Behind Lemeur: Quick Tour of the Science

Behind Lemeur: Quick Tour of the Science

Who would not want healthy and youthful skin? 

As we strive in achieving that perfect glow, it is also important that we know the science behind the skincare regimen that we use. Here at Lemeur, we provide a science-based approach in creating our products to effectively assist you in restoring and maintaining your skin’s health and beauty. 

Now, let’s have a quick tour of the science behind the Lemeur products. 

Our skin and why we need to take good care of it .

As we get older, our skin’s inherent antiaging properties and strong protection against a number of environmental stresses decreases. Alterations in skin physiology such as epidermal and dermal conditions like the density and quality of the extracellular matrix, the distribution of cells within connective tissue, the appearance of cornified cells at the skin surface, and variations in skin’s natural fluorescence lead to a number of visible skin conditions, including xerosis, acne, and abnormal pigmentation. Furthermore, our skin’s defense system also weakens through time, slowing down some critical processes while increasing the breakdown rate of key constituents. To address these problems, a sound and well-informed skincare regimen is necessary to supplement the nutrition our skin needs.

Lemeur key ingredients: no magic, just science! 

Here at Lemeur, we use seven natural plant extracts as our key ingredients. Let’s have a quick look! 

  1. Aloe vera 

Aloe vera (synonyms: Aloe barbadensis) is a natural product that is frequently used in the field of cosmetology nowadays. Regarded by the Greeks as the universal panacea, Aloe vera is popularly known for its health, medicinal, and skincare properties. This plant has more than 75 potentially active constituents including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins, and salicylic acids. It contains polyphenolic compounds that act as antioxidants to inhibit free radical-mediated cytotoxicity and lipid peroxidation. Its natural properties and compounds make aloe useful in retaining skin moisture and integrity. Moreover, it has mucopolysaccharides, amino acids, zinc, and water which can potentially prevent skin ulcers. Clinical trials show that the plant has anti-inflammatory, skin protection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic, and wound healing properties. 

  1. Centella asiatica 

Centella asiatica or Gotu kola is a perennial herb that grows primarily in Asia. Its extracts contain natural bioactive substances that exhibit anti-inflammatory activity and skin hydration. C. asiatica’s astounding effect on the skin is no magic as it contains active compounds such as pentacyclic triterpenes, mainly asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic and madecassic acids. Research shows that it can be used effectively in treating photoaging skin, cellulite, and striae. The plant’s constituents stimulate fibroblast proliferation and increase the synthesis of collagen and intracellular fibronectin content which improves the tensile strength of newly formed skin and inhibits the inflammatory phase of hypertrophic scars and keloids. Thus, C. asiatica is effective in improving the treatment of small wounds, hypertrophic wounds as well as burns, psoriasis, and scleroderma. 

  1. Coconut 

Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is one of the traditionally used moisturizers for centuries now in the tropical region. Coconut oil is a non-fragrant plant extract that has high fatty acid constituents such as linoleic acid and lauric acid, known to have antibacterial properties and moisturizing effects. When applied to the skin, virgin coconut oil promotes wound healing through faster epithelization. Histopathological studies revealed that the compounds present in coconut oil increase neovascularization, fibroblast proliferation, pepsin-soluble collagen synthesis, and turnover of collagen in wounds. Among the fatty acid components of coconut oil, 50% is composed of monolaurin. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride derived from lauric acid that displays antimicrobial activity by disintegrating the lipid membrane of lipid-coated bacteria. Additionally, topical coconut oil protects the skin from UV radiation.

  1. Houttoynia cordata 

The plant Houttoynia cordata is an aromatic medicinal herb that is a common component of many medicine-based skincare products. It provides ultimate hydration to the skin and mitigates skin problems. H. cordata is known for its proven efficacy against oxidative stress and inflammation. Extract of this plant possesses free radical scavenging activity accounting for its antioxidant properties. On the other hand, its phytoconstituents such as afzelin, hyperoside, and quercitrin are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. Nutrient-rich H. cordata extract aids in achieving hydrated, healthy, and glowing skin. 

  1. Mint 

Mint is a medicinally important plant that belongs to the Family Lamiaceae. Its leaves possess an array of strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent inflammation and cure acne. Mint leaves extract is clinically proven to have antioxidant properties as it contains rosmarinic acid that helps in hydrating the skin and prevents free radical damage that potentially delays the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines. Mint extract rejuvenates the skin through a topical application as its components boost blood circulation which ensures well-nourished skin. 

  1. Saussurea involucrata 

Extracts from the roots of Saussurea involucrata or Snow lotus have shown anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-fatigue, and anti-aging effects. Research data show that S. involucrata extracts potentially reduce skin damage by decreasing lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is an oxidative process wherein free radicals steal electrons from lipids in cell membranes, which consequently results in cell damage. Moreover, S. involucrata exerts potent anti-aging effects via antioxidative mechanisms and also maintains endogenous antioxidant enzymatic activities stabilizing mitochondrial activity. 

  1. Grapes 

The 3As of grape seed extracts: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. Vitis vinifera or more colloquially known as grapevine is one of the high value cultivated plants that is being utilized for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Grape seeds contain a wide range of biologically active components proven for their ability to neutralize the adverse effects of free radicals. The grape seed hydroethanolic extract is rich in polyphenols (proanthocyanidins) which have antioxidant and scavenging activities. Scientific reports also show that proanthocyanidins potentially improve chloasma in a short period of administration. More interestingly, when grape seed extract is applied to the skin prior to UV light exposure, its compounds reduce redness and damage to cells just as how sunscreens work. Topical application also results in contraction and closure of the skin wound.

Other key ingredients 

AHAs and BHAs 

For decades now, hydroxy acids (HAs) or commonly known as fruit acids are being widely utilized in skin treatments. There are two main classes of HAs: alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). These skincare components are clinically proven to be effective in reversing the effects of photoaging and in improving wrinkles, skin elasticity, tone, and hydration. 

AHAs 

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally-occurring organic acids that include glycolic acid (GA), citric acid (CA), malic acid (MA), tartaric acid (TA), and lactic acid (LA). AHAs promote exfoliation by interfering with the ionic bonding between epidermal cells in the stratum corneum. Exfoliation then removes excess corneocyte build-up that stimulates cell turnover, resulting in a more polished, smoother, translucent surface. Other remarkable effects of AHAs to the skin include improvement of the subcutaneous barrier functions, increase in epidermal proliferation and thickness, and restoration of hydration and pursiness through an increase in hyaluronic acid. Through these mechanisms, AHAs are very promising in terms of achieving softer and smoother skin with faded wrinkles and lightened age spots. 

BHAs 

Just like AHAs, BHAs such as salicylic acid are chemical exfoliators except that BHAs are oil soluble. Being oil-soluble, the structure of BHAs allows them to penetrate into the skin via the sebaceous follicles. This makes BHAs appropriate for patients with oily skin and open comedones. Additionally, BHAs exert anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which make them an effective acne treatment. 

Glutathione 

Glutathione is commonly referred to as the “systemic skin lightening molecule” known for its strong antioxidant with additional anti-melanogenic properties. It is a tripeptide consisting of cysteine, glycine, and glutamate that protects thiol protein groups from oxidation. It also plays a vital role in cellular detoxification for the maintenance of the cell environment. 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C primarily functions for the protection of the skin against different environmental factors such as solar radiation, pollution, and smoking which accelerate skin damage via the generation of oxidative stress. Alongside its antiaging and photoprotective effects, vitamin C also acts as the primary replenisher of vitamin E, a lipophilic antioxidant that protects cell membranes against oxidative stress and maintains the collagen network in the skin. Normally, human skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C to support salient functions such as stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage. However, despite being present in significantly high concentrations, only a small fraction of vitamin C is biologically available and active in the skin. This means that external supplementation as in topical application is needed to provide enough Vitamin C for the normal and healthy functioning of the skin.

Prepared by: 

Jomari C. Domingo 

A freelance academic writer and researcher. He earned his degree in the field of biotechnology from the University of the Philippines Los Banos. He also earned 7th place in the 2018 Licensure Examination for Agriculturists. Apart from conducting experiments in the field of molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology, he is also an experienced researcher and scientific writer. 

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