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CHOLLEY Techniques: Phytocosmetics Part 1

In very general terms phytocosmetics are cosmetic products whose principal active ingredients are derived from plants as opposed to being produced synthetically.  Phytocosmetics owe a great debt to popular and empirical medicine that over thousands of years through the crude technique of trial and error has identified the beneficial properties of innumerable plants.  Today equipped with our knowledge of chemistry and biology we can understand the scientific foundation of these properties.  However, there are still many natural mysteries that are beyond our current state of knowledge.

A more enlightened definition of phytocosmetics would be:

“A special sector of the cosmetics industry which draws on modern science and empirical knowledge of properties of plants to produce cosmetic products with desired effects.”

Phytocosmetics is a scientific art.  It requires a thorough knowledge of dermatology, chemistry, and biology.  The practitioner should be also intimately familiar with beneficial as well as harmful properties of a vast number of plants, herbs, and vegetables.

Chemistry of Phytocosmetics

To understand and appreciate phytocosmetics a basic knowledge of chemistry is indispensable.  The following is a brief overview of the basic concepts for better comprehension of the active ingredients used in CHOLLEY products.

General considerations in preparation of CHOLLEY products

Selecting the right ingredients for a cosmetic product is a matter of art as well as science.  There are numerous technical and commercial issues to consider in order to develop effective and successful phytobiocosmetic products that bear our logo. These considerations include:

  1. The precise effect(s) that a product should deliver, e.g. diminishing wrinkles, protecting against the sun, etc.
  2. The optimal combination and proportion of plant extracts and other active ingredients .
  3. Proper delivery vehicle for the active ingredients.
  4. Compatibility of ingredients to prevent an occlusive effect.
  5. The type of skin for which the product is intended.
  6. Optimal form of the product, e.g. mask, cream, emulsion, gel, etc.
  7. The age group for which the product is intended.
  8. Product’s ease of application.
  9. Immediate feel of the product.
  10. Comfort of use a few hours after application.
  11. Long term effect of the product on the skin and the health of user.
  12. Stability of the product in ambiental conditions for a minimum of two years.
  13. Proper use of anti-oxidants to prevent rancidity and loss of vitamin potency.
  14. Proper use of preservatives to guarantee micro-bacterial integrity.
  15. Perfume of the product that should be pleasant but not heavy.
  16. Correct size, packaging, and price for the product.

In the development of every CHOLLEY product each of these factors plays an important role.  Our objective is to:

“Always deliver well balanced products that give optimal results and  may be used for many years without compromising  the health of our clients and the integrity of their skins.”

Carbohydrates

The term carbohydrate was originally coined to identify a group of organic compounds isolated from natural substances with a general molecular formula in the form of Cx(H2O)y .  These compounds are commonly referred to as sugars or saccharides.  They are easily recognized with their characteristic ose suffix such as glucose (blood sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), and saccharose (common table sugar.)

Monosaccharides are carbohydrates that through hydrolysis (reaction with water generally in the presence of enzymes) do not break down into simpler sugars.  The carbohydrates that through hydrolysis produces two or three monosaccharides are called disaccharides and trisaccharides respectively.  An oligosaccharide is a carbohydrate that can produce between 2 to 10 monosaccharides.  Polysaccharides are carbohydrates that produce more that 10 monosaccharides when hydrolized.

Carbohydrates are the most common organic compounds in the vegetal and animal world.  They not only provide an important source of energy for execution of normal life processes, but can also form support tissues for plants and animals (e.g. cellulose of wood.)

Green plants produce carbohydrates via the the photosynthesis process, using carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, water, and solar energy which is captured by the chlorophyl of the plant. x CO2 + y H20 + solar energy ® Cx(H2O)y + x O2

The solar energy is stored in carbohydrates as chemical energy which is then released when animals or plants metabolize them in the presence of oxygen and enzymes. Cx(H2O)y + x O2 ® x CO2 + y H20 + energy

Amino acids and proteins

Proteins are an important group of natural molecules that perform a large variety of biologic functions.  They can be divided into the following categories.

  1. Enzymes are a special class of proteic molecules that perform a catalyst function in regulating cellular activities.
  2. Structural proteins provide structural support, such as collagen which is the principal protein found in the connective tissue.
  3. Essential proteins such as actin or myosin that are essential for the functioning of muscles.
  4. Transport proteins that are responsible for transport, such as blood hemoglobin which delivers oxygen from lungs to other organs and tissues.

Despite their variety of form, size, and function all proteins have a common structural characteristic.  They are polymers of amino acids.  A polymer is a macromolecule resulting from repetitive additions of a simpler molecule to form a long chain.

The basic building block of all proteins found in nature are 22 amino acid.  These amino acids are used by the cells to produce proteins needed to sustain normal functions of the organism.  All living organism produce amino acids, however, not all amino acids needed can be synthesized by the organism autonomously.  Essential amino acids are those that have to be taken from outside by means of food or other nutrients.  For human beings eight amino acids are considered essential.

Lipids

Lipids are organic substances found in cells and tissues that are not soluble in water.  The term lipid encompasses a vast number of structurally diverse compouds which include: Carboxylic acids (fatty acids), Glycerides or glyceryle trialconates (neutral fats), Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Waxes, Terpenes (essentail oils), Steroids, Prostaglandine.

Only a small fraction of lipids are free fatty acids.  The major portion of fatty acids are found in the form of glycerides (esters of glycerin.)

For mammals glycerides play an important role as a source of energy.  Their metabolism generates as much as twice the energy derived from carbohydrates or proteins.  Glycerides are distributed in all body cells but they are particularly deposited as fat in a special connective tissue called adipose tissue.

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