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Beauty from Whey
November 2, 2015   
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Researchers from the University of Agriculture in Cracow have developed a new type of cosmetic that moisturizes and nourishes the skin, in addition to reducing the number and depth of wrinkles.

The formula is based on proteins contained in whey and other natural ingredients. Whey, a byproduct of the dairy industry, is considered an innovative idea in the beauty industry that is primed for commercial use.

According to the university’s Małgorzata Tabaszewska, proteins with low molecular weight can penetrate the skin’s deeper layers to moisturize and nourish it. Proteins with higher molecular weight remain on its surface. A thin but impermeable layer of the cosmetic, the so-called occlusive film, prevents loss of water. A properly hydrated skin looks healthier and younger and has fewer wrinkles, and those that can be seen are shallower.

Due to their particular structure, proteins can take a variety of forms, influencing the stability of the final product. This is important because many cosmetics contain ingredients that react with one another. A gel or cream must maintain its consistency. That’s why during work on new cosmetics, researchers have to combine various substances in order to obtain durable products with a specific structure. A big challenge for the Cracow team was that a new emulsion containing a concentrate of proteins isolated from whey consists solely of natural ingredients. These are less standardized than synthetic substances, so it is more difficult to ensure their stable composition in the cosmetic.

This is the only problem associated with natural ingredients, the Cracow researchers say; overall, such a recipe has nothing but advantages. Natural, ecological cosmetics have been increasingly popular in the last few years. Consumers know very well what is good for them and have growing expectations about the safety and effectiveness of such products. The Cracow researchers say the cosmetics they have developed are not only safe for users, but do not harm the environment. Meanwhile, their practical use will contribute to better user of dairy industry byproducts. Small and medium-sized dairy enterprises are expected to show interest in seeing production of the new cosmetic move from the laboratory to industry, especially as the production process does not require expensive equipment.

The new cosmetics have been developed by a team made up of Małgorzata Tabaszewska, Ph.D., and Prof. Tadeusz Grega from the Cracow University of Agriculture, as well as Elżbieta Sikora, Ph.D., from the Cracow University of Technology.
Karolina Olszewska
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