The science behind Kiwi skincare brand Snowberry

Snowberry’s Radiance Face Serum, created right here in New Zealand, has created waves in the beauty world – if you’ve tried it you’ll know why, and if you haven’t now is the time to add it to your beauty regimen. In a few weeks Snowberry will release its latest skincare creations – Super Serum. We chat to Snowberry’s chief scientist Dr Travis Badenhorst, and find out everything we need to know about the new release.

Can you tell us about the active ingredients used in the new Super Serum?

The Super Serum will contain eProlex™. This is a Snowberry anti-ageing complex of several proven actives that have a range of beneficial effects on skin. eProlex™ contains natural growth factors and peptides that help to stimulate epidermal cell, collagen and fibroblast development; as well as niacinamide – a Vitamin B derivative that helps to counter inflammation, strengthen the lipid barrier and suppress melanin. It also contains the copper tripeptide 1, skin remodelling peptide used in the New Radiance Face Serum.

In addition, the Super Serum will contain powerful anti-oxidants to help reduce free radical damage; and highly effective humectants to provide rapid hydration. Consumers will be able to think of the Super Serum as a multi-pronged attack on the major causes of ageing in skin!

How will it be different to the Radiance Face Serum?

There are two fundamental differences between the Super Serum and the New Radiance Face Serum. First, the New Radiance Face Serum has just two active ingredients – the skin remodelling peptide copper tripeptide 1, and the very effective hydrating humectant, sodium hyaluronate. The Super Serum’s eProlex™ multiplies this functionality substantially.

Second, where the New Radiance Face Serum has a gel (water) base, which gives the very clear and light feel that it has, the Super Serum has an emollient base, which produces the more luxurious feel that some consumers prefer, as well as conferring the skin softening benefit of an emollient.

Consequently, it is fair to say that while the New Radiance Face Serum is a highly functional and very effective anti-ageing serum, the Super Serum simply does more.

There’s remarkable science behind the Radiance Face Serum. Have you taken a similar approach to the new Super Serum?

The success of the New Radiance Face Serum is not based on so-called ‘miracle ingredients.’ Rather, it is a result of five years of development of a unique delivery system. We know which active ingredients will help to repair and rejuvenate skin and so we don’t need to invent these. The real challenge is in being able to deliver them into the skin where they can do their job and the CuPEP™ technology that Snowberry developed for this purpose is world-first. However, we did not have the option of making the New Radiance Face Serum an emollient serum and this is what our most recent science has achieved. We can now carry virtually any active ingredient into the skin, but in an emollient base. This is the breakthrough we wanted for the Super Serum.

The man behind the skincare science, Dr Travis Badenhorst.

Tell us a little about the gold standard trials. Will this be applied to the new Super Serum?

In our view, consumers of anti-ageing skin care need a truly objective way of deciding whether they are buying marketing puffery or an authentic product. The gold standard clinical trial is the only truly independent and scientifically valid way of providing that evidence. Consequently, the Super Serum will also be subject to a gold standard clinical trial at a leading French dermatological institute. And because it is a gold standard trial, not only will we be unable to fudge the results (even if we were so inclined), but we will make that trial available to any customer who wishes to see it. Incidentally, it is because the New Radiance Face Serum’s effectiveness was proven by gold standard clinical trial, that it was the only anti-ageing serum on earth invited to be presented to the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology, and has now been reported in the prestigious international Journal of Aging Science.

What innovative ingredients are you excited about seeing in skincare in the future?

Essentially, an anti-ageing product that is targeting smoother skin needs to be able to reduce epidermal water loss, strengthen the cellular matrix and also limit damage to the cellular matrix – including that engendered by chronic low level inflammation. Ironically, there are many wonderful anti-ageing ingredients, particularly peptides, growth factors and vitamins available to skin care formulators right now that will provide these benefits. As mentioned though, while it is relatively simple to mix these ingredients into a product, it is extremely difficult ensuring those ingredients won’t just sit uselessly on top of the skin or simply degrade in the product before it’s even used. That’s where the kind of University science that Snowberry has been doing for several years is so important.


New skincare ingredients to get in your regimen

When it comes to futuristic ingredients, these are the areas we should have our eyes fixed on according to leading skincare experts.

Refining Retinol

A great deal of innovation will occur with ingredients we’re already using in our beauty regimens according to leading Australian dermatologist and director of Brisbane Skin, Dr Shobhan Manoharan. “We’ll see refinements of previous products. Retinols, vitamin a, are already a cornerstone of dermatology and skin health –  they’re proven to remodel, tighten and reduce sun spots. The problem is that they’ve often been irritating, particularly those with sensitised skin,” Manoharan explains. “But we’re going to see more retinols coming through that are nano-encapsulated; they’ll be much better tolerated and longer lasting. They penetrate really well, and the results are better.”

Edible Superstars

Superfood enthusiasts might be able to predict the future of beauty by peering inside their pantries says Roberta Weiss, Senior Vice President of Kiehl’s Innovation and Product Development, who admits she’s personally trying to create a pantry of perfect ingredients. “I have a lot of ingredients that I’m interested in but I’m trying to find them before we need them,” Weiss says. “Many beauty breakthroughs will be coming from the wellness world – teas, oils, superfoods like fruits, berries and quinoa.” Turmeric, avocado and manuka honey are already popping up in our beauty cabinets.

In Your Genes

One of the fastest growing skincare categories will revolve around ingredients that provide genetic protection factor says Elizabeth Arden PRO’s Director of Education, Tracy May-Harriott. “We’re learning more about DNA repair, how growth factors and peptides assist the genetics of skin. We’ve spoken about SPF for years, we’ve talked about EPF (environmental protection factor) but what we’re talking about now is GPF – genetic protection factor,” Harriott explains  “That’s the future: really understanding what the adverse effect of living in our environment is. If I can stay out longer in the sun, I’m germinating another lot of problems. We might not be burning anymore but we’re doing something to our genetic pathways. It’s where a bulk of our research is being done.”

Good Bacteria

Fermented ingredients that have been trending in the food world for the last few years could become a prominent force in skincare if expert predictions are correct. “It’s a huge trend in food, and it’s more and more obvious that fermented foods and probiotics are good for the skin when applied topically. We just need more research done into that,” says Weiss. Geoff Genesky, head of the Kiehl’s laboratory agrees that fermented foods that bolster the microbiome hold potential. “The microbiome is interesting for skin. Our skin has its own bacteria, so a healthy balance of those little critters in our skin is an interesting area to explore. It’s definitely an area of interest for the medical and dermatological community,” he says.

Fresh Idea

Active ingredients are best when they’re fresh, and according to skincare scientists it won’t be long until we see better, faster results, thanks to fresher ingredients. “You’re going to see more along the lines of instant-acting, DIY-ish, fresh products,” says Clinique’s Dr. Tom Mammone. Watch this space as next month Clinique will launch a game-changing industry first: a range of of skincare products that harness the power of highly concentrated, fresh vitamin C. “Fresh means power, fresh means power. People want to know things are fresh, therefore better, and we’re constantly evolving that proposition,” says Janet Pardo, senior vice president of product development at Clinique.