Saponaria pumila is an extremophile plant of alpine mountains that survived the last ice age by moving to rare ice-free peaks called nunataks. Constantly exposed to cold and high amounts of UV, this plant developed protecting and repair mechanisms that enabled it to adapt to its challenging environment.
Plant stem cells for skin stem cells
The development of the innovative PhytoCellTec™ technology made possible to grow plant stem cells on a large scale. It also became possible to effectively cultivate rare and protected plants like the Saponaria pumila and to make them available for cosmetics for the first time.
Mibelle Biochemistry was able to show in extensive studies the capacity of PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® to maintain the regenerative potential of human dermal stem cells despite UV. This protective effect led to an increase in skin elasticity, firmness and density already after 4 weeks’ treatment.
Thanks to the PhytoCellTec™ technology, the survival potential of the extremophile Saponaria pumila plant can be transferred to the cells of our skin in order to protect the latter against daily environmental challenges which are the main cause of skin aging.
Protects dermal stem cells against UV stress
Cultures of human dermal stem cells were treated with PhytoCellTec™ nunatak®, while others were left untreated. The cultures were then exposed to UVA and UVB rays. The capacity of the stem cells to grow in colonies and form three-dimensional spheres was then measured. The results showed that UV radiation strongly reduced the number of spheres that were formed. Treatment with PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® was found to protect against irradiation as the sphere number was 35 % higher compared to the unprotected control (figure 1).
Increase of skin density
The dermal tissue structure of forearms from volunteers with sun-damaged skin was visualized by ultrasonography before and after treatment with PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® (figure 2). In the ultrasonographic images the dermis appears in bright colours, whereas the so-called subepidermal low echogenic band (SLEB) produces dark patches. This SLEB is the result of a disrupted architecture of the dermis and commonly found in aged and photo-damaged skin. Results clearly show, that a 28 days treatment with PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® reduces the SLEB and significantly improves the dermal tissue density (figure 3).
Increase of skin elasticity and firmness
The effects of PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® on skin elasticity and firmness were demonstrated in a clinical study including 20 volunteers with sun-damaged skin, average age 53.5. A cream with 0.4% PhytoCellTec™ nunatak® was applied to the inner side of their forearms twice daily for 28 days. Results showed a significant increase of both parameters compared to initial conditions. In particular, the increase in firmness was especially high - more than 14 % compared to the placebo after just one month of treatment (figure 4).