London: A tropical flower has been hailed as the latest weapon against wrinkles, after scientists found that a sugar compound derived from it can actively regenerate skin, making it feel plumper and more elastic.
A team at global cosmetic giant L'Oreal has tested the sugar compound called rhamnose, from Uncaria flower, nicknamed cat claw, on 400 women, after incorporating it in a cream; the chemical is thought to stimulate cells into producing collagen -- the main component of connective tissues such as skin.
Full results have not been published because L'Oreal is waiting for patents to be granted, 'The Daily Telegraph' newspaper reported. Julie McManus, the head of scientific affairs at L'Oreal, the company developing the product, was quoted as telling 'The Sunday Times', "For us. this is a breakthrough, because we have found a compound which can produce an effect on this very important group of cells."
The new generation of treatments have been dubbed "cosmeceuticals" as they're created using research technology from the pharmaceutical industry.
In this case, computer software was used to screen thousands of naturally occurring chemicals to find one that stimulates a specific type of skin cell that produces collagen, say the scientists.
They were then further filtered to see if they were small enough to penetrate through the outer waterproof layer of the skin. It then underwent human trials involving 400 women aged 50 to 70.
Experts are, however, not fully convinced. "No one had ever heard of rhamnose. It was selected by screening thousands of compounds which could have an effect
on fibroblasts (skin cells). We've a separate project looking at skin ageing and we are working with L'Oreal in a way which would have been unthinkable 10 years ago."