Outstanding Antioxidant Capacity: Lycopene's Application in Cosmetics


Lycopene, is a Carotenoid, the molecular formula for C40H56, relative molecular mass 536.85, the molecular structure of the formula shown in the figure below.

Lycopene's Structure.png 

Lycopene is one of the strongest antioxidants found in nature, with an outstanding ability to remove single-line oxygen, about 100 times as much as vitamin E and 2 times as much as β-carotene, and has the reputation of "plant gold", which has a good prospect of application in the food, drug, health care and cosmetic industries.

Lycopene is widely found in higher plants and microorganisms. As for higher plants, tomato has a high lycopene content, and it has been reported that the content of lycopene in ripe tomatoes reaches 8.8~42 mg/kg, and some other ripe red fruits also contain lycopene, such as red grapefruit, watermelon, bitter melon, papaya and so on.


Physical and Chemical Properties of Lycopene

Lycopene is a polyunsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon with the appearance of long red needle-like crystals, low polarity, basically insoluble in water, insoluble in polyols (such as ethanol, glycerol, propylene glycol, commonly used in cosmetics), and readily soluble in vegetable oils and fats, such as caprylic acid/capric acid triglycerides. The chemical structure of lycopene contains 13 carbon-carbon double bonds, including 11 conjugated double bonds, which are easily oxidized and isomerically transformed, so the effects of temperature, pH, surfactants, reducing agents, ultraviolet rays, etc., on lycopene need to be taken into account in the process of extraction, processing and storage.


Application of Lycopene in Cosmetics

Lycopene, as a natural source of efficacy additives, has good application prospects in anti-aging, sunscreen, anti-pollution and other efficacy cosmetics due to its outstanding antioxidant ability. At the same time, lycopene has problems such as its own instability, and there is a need for application improvement.


In Anti-aging Cosmetics

According to the theory of free radical aging, lycopene, which has the ability to scavenge free radicals efficiently, can be added to cosmetics. After lycopene is absorbed transdermally, it can inhibit the excessive accumulation of free radicals at source and enhance the skin's antioxidant system, thus slowing down aging.


In Sunscreen Cosmetics

Lycopene can be used as an auxiliary sunscreen ingredients, on the one hand, lycopene can remove excessive free radicals caused by ultraviolet light; on the other hand, lycopene has a direct antagonistic effect on UV, it has been reported that lycopene can reduce inflammation of the body to maintain the normal metabolism of the cells to avoid the production of UV irradiation erythema, reduce DNA damage. Lycopene can enhance the skin's tolerance to ultraviolet light, thereby reducing the amount of sunscreen, which in itself makes sunscreen cosmetics to reduce the irritation and reduce the cost of materials.


As a Natural Colorant

Synthetic pigments are mainly derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons, which have certain chronic toxic side effects and even carcinogenic risks when used for a long time. Lycopene itself has a bright red color, which can replace some chemically synthesized red pigments, and is used in lipstick, lipstick, blush and other cosmetics, whose colors are more natural and safer.


As a Natural Stabilizer

Cosmetics often add some vegetable oils and other raw materials prone to oxidative rancidity, in order to prevent the oxidative rancidity of fats and oils, it is generally necessary to join In order to prevent oxidative rancidity of oils and fats, it is generally necessary to add stabilizers such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). However, from a safety point of view, the prolonged use of BHT and BHA has a certain degree of toxicity, of which BHA has the risk of carcinogenicity and BHT has the risk of teratogenicity. In contrast, lycopene, which is of natural origin and non-toxic, has a very strong antioxidant capacity and can prevent rancidity of fats and oils, so it can replace chemically synthesized stabilizers such as BHA and BHT.


Lycopene is a safe and effective cosmetic additive because of its outstanding antioxidant capacity. You can find natural sources of Lycopene provided by KINGHERBS, contact us and get more information!