Biodynamic Cosmetics

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Research by RSC Pharma

The first step taken with Dr Schmidts and RSC Pharma was to begin a series of studies, using tests to verify the effects of OliPhenolia1 on human skin cells.
These tests (numbers 1, 2 and 4 where carried out in vitro on human keratinocyte cell lines, known as HaCaT, a consolidated method) regard four important aspects of the action that olive polyphenols have on skin:

1 - antioxidant
2 - anti-inflammatory
3 - anti-germ
4 - anti-age (regenerative)

Information on the individual studies will be published soon.


Oxidative stress is defined as a metabolic situation characterised by a high concentration of Reactive Oxygen Species, or ROS (the most common free radicals). ROS are harmful for the body due precisely to their reactivity. Oxidative stress accelerates ageing and inflammatory processes. High oxidative stress can damage cell structure; in order to defend itself the body need antioxidants.
Skin cells are continually exposed to ROS and therefore to oxidative stress, especially due to ultraviolet (UV) radiation which is the first cause of ageing and of skin cancer. When the quantity of ROS goes beyond the skin’s defence capacity, oxidative stress develops.

To verify the effects of OliPhenolia on oxidative stress in skin cells, cell lines of human keratinocytes, HaCaT, were tested with:
a) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to induce strong oxidative stress
b) DFCH-DA, a fluorescent molecule that reacts and activates itself in the presence of ROS and allows the quantity to be detected
c) OliPhenolia in different concentrations, 1:250 and 1:500
d) Vitamin C (250 µM), a very effective antioxidant, as a basis of comparison with OliPhenolia.

The experiments carried out had two different approaches:
A – Protective action: the cells were placed in contact with OliPhenolia (and Vitamin C) and then with H2O2.
B – Curative action: the cells were placed in contact with H2O2 and then with OliPhenolia (and Vitamin C).

It can clearly be seen that, in both cases, not only does OliPhenolia manage to reduce the action of free radicals – respectively by as much as 65% (graph 1A) and 63% (graph 1B) – but it is also decidedly more effective than Vitamin C.


After having induced inflammation (or rather an increase in the production of interleukin 8) in the cells, and verified a reaction to known anti-inflammatory active principles (such as hydro-cortisone), OliPhenolia was applied in three different concentrations in order to observe the reduction or modulation of interleukin 8 (IL-8) production.
After 72 hours (graph 2) the cells treated with OliPhenolia show a reduction of up to 78% (at a concentration of 1:200) in IL-8 production compared to a sample that was not treated, with a clear anti-inflammatory effect.


The antibacterial and antimycotic effects on various pathogenic agents were evaluated, in particular bacteria and mycosis causing skin disorders (for example acne).
The following pathogenic agents were analysed:
Bacteria - Staphylococcus epidermidis, Propionibacterium acnes, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Yeast - Candida albicans
Mould - Aspergillus brasiliensis

From the tests carried out, according to European pharmacopoeia standards (both suspension tests and diffusion tests on culture plaques), very noticeable antibacterial action and moderate antimycotic action can be deduced.


Cell renewal: natural regeneration as an anti-age programme.

Skin renewal is a continual process: the cells grow from the inside out, they keratinise and then fall off. As the years go by, the renewal process diminishes; cell division slows down. The tests carried out (in vitro) were aimed at verifying whether OliPhenolia was able to help skin regeneration.
Analysis of the proliferation behaviour of HaCaT cells (a cell line of human keratinocytes = skin cells) in the presence of OliPhenolia, show that after 24 hours the HaCaT cells, from an OliPhenolia concentration of 1:200 onwards, demonstrated a decidedly higher cell viability (cell division and renewal) compared to the samples that were not treated.

From the results shown in graph 4 it can be deduced that OliPhenolia has a positive impact on cell proliferation from a concentration of 1:200 onwards. The dilution of 1:100 did not show a positive effect, because excessive concentrations of polyphenols can irritate skin cells.
We can affirm that OliPhenolia has a “motivational” effect on skin cells. In the right quantity it helps cell renewal and skin regeneration. An adequate concentration favours – on average – regeneration by almost 40%.

1 In the biodynamic cosmetics OliPhenolia is used to refer solely to the purified extract of olive mill waste water (without grape juice or lemon juice).

Studies regarding the effect of OliPhenolia1 on the scalp and hair growth.
Research by RSC Pharma.

The results of research regarding the positive effects of OliPhenolia on epithelial cells, prompted the research team at RSC Pharma, led by Prof. Thomas Schmidts, to investigate the effects that the numerous and highly concentrated olive polyphenols – naturally contained in OliPhenolia – may have in the field of hair care.
An in vitro scientific study – to be published soon – carried out on human hair root cells (Human Follicle Dermal Papilla Cells – HFDPCs), has demonstrated 3 effects that OliPhenolia (contained in the new biodynamic cosmetic products, Hair Tonic and Shampoo) has on the scalp and on hair growth:

1) It stimulates growth of human hair root cells

2) It has an antioxidant effect that therefore protects the cells

The increase of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) inside a cell is known as oxidative stress. As a result of this reactivity, free radicals are harmful for the body and, in fact, they’re above all found in aged cells. Their formation is principally linked to inflammatory processes, UV radiation and cell ageing.
The results of the research carried out by RSC Pharma, show that the formation of harmful free radicals in human hair root cells is significantly lower in the presence of OliPhenolia.
This antioxidant effect of olive polyphenols therefore has a positive influence on and helps protect hair root cells; consequently, it enhances the health of the scalp and hair growth.

3) It increases release of the essential growth factor IGF-1

The positive effect of OliPhenolia on hair growth has also been demonstrated by the detection of an increase in the specific growth factors, that’s to say hormones, which are indispensable for hair growth and development.
Specifically, it has been demonstrated that OliPhenolia leads to an increase in the release of IGF-1 (a growth factor that has a significant role in hair growth) in hair root cells.

1 In the biodynamic cosmetics OliPhenolia is used to refer solely to the purified extract of olive fruit water.

Studies regarding the use of OliPhenolia1 as the active ingredient of a deodorant.
Research by RSC Pharma.

With a view to also using the qualities of the olive polyphenols contained in OliPhenolia as active ingredients in a deodorant made with natural and certified biodynamic ingredients, research was carried out on 3 essential characteristics:

1) The inhibiting effect on bacteria responsible for unpleasant odours from perspiration

2) The astringent effect, capable of reducing perspiration

3) The persistence of stains produced by the ingredient on clothes

1) After having selected and cultivated, in vitro, 3 microorganisms from amongst those principally responsible for the development of the unpleasant odour of perspiration2 – Corynebacterium xerosis, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Kocuria rhizophila (Micrococcus) – the polyphenol concentrate, OliPhenolia, was tested in various concentrations with various pathogens.
Depending on the pathogen, an effective inhibitory effect was demonstrated at concentrations between 4 and 7%.

2) In order to assess a possible astringent effect of OliPhenolia, that’s to say an effect against the formation of perspiration and not just against its odour, an in vitro test was carried out, with the aim of investigating OliPhenolia’s capacity to precipitate proteins.
These precipitated protein compounds close human sweat pores and therefore ensure less secretion of perspiration (similarly to the effect of ammonium chloride hexahydrate).
The tests indicate an astringent effect comparable to that of ammonium chloride hexahydrate (albeit in a less pronounced form).

3) The persistence of stains on clothing caused by a deodorant product, could be a problem that prevents its use. In order to avoid this, we verified that the active ingredient – OliPhenolia – doesn’t leave any stains or marks on clothing.
The tests demonstrated that, after washing, OliPhenolia leaves no stains or marks, regardless of its concentration.

1 In the biodynamic cosmetics OliPhenolia is used to refer solely to the purified extract of olive fruit water.
1 A. Gordon James, Corrine J. Austin, Diana S. Cox, et al.: Microbiological and biochemical origins of human axillary odour. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 83 (2013) 527-540

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