Proteins? Yes, Proteins are the main components of your daily use of cosmetics products. Here are some applications Of Proteins In Cosmetics.Proteins are highly complex substances that occur in all living organisms. They are directly responsible for the chemical and biological processes that are fundamental to life. The word protein derived from the Greek word ‘prōteios,’ which means “holding first place” – displaying its importance for every life. They work on the cellular level in regulating, structuring, and functioning to maintain healthy tissues and organs.
Proteins are hundreds or thousands of smaller blocks of amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins and peptides, which have a specific role in our bodies. 20 different amino acids are significant to our body, and the different complexes made from these amino acids are proteins and peptides. (Although it can’t be specified all the functions of a protein from its amino acids sequence)
Proteins are species-specific, meaning; the proteins of one species differ from those of another species. Likewise, they are organ-specific within the same body – muscle proteins differ from those of the brain or skin. These characteristics of protein have piqued interest in health care society, and recently there is a lot of buzz of ‘protein use’ in cosmetics.
Years of research have shown that proteins play a substantial role in maintaining the health of skin and hair. Therefore proteins are used in a range of cosmetics products, including emulsions, gels, shampoos, conditioners, and creams. Different proteins have different results on your skin and hair; hence there are varieties of applications using proteins or peptides in cosmetics. Here are few popular applications –
There are three main structural proteins in your skin collagen, elastin, and keratin. Recently they have entered the mainstream cosmetic industry for their considerable benefits for skin, hair, and body. Their applications range from consumables products to topical applications and are extremely popular among the masses.
Applications of Collagen – Your skin constitutes more than 75% of collagen; it is one of the most durable proteins in the body. It gives skin strength, elasticity, and hydration. When you are young, your skin feels youthful and plump due to the proper synthesis and presence of abundant collagen levels in your body. As you start aging, collagen synthesis slows down, which leads to the formation of lines, wrinkles, and dry skin.
Collagen powders or supplements and skin-care formulations are part of an anti-aging routine. Collagen acts as humectants, keeping skin hydrated and moisturized. Wound healing is the other function of collagen; it forms scaffold-like layers on the damaged tissue and seals off scars. Hence, using collagen to treat acne scars and marks is the latest therapy sought by dermatologists for acne treatments. In the last few years, collagen fillers were immensely popular in cosmetic procedures, including skin lifting, wrinkles elimination, lip, and cheek fillers.
Applications of Elastin – Your skin constitutes 2% of total elastin protein alongside collagen; both are important to keep the skin resilient. Elastin helps keep skin-tight yet flexible, providing bounce-back action when pulled. It also maintains the smoothness of skin in stretching activities like smiling, laughing, eating, or tugging.
The elasticity of the skin is lost after exposure to sun damage, diseases, or old age. The breaking down of elastin causes the skin to sag and form wrinkles and lines. Elastin formulations are present in skin creams and serums, but they are more effective if consumed.
Elastin peptides are excellent supplements; they consist of purified, hydrolyzed marine elastin. They protect elastin fibers by inhibiting enzyme elastase activity, which functions as a protease, meaning it breaks down proteins. Elastin also promotes biosynthesis of new elastin and collagen fiber, resulting in skin proliferation.
Applications of Keratin – The role of keratin protein is to keep skin firm and flexible. Your hair makes up almost 95% of proteins, keratin being the main constituent. It is also a protective protein and is less prone to tearing or grafting. Since keratin is the structural foundation of hair, people believe that these keratin products, cosmetic treatments, or supplements can help strengthen your hair.
The treatments are done by overlapping keratin-rich creams over damaged hair to give a smoother, healthier, and glossier look to your hair. In theory, hair cuticles can absorb keratin, which promotes healthy hair. Other cosmetic products like shampoos, serums, and conditioners do claim to make damage-resistant and repair dry hair. The keyword you want to look for is keratin hydrolysates.
Applications of amino acids – Since amino acids are building blocks of proteins, they have a principal share and importance in the cosmetic industry. Today there are tailor-made amino acids and protein cosmetics products for an individual’s special needs. You can get a custom protein expression service to get maximum effects for your skin and hair. Here are a few amino acids which are prominent in cosmetics.
- Arginine – Repairs visible skin damage.
- Histidine – Has antioxidant property and soothes skin.
- Cysteine – promotes hair growth and strong skin.
- BCAA – Branched-chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis.
- Methionine – Neutralizes skin damaging substances.
- Lysine – Makes skin firm.
- Glutathione – Supports skin-lightening.
- L-Glutamine – Optimizes skin cell functions.
Applications of plant proteins – There are various ranges of plant proteins that make a great substitute to animal or milk protein. They are suitable for vegans or lactose-intolerant people. Lately, plant proteins have aggressively taken over the world of protein products as they are very safe for use and consumption.
The amino acids and proteins are hydrolyzed into the smaller component, which is easy to absorb into the skin. Hence the name “hydrolyzed plant protein.” Their cosmetics applications are to provide – conditioning, smoothing, moisturizing, rejuvenating, increasing elasticity of the skin, reducing inflammation, boosting collagen production, reverse the damage of skin and hair, etc.
The popular hydrolyzed plant proteins are – Soy, Almond, Sesame, Barley, Hemp, Wheat, Quinoa, Chia, Pea, etc.
Applications of milk proteins – Milk proteins are commonly used to provide luxurious benefits to sensitive and dry skin types. They have excellent softening and moisturizing properties due to the presence of all essential amino acids. The milk proteins are also available in the hydrolyzed form and are of two types’ casein and whey.
Applications of silk proteins – They are extravagant proteins derived from silk amino acids, namely sericin and fibroin. They have excellent moisture preservation properties and used as additives in skin and hair products. Silk proteins provide a protective barrier and silk texture to a range of cosmetic products such as lotions, soaps, lubricants, lipsticks, etc. Currently, milk proteins are the best raw materials in cosmetics and are very safe for human use.
Without the presence of proteins and amino acids, living organisms probably wouldn’t sustain. Cosmetic industries are heavily dependent on proteins to make their products suitable to match the needs of their consumers. The latest technologies and trends related to bioactive or naturals are fueling the development of more protein-induced products.