Physical stimuli influence the organism and so do emotional stimuli; all of this induces the release of
Physical stimuli influence the organism and so do emotional stimuli; all of this induces the release of neurotransmitters (neurohormones), substances that convey information between skin and brain.
In recent years, clear dynamic interactions between skin and nervous system have been demonstrated. Such interactions play a role in skin homeostasis, as well as in skin disorders: for example, a stressful situation may induce the release of neurotransmitters affecting hormone production, thus resulting in a hormonal imbalance that eventually worsens acne or produces local hair loss.
The reverse process has also been experimentally demonstrated. Skin stimulation can elicit the release of neurotransmitters influencing mood; for example, a hug or a caress elicit the production of brain substances, which make people feel more comforted and protected.
NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND THE SKIN
Most of the skin cell types have neurotransmitters receptors; the skin itself produces neurotransmitters. β-endorphins are neuropeptides, composed of 35 amino acids, with neurotransmitter action. These compounds have also been called “the chemicals of happiness”, because they produce analgesia and modulate the mood, the emotions and the behavior in a similar way to opioids (morphine, codeine, etc.). Thus, cosmetic active ingredients that increase β-endorphin levels can provide wellness and pleasure, and qualitatively improve skin appearance.
β-endorphin system and the μ opioid receptor are present in human melanocytes and keratinocytes, where they play a role in skin pigmentation; μ opioid receptors have also been identified in cells composing the outer root sheath of hair follicles and in peripheral epithelial cells of sebaceous glands.
A number of internal and environmental factors have been found to influence the activity of the neuroendocrine-skin system. Sunlight is a clear example of this: increased β-endorphin levels after exposure to sunlight have been reported and after irradiation, keratinocytes appear to release β-endorphin amounts large enough to increase blood levels of this neurotransmitter.
Finally, β-endorphin has been related to the keratinocyte differentiation and the wound healing processes: β-endorphin synthesis occurs in the skin and these molecules not only provide wellness, but also influence the skin appearance.
BOTANY AND CHEMISTRY
Rhodiola rosea is a member of the Crassulaceae family. It is a perennial with a thick rhizome, golden outside, pink inside; the yellow blossoms have a rose-like aroma, hence the name rosea.
Analysis of R. rosea chemical composition revealed six groups of active principles:
- Phenylpropanoids: rosavin, rosin, rosarin
- Phenylethanol derivatives: rhodioloside (=salidroside, =rhodosin), tyrosol
- Flavonoids: rhodiolin, rhodionin, rhodiosin, acetylrhodalgin, tricin
- Monoterpenes: rosiridol
- Triterpenes: daucosterol, β-sitosterol
- Phenol acids: chlorogenic, hydroxycinnamic and gallic acids
Roots contain 1.3 to 11.1 mg/g salidroside and 0.3 to 2.2 mg/g p-tyrosol. The dried roots of R. rosea contain 0.05% essential oil.
Antioxidant compounds have also been found in this plant including: tyrosol, organic acids (gallic, caffeic, chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids (catechins and proanthocyanidins).
At present, phenylpropanoids, rhodioloside and tyrosol are considered the essential active compounds in this plant, necessary for its therapeutic activity. Rhodioloside and tyrosol have been identified in all of the studied Rhodiola species. However the rest of the active compounds, including rosavin, rosin and rosarin, have not been found in other Rhodiola species. Because of these differences within the Rhodiola genus, it is very important to verify the species we are dealing with, in order to ensure the medicinal properties.
MOOD IMPROVEMENT: INCREASE OF Β-ENDORPHINS SYNTHESIS
Lishmanov et al. studied the effects of treating rats with R. rosea (1ml/Kg), by measuring serum levels of β-endorphin and other hormones (ACTH, cortisol, insulin, T4 and T3) after termination of the treatment. R. rosea administration increased basal serum levels of β-endorphin in rats. Rhodiola rosea increase β-endorphin levels without significantly modifying the rest of the studied hormonal parameters.
PHYSICAL ENHANCEMENT: PROMOTING ATP SYNTHESIS
Studies have also reported that oral administration of R. rosea promotes mitochondrial ATP synthesis, thus increasing physical work capacity. Rhodiola rosea promotes the synthesis of opioid peptides, thus stimulating central and peripheral receptors, which results in mood improvement and general physical enhancement. Furthermore, the abundant polyphenolic compounds in R. rosea give this plant antioxidant properties that protect the organism against the deleterious effects of free radicals.
COSMETIC PROPERTIES AND APPLICATIONS
HAPPY SKIN by Provital Group is a novel natural active ingredient that produces relaxation, anti-stress and wellness effects upon application on skin and scalp.
Because of its stimulation of β-endorphin production and its antioxidant properties, it can be considered a phytotonic active compound.
HAPPY SKIN is recommended to formulate facial, body and hair care products intended to produce wellness, relaxation and anti-stress effects on skin and hair.
The recommended dose of HAPPY SKIN is between 0.2 and 2.0%.
HAPPY SKIN is distribute in Italy by Giusto Faravelli SpA. For further info: firstname.lastname@example.org