines an inflammatory state that limits the request of oxygen and nutritients from the surrounding tissues, thus preventing liquid drainage. The subsequent drop of local temperature contributes to the thickening of fat clusters and it is responsible for the orange peel appearance of the skin. State-of-the-art anti-cellulite cosmetics must contain ingredients that simultaneously counteract the various causes of cellulite’s insurgence, i.e. agents that facilitate water drainage and endow tissues with elasticizing, vasotonic and lipolytic properties.

The dedicated passion of BeC research laboratories for developing effective wellness products gave birth to SiluÈ: the new formulation against cellulite beauty problems. SiluÈ is a rich and fast-absorbing body cream based on all natural ingredients, with a very soft touch and silky texture obtained with no silicones. SiluÈ can used both at day-time and night-time and it gives skin brightness and deep hydration since the first applications, thanks to its unique combination of synergic active principles. SiluÈ activates lipolysis and local lipidic metabolism thanks to extract of Fucus vesiculosus alga [1], rich in iodine and to the extract of Pao Rosa, rich in pterocarpans. The methylxantines, such as theophylline and caffeine[2] contribute to the lipolytic effect in a synergic way, both by enhancing adipocytes’ metabolism and by stimulating fat stock mobilization.

Indeed the 100% natural extract of Pao Rosa from Madagascar (approved by organic certification bodies) boasts diverse beneficial properties: it limits the new formation of fat cells (adipogenesis), inhibits fat stocking into adipocytes (lipogenesis) and increases the lipolytic effect of caffeine. Such a complex and synergic mechanism produces good results in the early stages of cellulite development as well as in more advanced stages.

silue2Anti-oedema and draining actions are obtained by the presence of several essential oils such as Caraway, Juniper, Fennel, Lemon, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary and Clove, endowed with anti-inflammatory properties, too. Such activities also promoted by Centella asiatica extract, rich of triterpenes, and by Fenugreek, rich of polyphenols, both endowed with draining and protective action of blood vessels. Aescin, a triterpenic saponin from Horse chestnut help protect vessels. The essential oils of Thyme, Mint and Rosemary assure homogeneity of blood perfusion and help toxins removal. Besides the lipolytic ingredients with draining and vasotonic activities, SiluÈ contains precious vegetal oils which help skin elasticity. Vitamin E, Sweet Almonds and Jojoba oils, along with Olive Unsaponifiable fraction contribute to increase skin hydration (+46% !)  after only one month of treatment. Moreover, hydrating agents such as Hyaluronate, Saccharide Isomerate and Propandiol contribute with deep moisturizing action.

The good diffusion properties of ingredients from the formulation through stratum corneum assures optimal overall action. Moreover, the exfoliation agents determine a faster cellular turn-over, working through indirect enzymatic mechanism with no irritation. The vegetal lipophylic esters from Willow and Cumin help give silkiness and smoothness to the skin.

Cellulite doesn’t appear in one day and it can’t be removed in two weeks! We do not offer miracles but verified results obtained in our R&D laboratories and confirmed by efficacy tests on human volunteers. Our common goal is to guarantee the real effect… and it works! Let’s take care of our skin’s wellness: this is the key to genuine beauty!

[1] Hexsel D, Orlandi C, Zechmeister do Prado D. Botanical extracts used in the treatment of cellulite. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):866-72; discussion 872.
[2] Herman A, Herman AP. Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2013;26(1):8-14.

Springtime: let’s take care of our hands and feet!

PiediManiHave you ever thought about how hands are important in our life? Hands clearly substitute a missing word in a conversation,  give love with a caress, carry out our daily activities. Our hands powerfully communicate: they are our business card. They barely lie to us about age and they reveal evidently age’s signs, when detracted.

How many times our hands are subjected to continuous injuries? Let’s think about the simple gesture of washing hands with ice-cold water, changing suddenly from warm to frozen places during winter or using harsh detergents in home cleaning activities. After such a harsh treatment, our hand skin become certainly red and dry. Our skin – being the first defense barrier – is made of hydro-lipidic film, which naturally protects our hands from environmental changes but it has a limited resistance. Our hands are more fragile than other body areas due to the limited amount of sebaceous glands, that make them more subjected to dryness. Moreover, they are always exposed to sunlight, also during winter.

You should everyday protect hands from external injuries, re-equilibrating natural hydrolipidic protective film with the aid of a suitable nourishing and moisturizing cream.

The hand cream GlovÉ is a complete wellness treatment for hands with protective, moisturizing and elasticizing action. Precious elements, such as natural ceramides  and  vitamin E along with pure essential oils and  distilled water rich of oligoelements, give elasticity and hydration to the skin tackling redden skin and irritations. With a silky texture and  a gentle non-greasy touch, the hand cream represents an invisible glove that naturally protect hands from external injuries, such as cold, detergent and chemical compounds.

maniepiedi_aprileFeet deserve equally our attention especially during springtime when they usually are exhibited. Even if they are in the spotlights during summertime, they should not be detracted during the rest of the year. In foot reflexology, body shape is compared to a tree: roots correspond to feet, trunk is our spinal column whereas leaves are represented by face. According to this methodology feet maintain the microcosm of human being so that they should be kept stable and healthy. If they are neat and beautiful, they could be appealing, especially when uncovered.

In spite of not being so prominent, feet should paid a special attention too. C.R.P. foot cream is  specifically designed to give relief to tired feet and attenuate problems related to strong dryness, such as hard skin and calluses. Talc, with the absorbing action, reduces abundant sweat whereas Tea Tree oil and the antiseptic essential oils help in protecting feet from mycosis and from excessive bacterial proliferation caused by closes shoes.

Beauty wakes up during springtime! Let’s take time to regenerate and shine our hands and feet with dedicated specific treatments.

Ingredients’ purity: efficacy and safety

I have been frequently come across in cosmetic company websites which excessively boast the importance of purity of vegetal extracts for the efficacy of cosmetic products. I end up with catchy phrases such as “…our cream is the most effective product on the market, because our Ginseng dry extract e is assayed 10% in  ginsenosides differently to the majority of competitors who use 3% assayed Ginseng…”

glass-containers-1205652_1920Well, let’s clarify the topic in two points:

  1. Efficacy is associated both to the extract purity and to the used amount in formulation
  2. If certain extract is assayed in 60% of something, what is the remaining 40%?

The first point is related to the fact that an extract 100% pure could be ideally used. For instance,  using one tenth of a certain ingredient in the formulation means that a less effective product (or with lesser amount of ingredient) it will obtained in comparison to the use of the same amount of the less pure extract. The real amount of the active extract in the final formulation relies on the efficacy of the product.

The second most important point is linked to safety of the cosmetic product: a botanical low-percentage pure extract will contain higher amount of impurities (extraction solvents / not declared components) in comparison to purer extract.

Modern cosmetic science crosses over pharmaceutical field so that we usually talk about cosmeceutics that support the topic that the functional and technical ingredients (commonly known as excipients) play a major role in activity along with the proper active ingredient. For instance, we demonstrated the ability of certain essential oils or fatty acids (from vegetable origin) to behave as enhancers for cutaneous absorption for some hydro- or liposoluble vitamins. The results were published in some relevant scientific journals.[1-4]

Definitely, ingredients’ purity relies on high percentage of the active ingredient: the purer is the extract, the lesser is the room for unknown ingredient and dangerous components (additives, plasticiser, solvents, dyes, etc.) in the formula.

I’d like to highlight the importance of quality and purity of the extracts and active ingredients to be used in cosmetic formulation in order to assure efficacy and safety. At last, don’t be fooled by advertising slogan which reveal meaningless at the end.

[1] S. Gabbanini, E. Lucchi, M. Carli, E. Berlini, A. Minghetti, L. Valgimigli, In vitro evaluation of the permeation through reconstructed human epidermis of essentials oils from cosmetic formulations, J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 50 (2009) 370–376.
[2] S. Gabbanini, R. Matera,  C. Beltramini, A. Minghetti, L. Valgimigli. Analysis of in vitro release through reconstructed human epidermis and synthetic membranes of multi-vitamins from cosmetic formulations J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 52 (2010) 461– 467.
[3] L. Valgimigli, S. Gabbanini, G. Arniani, E. Lucchi. Influence of the lipid-phase composition on the trans-epidermal transfer of vitamin B6 from O/W emulsions. HPC Today, 2013, 8, 24-27.
[4] L. Valgimigli, S. Gabbanini, E. Berlini, E. Lucchi, C. Beltramini and Y.L. Bertarelli. Lemon (Citrus limon, Burm.f.) essential oil enhances the trans-epidermal release of lipid- (A, E) and water- (B6, C) soluble vitamins from topical emulsions in reconstructed human epidermis, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34 (2012) 347–356.