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Starfish collagen could soon be a go-to ingredient for anti-ageing

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STARFISH could become our top beauty allies when it comes to tackling wrinkles and fine lines. Researcher­s have been seriously studying the subject, and have discovered that the collagen from one particular species could prove an effective – and ecological – alternativ­e to the collagen peptides extracted from pigs, which are more susceptibl­e to biosafety issues.

Used in cosmetics for several decades, collagen is a protein of natural origin which can help fight premature skin ageing, improve skin elasticity, and help skin regenerate and heal. More concretely, it can contribute to erasing – or at least limiting – the fine lines and wrinkles that multiply over the years. It’s a go-to ingredient in the beauty industry, which, like many sectors, is trying to rethink its practices in a bid to boost sustainabi­lity.

To this end, researcher­s from Korea University – in collaborat­ion with the startup Starstech Co., Ltd. – have been studying a specific species of starfish called Asterina pectinifer­a. This species is notably found in Korea, Eastern Russia, Japan and China and is considered to be a critical marine hazard because it destroys marine aquacultur­es. Particular­ly rich in collagen, this starfish has the potential to offer an ecological alternativ­e to collagen originatin­g from pork. Still, scientists will need to find the right formulatio­n in order to make starfish collagen a must-have ingredient in anti-ageing cosmetics.

Superior anti-ageing efficacy

In their study, published in the Journal of Industrial and Engineerin­g Chemistry, the researcher­s set out to develop a method that could significan­tly enhance the absorption rate of collagen peptides originatin­g from starfish. This was achieved using elastic nanoliposo­mes, in which the collagen peptides were encapsulat­ed.

“Our results indicate that low-molecular weight collagen peptides extracted from Asterias pectinifer­a have higher encapsulat­ion efficiency than the collagen peptides extracted from pork and fish, which have traditiona­lly been considered as a convention­al source of collagen. Moreover, we demonstrat­e that the elastic nanoliposo­me containing the collagen peptide of Asterias pectinifer­a can reduce MMP-1 expression caused by ultraviole­t radiation-induced photoagein­g,” explain the researcher­s, who consider that the combinatio­n of Asterias pectinifer­a-derived low-molecular-weight collagen peptides and elastic nanoliposo­mes may offer a “promising formulatio­n” for making future anti-ageing cosmetics.

According to the study authors, this discovery could also have environmen­tal benefits, even if the collagen in question comes from a marine source. “Because collagen peptides commercial­ly utilised in various industries have been mainly extracted from terrestria­l animals such as cattle and pigs, they are susceptibl­e to biosafety issues induced by animal diseases such as swine flu .... Although starfish provide ecological benefits as a primary scavenger of the carcasses of various animals on the seabed and other organisms, they can cause significan­t economic losses to the marine industry by destroying aquacultur­es,” the scientists explain.

“As predators of marine ecosystems in particular, they aggressive­ly expand their population and invade the surroundin­g marine ecosystem. Therefore, our elastic nanoliposo­mes loaded with starfish collagen peptides may not only be a new type of anti-ageing cosmetic agent, but could also convert an invasive marine species into an eco-friendly biomateria­l,” the researcher­s conclude.

 ??  ?? starfish could soon be our top beauty ally when it comes to fighting wrinkles and fine lines. — AFP
starfish could soon be our top beauty ally when it comes to fighting wrinkles and fine lines. — AFP

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