BASF’s new skin care ingredient is based on sacran, a natural giant molecular polysaccharide extracted from Aphanothece sacrum, an algae living in clear spring waters in Japan. Sacran has long been known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

In order to take advantage of these exceptional properties and harness its potential, sacran has been integrated into a MicroPatch, consisting of the natural bio-polysaccharides pullulan, alginate, and hyaluronic acid, to form Sacred Patch. According to BASF, the new ingredient works in three ways: it offers an instantly perceptible uplift in mood once applied to the skin, helps to soothe sensitive skin, and provides strong moisturization properties. According to ISO 16128, Sacred Patch is 99.2% of natural origin.

Mood-targeted beauty

BASF scientists have discovered that the polysaccharide helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, a neuropeptide and wellness mediator. The new active ingredient has been shown ex vivo to help stimulate the release of oxytocin in human skin explants by as much as 40%. Comprehensive in vivo testing confirmed that the molecular patch had a positive emotional effect immediately after application: 93% of the volunteers associated the use of Sacred Patch with tenderness, 90% with joy and happiness, and 61% with desire.

Soothing sensitive skin

One of the causes of skin sensitivity is an overreaction to external stimuli such as irritants or microorganisms. It can be exacerbated if unwanted invaders manage to penetrate the skin. Once inside, the irritants cause the epidermal cells to produce inflammatory messengers such as interleukin IL-8.

In an in vitro test conducted on human keratinocytes infected by Staphylococcus aureus, Sacred Patch was shown to help significantly reduce inflammation by 93% compared to an untreated control. The active thus demonstrably helps to comfort irritated skin.

Immediate and intense moisturization

Disruptions within the skin barrier can lead to dehydration, contributing to a variety of unwanted skin conditions including discomfort, fine lines and wrinkles, and dull, flaky skin. To fight this phenomenon, BASF’s MicroPatch product forms a protective, comforting mesh on the surface of sensitive skin to prevent water evaporation. Furthermore, thanks to Sacran water-attracting properties, Sacred Patch helps to increase the skin’s natural water retention capacity, keeping it hydrated. Tested ex vivo on human skin biopsies, Sacred Patch has been proven to offer immediate moisturization of the upper layers of the epidermis, lasting until at least 6 hours after application. Clinical tests confirmed this result: study participants rated the moisturizing and soothing effect of an emulsion containing Sacred Patch at 2% with a score of at least four out of five after eight hours and 14 days of application.

The patch technology is a result of BASF’s dual expertise in natural macromolecules and the controlled release of active ingredients. It forms the basis for a range of products in the company’s active ingredients portfolio, including PatcH2O that offers immediate and long-lasting hydration for skin scalp, MicroPatch Caffeine that helps to improve cellulite and decrease dark circles under the eyes, and the moisturizing MicroPatch Serine. BASF plans to further expand its product range based on the MicroPatch technology in the future.