Protection for Skin and Hair - Wacker Chemie AG


Protection for Skin and Hair

Ultraviolet radiation, stress and environmental toxins take their toll on cells. The cosmetics industry has therefore been searching for ingredients that help prevent oxidative aging processes. WACKER has introduced a highly effective antioxidant – hydroxytyrosol – in Brazil, one of the most challenging cosmetic markets in the world.

In the lab, a human hair sample is sprayed with hydroxytyrosol and then exposed to ultraviolet light. When compared to an untreated sample, the treated sample shows that the active ingredient prevents hair from fading and bleaching out.

Beauty plays a big role in Brazil. Beauty salons can be found on every street corner, even in the poorest parts of Brazilian cities. Nowhere else in the world does such a large proportion of the country’s females – and increasingly, males – put their fate in the hands of plastic surgeons. “For us, beauty is basically well-being,” says Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, the most renowned plastic surgeon in the country, whose prominent patients include Austrian car racer Niki Lauda, whom Pitanguy operated on after his terrible accident in 1976.

Brazil is not only the high temple of plastic surgery, but also the world’s third largest market for cosmetics and hair and bodycare products. Last year, the country, with a population of 203 million, spent approximately US$33 billion on beauty products promising youthful skin and thick, healthy hair. The international cosmetics and bodycare industry is increasingly searching for ingredients that are not only decorative but also have a preventive effect.

“There is demand, for example, for substances that prevent UV radiation from damaging skin and hair, thereby guarding against wrinkles, skin aging and hair damage,” says Simone Trautz, business development manager at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.