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Ingredients & formulation

Clariant develops a sustainably-sourced mulberry root active ingredient for well-aging skincare

Clariant is launching a white mulberry tree root extract that helps to protect the skin matrisome in order to maintain its youth. Developed in the wake of the new partnership with French biotechnology company Plant Advanced Technologies (PAT), Prenylium contains a high content of prenylated flavonoids for a stronger efficacy.

Prenylium, the first product unveiled thanks to Clariant’s new partnership with Plant Advanced Technologies (PAT), is a Morus alba tree root extract designed to protect the skin matrisome [1] from degradation that occurs with time and UV exposure. According to Clariant, it also helps prevent signs of aging by visibly reducing the appearance of existing wrinkles and smoothing skin.

Eco-friendly process

Unveiled at Cosmetagora, the B2B event dedicated to the formulation of cosmetic products which took place in Paris last week, the new ingredient is produced by PAT’s patented Plant Milking Technology, which explores generally inaccessible plant parts - the roots - without killing the tree and allows for the production of rare compounds at an industrial scale.

Clariant launches Prenylium - a sustainably-sourced root-powered active (...)

Clariant launches Prenylium - a sustainably-sourced root-powered active ingredient for premium well-aging skincare. (Photo: PAT)

The process is based on aeroponic, soilless system that stimulates roots to produce targeted molecules in higher quantities than those found in their natural environment. Roots are cut and collected several times a year from the same plant to harvest the molecules without destroying the plant culture; the roots can regrow multiple times.

Higher concentration

In the case of Prenylium, the technology allowed to obtain a higher concentration in prenylated flavonoids (more than 2,000% higher than the content found in traditional Morus alba, white mulberry, root extracts, according to Clariant). “This class of bioactive compounds has a higher affinity with cellular membranes and better interaction with biological targets of interest when compared to the non-prenylated flavonoids more commonly present at a high level in nature. As a result, biological efficacy is higher,” said the ingredient manufacturer.

Quick and noticeable results

Tested in vitro, Prenylium was able to modulate expression of CCN1, thus rebalancing the equilibrium between collagen synthesis and degradation. According to Clariant, all the active compounds of Prenylium were also shown to inhibit the collagenase enzyme activity, the enzyme inducing collagen damage.

In addition, quick and noticeable results were seen at the clinical level, in particular regarding the reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, improvement in skin smoothness and plumping effect. A group of 22 females with wrinkles, aged from 45 to 70 years old, applied a product twice a day containing 1% of Prenylium versus a placebo in a double-blind randomized study. Results were analysed after four and eight weeks of application and demonstrated time-dependent wrinkle reduction: deepest wrinkles were reduced by -12.7% after 4 weeks and by -16.6% after 8 weeks. Data also revealed good improvements in smoothness and skin plumping.

Prenylium’s variety of benefits make it suitable for a wide range of applications, including anti-aging creams, plumping serums, dermal matrix prevention care, rejuvenation night creams, and smoothing products,” said Clariant.



[1The skin matrisome is the set of all genes coding for elements contributing to matrix integrity and skin physiology.

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