African skins have the reputation to produce more sebum and therefore to require skincare products adapted to their specific needs. Indeed, the overproduction of sebum and resulting shininess are a common concern when it comes to African skin. “This skin also has a different composition of sebum and skin lipids, and shininess can be more pronounced,” explains BASF Care Chemicals in a release. According to the Germany-based supplier of personal and home care ingredients, “while 35 percent of people worldwide grapple with oily skin, the topical solutions available are often not suitable for African type of skin.”
Reducing sebum production
Oily skin is a result of hyperactive glands that produce sebum. The causes of this hyperactivity are manifold, ranging from hormonal changes, to environmental factors (e.g. weather or air pollution) and lifestyle (e.g. consumption of alcohol, a diet rich in dairy products and sugar).
Launched at the beginning of this year, Bix’Activ  reduces sebum production by restraining the proliferation of sebocytes in sebaceous glands.
In addition, it blocks the signal that induces hyper-keratinization and helps to refine pores as a result. Because it also keeps microbiome virulence at bay, the agent also helps in reducing skin blemishes, BASF claims.
A placebo-controlled clinical study demonstrated the capacity of Bix’Activ to decrease the number of active sebaceous glands by more than 50 percent, and the follicular sebum excretion rate to fall by more than 70 percent.
Tested on African skins
Lately, BASF has also checked the efficacy of Bix’Activ on oily African skins.
An in-vivo study performed in 2018, had already demonstrated the ability of Bix’Activ to decrease sebaceous gland activity, pore size and skin imperfection in an Asian population. A new placebo-controlled clinical study conducted in Mauritius has now confirmed the efficacy of Bix’Activ for the unique characteristics of the African skin type, too. “The study showed a decrease in sebum excretion to the skin surface by 44 percent and an 11 percent reduction in shininess compared to the first day of the study (D0),” BASF claims.
Furthermore, in a self-assessment, a significant majority of volunteers reported an improvement in their skin’s appearance. For instance, 93 percent perceived their skin to be less oily, while 90 percent felt their skin looked healthier.
100% natural ingredient
An extract of Red Lip Tree (Bixa Orellana) seeds, the active ingredient conforms to the COSMOS standard for natural and organic cosmetics and is suitable for use in NATRUE-certified formulations.
The development of customized personal care products for African type skins is part of BASF’s overall strategy to develop consumer-oriented solutions for the sub-Saharan African beauty market. Earlier this year, the supplier of personal care ingredients opened a R&D centre in Nigeria to better address the skin and hair care needs of African consumers.