Exploring Natural Products and the Skin

Each of the presentations of the day’s speakers focused upon the abundance of remedies that Mother Nature provides to promote healthy skin and enhancing beauty.

We recently enjoyed a unique experience at The Center for Dermal Research’s Natural Products Day. Each of the presentations of the day’s speakers focused upon the abundance of remedies that Mother Nature provides to promote healthy skin and enhancing beauty. Miri Seiberg of Seiberg Consulting was our keynote speaker. Her discussion began by looking at the historical links to natural sources dating back to ancient Egypt.

Miri pointed out that historically; nature was the only source of remedies for promoting good health as well as providing the basic elements for enhancing beauty. Herbal medicine was used to treat skin conditions, and to cleanse, moisturize and beautify skin and hair, with no awareness of mode of action. Today’s medicines use numerous active agents isolated from botanical sources. There is a strong correlation between traditional and modern therapeutic use. These ingredients have defined chemical structures and known mechanisms of action.

We now see the emergence of a number of Botanical drugs, composed of complex mixtures (e.g. botanical extracts). Many of these are being developed based on a substantial record of prior human use. Similar principals are being adapted to today’s cosmetics, intending to affect the structure or function of tissues for altering appearance and for beautifying, and in many cases centering on historical human experience. This has been defined as a cosmeceuticals category. This hybrid category is backed by scientific understanding, safety assessments and clinical results, is the fastest growing category of today’s cosmetic industry. As time goes by and the market for skin care and cosmetic products grows, skin care companies find themselves under continuous to develop new, safe and innovative products that are able to truly transform the appearance of skin.

Our day was spent discussing the implications of  the rising consumer interest and demand for natural products and how academia and industry can cope with the challenge of understanding the science behind cosmeceuticals.

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