INCI:Quercus Alba Bark Extract & Lactobacillus Ferment
Use Levels: 1.0% - 10.0%
Solubility: Water Soluble
Appearance: Hazy Liquid
pH (Direct): 3.5 - 5.5 Tannic Acid Content: 0.95% Minimum ISO 16128 value: - Natural Index (NI): 1
- Natural Origin Index (NOI): 1
The cosmetic market has seen a considerable uptick in the interest of stem cells in the last decade. Trending now, the cosmetic and personal care industries provide stem cell technologies which utilize Meristematic cells, non-differentiating plant stem cells from simple cell extracts with no specific activity. To propel beyond the current offerings on the market, Active Concepts has chosen to use biotic stress, embodied by the sustainable practice of co-culturing of plant stem cells with Leuconostoc sp., to promote the formation of secondary metabolites. This novel approach induces cellular differentiation and provides formulators with the ability to finely customize formulations, specify activity and skin benefits while offering brand distinction. Phyto-Biotics Quercus® capitalizes on specific activity of the phenolic metabolites produced by Quercus alba, or White Oaks, to provide the cosmetic market with a plant-derived, stem cell ingredient designed to impart antioxidant, soothing, antimicrobial and anti-aging benefits while enhancing cellular metabolism.
Interest in stem cell technology was once limited to medical research where scientists investigated cures for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS. Intense media coverage of the controversy surrounding stem cell research pushed the technology into mainstream focus and resulted in a growing consumer-base searching for cosmetics that made stem cell technology claims.
The "new age of anti-aging” is how Cosmetic Design is describing plant stem cell technology, citing Eric Perrier of LVMH as saying plant stem cell extracts are "efficacy in a jar.” The controversy surrounding stem cells has only fueled the interest of cosmetic scientists in search of ingredients that promise to reverse signs of aging. Paving the way, the incarnation of cosmetic plant stem cell technology applications was introduced to the market by Dior and Amatonkin with high-end products that activated endogenous adult stem cells.
What are stem cells though? They are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, which can divide, through mitosis, and differentiate into diverse, specialized cell types. Each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, i.e. a skin cell, muscle cell, red blood cell or a brain cell! Stem cells serve primarily as an internal repair system. These cells can essentially, divide without limit, to replenish other cells or migrate to damaged areas to repair tissue.
Cellular plasticity is a specific characteristic of stem cells. This is the cell’s ability to move from an undifferentiated state to a specific cell type. There are two types of plasticity; pluripotent, cells that can transform from a generic plant or animal cell into many different cell types, and totipotent, cells that can transform into any cell type. Meristemic cells are pluripotent cells found in plants, which, along with stem cells, have the ability to replicate beyond Hayflick’s Limit.
Research shows that plant stem cells can slow skin aging by defending against extrinsic stress, keeping skin looking youthful, longer. This discovery opened the door in cosmetic stem cell research and provided technological advances in the cosmetic industry, as there are no ethical controversies over the use of plant stem cells in contrast to the use of embryonic stem cells. Currently, there are two approaches to stem cells: The stimulation of adult stem cell proliferation and the use of plant stem cells.
There are stem cells located in an area of the dermis referred to as the follicular bulge. These stem cells are capable of differentiating into keratinocytes and epithelial cells. However, our skin contains cells that do more than just product structural proteins and pigments. The dermis also exhibits neuronal and immunological activity. Unfortunately, enhancing the proliferation of stem cells found at the follicular bulge will not improve the other activities produced by the dermis.
The use of plant stem cells, or Meristematic cells, is currently the most popular form of stem cell technology. This technology, which uses non-differentiated cells from simple cell extracts, provides no specific activity and therefore cannot be used to provide specific cosmetic benefits. To separate from the competition and project ourselves into the future, we conceptualized the idea of using biotic stress to induce plant secondary metabolites, or differentiation of plant stem cells.
Secondary metabolites are organic compounds that have no fundamental role in the maintenance of the life process of plants. However, these compounds are essential for the plant to interact with its environment, allowing for adaptation, defense and ultimately the ability to survive in less than ideal conditions. Examples of plants producing secondary metabolites can be found in a plant’s floral scent and pigment that have evolved to attract pollinators, enhancing fertilization rates. Some plants are able to synthesize toxic chemicals to ward off pathogens, herbivores or to suppress the growth of neighboring plants. Meanwhile, chemicals found in fruits prevent spoiling and send signals in the form of color, aroma and flavor to animals that eat the fruit and help disperse the seeds.
Not readily thought of as a cosmetic ingredient, the secondary metabolites of White Oak’s are ideal for developing activity-specific plant stem cell materials. There are many species of oak found all of the world, however, Quercus alba, or White Oaks, are found primarily in North America. Due to this trees ability to grow in a variety of environments, White Oaks are susceptible to pathogenic stress like fungi and insects. This is no match for the White Oak, which continues to flourish as a result of the secondary metabolites that have allowed this oak to evolve and ward off potential threats. The phenolic compounds, or secondary metabolites, produced by Quercus alba act as antimicrobials and antioxidants, in addition to promoting anti-aging by acting as a scavenger or Reactive Oxygen Species and providing soothing benefits.
Historically, the Romans used White Oak Bark as a medicinal treatment for chronic stomach issues and hemorrhages. Listed in the Unites States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1919 and the National Formulary from 1916 to 1936, White Oak Bark was traditionally used by Native Americans and European settlers for its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. White Oak Bark has high constituents of the phenolic compounds, tannins and quercin. With potent astringent properties, White Oak Bark Extract is known to help absorb toxins and sooth irritated, swollen skin. With natural antimicrobial properties, White Oak Bark Extracts are often used in topical applications to treat skin issues, specifically bacterial and viral infections.
The secondary metabolites, or phenolic metabolites, of interest from Quercus alba are tannins. Ellagitannins are a type of tannin known to have potent antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-parisitical properties. Additionally, tannins have been shown to remove damaging oxidants and free radicals, making them ideal for anti-aging and protectant cosmetic applications. Additionally, ellagitannins may increase the cellular regeneration, resulting in faster recovery time for damaged cells. Furthermore, tannins are useful for imparting soothing benefits because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
The destruction of plants continues to pose a major threat to the plant species. Commercially, the medicinal and cosmetic use of plant secondary metabolites involves isolating these organic compounds through solvent extraction of the naturally grown, whole plant. With the possibility of extinction at any given time, the development of alternative and complimentary methods to whole plant extract for the production of these organic compounds, particularly for commercial purposes, is an issue of considerable socioeconomic importance. By using cell cultures, industries can grow numerous plants, creating a sustainable source of plant extracts without disrupting the environment.
As previously mentioned, using solvent extraction from a naturally grown, a whole plant is environmentally damaging. In order to sustainably source the necessary phenolic metabolites, sourced from tannic acid, we grow Quercus alba, or White Oaks, in cell culture. Using biotic stress, specifically pathogenic stress via Leuconostoc sp., our formulators created Phyto-Biotics Quercus® by inducing the production of tannic acid to create a plant stem cell product ideal for anti-aging cosmetic applications.
In studies, secondary metabolites have been observed in much higher concentrations in cultured cells than in whole plants of the same species. Perhaps this is due to plant’s ability to synthesize a remarkable variety of secondary metabolites in order to adjust their metabolic activities as a response to biotic and/or abiotic stress. Inducing secondary metabolites through biotic, pathogenic stress, specifically in the presence of bacteria, we have found a way to provide the market with the differentiation of plant stem cells for brand differentiation and multiple cosmetic benefits; Phtyo-Biotics Quercus®.
Storage: Store in a dry place at temperatures not exceeding 32°C. Based on stability studies, the optimum storage temperature for maximization of shelf life is 23 - 25°C.
However, it may be stored at temperatures between 16 and 32°C if such specific temperature control is not available. Do not freeze.
Shelf life: 12 months, properly stored, in sealed container.
**This product should be added to a formulation at the recommended usage rate**