Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector, launched in August 2010, is a new step for the Estée Lauder Group to reinforce its leading position on the serum market.
Technology / Formula structure :
O/W emulsion based on two surfactants : Croda’s Tween 20 (Polysorbate 20 – HLB 16.7) and Shin Etsu’s KF-6038 (Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone – HLB 3.0), a polyether modified silicone, and thickened and stabilized with two polymers : Carbomer and Xanthan Gum.
Shin Etsu’s KF-6038 is a member of the quite recent generation of surfactants for cosmetic products derived from silicones. In particular, KF-6038 is part of the branched silicone derived surfactants. According to its supplier, the branched structure provides a unique solubility, superior to that of linear structure. In particular, KF-6038 is claimed to have good solubility in both silicone fluid and organic oils. This property is certainly very important for the Laser Focus formula stability, since the oil phase of this emulsion is made mainly of silicone fluids, and several oily active ingredients.
More precisely, the oil phase is mainly made of two silicone oils : a non-volatile one – Dimethicone – and a volatile one – Methyl Trimethicone. The use of a volatile oil in a cosmetic product improves penetration speed and skinfeel. Until recently, most of the cosmetic companies used Cyclopentasiloxane or “D5” as volatile silicone oil. However, suspicions on this raw material have risen recently (especially in Canada, where D5 is suspected to accumulate and be persistent and harmful for the environment). Silicone suppliers are working on substitute to D5 : Shin Etsu’s Methyl Trimethicone (tradename TMF-1.5) is one of them. A few Cholesterol is present in the formula.
The oil phase also contains a silicone elastomer : Polysilicone-11. Very probably mixed with Dimethicone, it should be one of the blends sold by Grant Industry : Gransil DMG-2, Gransil DM-5, Gransil DM-5-LV, Gransil DMDM-25, Gransil DMG-20 or Gransil DMG-6. Polysilicone-11 improves speadability and gives to the formula a non-tacky, silky feel.
The aqueous phase contains several humectant, improving the percieved and measured moisturizing properties of the formula : Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (Dow Corning DC 2501 Cosmetic Wax – a water dispersible silicone with moisturizing and detackifying properties), Glycerin and Methyl Gluceth-20 (Lubrizol Glucam-E20, a glucose derivative claimed to retard excess skin water-loss while giving a light, satin-like feel).
To improve skin feel, the formula, the formula also contains powders : silica and two silicon derived powders – Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer (Shin Etsu’s KSP 100 / 101 / 102 / 105, described as a white, spherical silicone composite powder consisting of spherical silicone rubber powder coated with silicone resin, with a uniquely soft, silky feel and good dispersibility with reduced agglomeration) and Polymethylsilsesquioxane (Momentive Tospearl Microspheres, described as mono-dispersed micro-fine spherical cross-linked siloxane particules, providing soft focus effect for reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles).
Preservative system :
The formula also contains Disodium EDTA and Sodium Citrate as sequestrants and buffers.
Active ingredients / Claims :
Active ingredients in Clinique Laser Focus formula :
Here are introduced and detailed the active ingredients of the Laser Focus formula in the order of the full ingredient labelling :
– Siegesbeckia Orientalis (St Paul’s Wort) Extract : Siegesbeckia Orientalis is a plant originated from Madagascar, marketed as “Siegesbeckia” by Sederma, claimed as having anti-inflammatory properties and protecting collagen
– Retinyl Palmitate : anti-aging ingredient, vitamin A derivative. In a German press release for the launch of Clinique Laser Focus, Retinyl palmitate is claimed to increase the skin’s own collagen production, making skin look plumper and fresher.
– Plankton Extract : corresponding to AGI Dermatics Photosomes. According to this patent owned by Estée Lauder (mother company of Clinique, and owner of AGI Dermatics since Sept. 2008), Photosomes are liposomes encapsulating “a mixture of plankton extract, water, and lecithin”, preferentially Anacystis Nidulans phytoplankton. It is said to contain an effective amount of photolyase enzyme which, in the presence of day light, contributes to the decomposition of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers produced due to UV radiation, thus achieving a repair effect for the skin. Photosomes are the property of AGI Dermatics / Estée Lauder, and supplied by Barnet.
– Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Juice Extract : it could be the Pomegranate Juice Extract E40 supplied by MMP, a dry extract titrated in Ellagic Acid and claimed by MMP to be “an efficient DNA protector”. Estée Lauder has a strong collaboration with Pr. Hasan Mukhtar, PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He has studied the protective properties of Ellagic Acid against DNA damages back in 1983-1985. More recently, he and his team have collaborated with Lauder on a study showing the protective effect of Pomegranate fruit extract against damages caused by UV-B. A German press release issued by Clinique for the launch of Laser Focus and this retranscription of the words of Dr. Daniel B. Yarosh – senior vice president, Basic Science Research for the Estee Lauder Companies – and Dr. Tom Mammone – executive director, Research and Development Worldwide for Clinique – at the launch event held for Clinique Laser Focus in Los Angeles in July 2010 claims that Pomegranate juice extract “prevents pollutants from binding to cellular DNA”. This simplification of the action of Pomegranate juice extract is in line with the previously mentioned studies.
– Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract : this ingredient has already been studied on CosmetoScope, in the article dedicated to the new Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. It is another active ingredient from AGI Dermatics, supplied by Barnet : Roxisomes. It contains a DNA repair enzyme, 8-oxoguanine DNA glucosylase, said to “repair the oxydative 8-oxoguanine damages in both genomic and mitochondrial DNA”.
– Sea Whip Extract : very probably an extract of pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, supplied by the Lipo Chemicals Company, under the tradename Gorgonian Extract CG, exhibiting an anti-inflammatory activity, according to two patents owned by Estée Lauder (a patent on a cosmetic composition and method for retarding hair growth, where one of the key component of the composition, the anti-inflammatory ingredient, is preferentially a sea whip extract, and another patent on a Cosmetic compositions with gorgonian extract where the inventor – Fatemeh Mohammadi – is Director Applied Treatment Technology at Estée Lauder). Estée Lauder has been working since a long time on this extract, launching it in Resilience in 1995 used as an additive to prevent irritation caused by exposure to the sun or the chemicals. It has collaborated with Robert S. Jacobs, Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, who has published several studies on gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia Elisabethae. The anti-inflammatory properties of gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae has been confirmed by a study published in 2009 by a Colombian team.
– Pinanediol (and) Camphanediol (and) Butylene glycol : another active ingredient from AGI Dermatics, marketed under the trade name Pinoxide, and now exclusively used by Lauder. It is claimed to stimulate collagen production and increase localized blood flow, and several communication were made by AGI on its properties : an article published in 2006 in Nitric Oxide – official journal of the Nitric Oxide Society, a poster at the American Academy of Dermatology – 65th Annual Meeting – February 2–6, 2007 – Washington, DC, a poster at the American Academy of Dermatology – 66th Annual Meeting – February 1–5, 2008 – San Antonio, Texas, a poster at the American Academy of Dermatology – 67th Annual Meeting – March 6–10, 2009 – San Francisco, California.
– Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein : could probably be Laboratoires Sérobiologiques Vegeseryl HGP, a tensing agent, with anti-wrinkle, tightening, soothing and protecting properties.
– Ergothioneine : brought to Lauder by AGI Dermatics, and supplied by Barnet under the trade name Thiotaine, it is claimed to have a role in skin energy production and fatty acid transport, to be an anti-oxidant, especially protector of mitochondria, to be an “anti-stress” molecule, and to have skin clarifying properties. Lauder and AGI own two patents on this ingredient : US20100197750 (Preservation Of Ergothioneine), and the patent linked to the Clinique Laser Focus formula : US6479533 (Methods and compositions for the protection of mitochondria). This last patent was at the heart of a dispute between Estée Lauder and the Oxis company. Indeed, almost the same patent was issued by Oxis (US6103746 – Methods and compositions for the protection of mitochondria), by the same D. Yarosh, CEO of AGI Dermatics (now owned by Lauder). This issue has been solved in Sept. 2010 with an agreement stating that Oxis has the full title of the patent, while receive a non-exclusive license for the cosmetic market.
– Caffeine : usually used in cosmetic industry in slimming and eye formulas, it has basically skin conditionning properties : it is known to enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness
– Micrococcus Lysate : corresponding to AGI Dermatics Ultrasomes. According to this patent, Ultrasomes comprise a mixture of Micrococcus lysate (an end product of the controlled lysis of various species of micrococcus), lecithin, and water. Just like Photosomes above, Ultrasomes are claimed to contain DNA repair enzymes. According to the German press release, they would “stimulate the skin’s natural repair process that takes place most effectively at night and reduce UVB induced damage”. Before being bought by Lauder, AGI Dermatics also issued a patent on this technology. Once again, Ultrasomes are supplied by Barnet.
– Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (and) Glyceryl Polymethacrylate (and) PEG-8 : Palmitoyl Oligopeptide can be found in several commercially available active ingredients, but here, due to the presence of Glyceryl Polymethacrylate and PEG-8, it is very probably corresponding to Sederma Biopeptide EL (see in the example 1 of this patent from Lauder the correspondance between the trade name and the INCI). In this other patent and this commercial paper issued by Sederma, it is claimed to help restore the suppleness and firmness of skin, and to include Palmitoyl-Val-Gly-Val-Ala-Pro-Gly peptide. More informations about this peptide are available in the data sheet of Sederma Dermaxyl, based on the same active molecule.
– Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) : extract of chamomile, known for its antiseptic, antibiotic, disinfectant and bactericidal properties
– Linoleic Acid : straight chain unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, it would have anti-inflammatory, acne reductive, and moisture retentive properties when applied topically. Moreover, it would be effective in cell regulation and skin-barrier repair, as well as an antioxidant.
– Sodium Mannose Phosphate : officially classified as an humectant and skin conditionning agent, it is part of the phosphosugar family, patented by Estée Lauder for its skin exfoliating properties, claimed to be “gentle, non-acidic exfoliants”.
– Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate : sold under the trade name Vitagen by Macrocare, it is presented as a very stable Vitamin C derivative (more than pure Vitamin C, but also more than Vitamin CG and Ascorbyl MgPO4). It is claimed to be very active on cell proliferation, collagen synthesis, and whitening, active as an anti-oxidant, and slightly active as a cure of UV damage.
– Hyaluronic Acid (and) Sodium Hyaluronate : sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid. It is polysaccharide naturally found in the body, functionning as a tissue lubricant. It is often used as a moisturizer due to its capacity to hold water.
– Tocopheryl Acetate : vitamin E derivative
Comparison with Laser efficiency :
The new Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Serum is aimed to help reduce wrinkle, lines and damages caused by sun / UV. Its strongest claim is the comparison with a surgical procedure : laser. Claims on cosmetic products are usually substantiated with 4 weeks tests. For Laser Focus, an efficacy test has been conducted for 12 weeks. This allows to have better results than at 4 weeks, and helps for the “laser” claim : the Laser Focus formula has 63% of the efficacy of a laser treatment after 12 weeks.
Three modes of actions / Three families of ingredients :
Apart from the strong “laser” claim, Laser Focus is built around three properties, each one attributed to a family of ingredients :
– “Strenghens” with Enzymes :
“Three patented repair enzymes” vectorized through liposomes protect skin cells against free radicals generated by UV exposure, and enhance skin’s ability to heal sun damages. According to the German press release, these enzymes are the AGI technologies described above : Photosomes (Plankton extract), Roxisomes (Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract) and Ultrasomes (Micrococcus Lysate).
– “Smoothes” with Peptides :
A “Peptide Complex” including Retinyl Palmitate boosts skin’s collagen production. The German press release describes the complex as made of Whey Protein (CLR MPC™-Milk Peptide Complex as identified above) and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Lipotec Argireline) and Retinyl Palmitate.
– “Repairs” with Anti-oxidants :
The formula contains antioxidants to counteract the effect of free radical generated by UV exposure. As explained in the German press release, this antioxidant cocktails is made of 4 ingredients : Vitamine C (Macrocare Vitagen – Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate), Vitamine E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Ergothioneine (AGI Dermatics Thiotaine) and Ellagic Acid (from Pomegranate juice extract, identified above).
As seen above, the formula contains other active ingredients, among which are two actives with claimed anti-inflammatory properties : Sederma Siegesbeckia, Lipo Chemical Gorgonian Extract CG.
In terms of formula structure, Clinique follows here with this formula the trend initiated with Lauder Idealist : the use of silicone crosspolymer in an emulsified formula, to obtain a velvety and silky feel on skin. It is worth to notice the work on humectants, and the work on tendentious cosmetic raw materials : the formula does not contain cyclopentasilixane (D5) replaced by Methyl Trimethicone, nor parabens, with a preservative system associating phenoxyethanol with co-preservatives.
As usual in Clinique (and Lauder), the formula Laser Focus contains a lot of active ingredients, precisely 20. Among them, 5 are coming from the purchase of AGI Dermatics by Lauder. After Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair relaunch using also AGI Dermatics raw materials, it is clear that Lauder is building its skincare strategy on AGI technologies.
To conclude, in our opinion, Laser Focus has a smart market positioning, for three reasons :
– Serums are the new trend to increase the number of beauty products used by women, complexifying the daily beauty routine by adding a new “layer” of product. In the retranscription of the words of Dr. Daniel B. Yarosh and Dr. Tom Mammone already cited previously, it is indeed explained that “the Laser Focus was developed to allow for “layerability”, preferably with other Clinique skincare products. Dr Mammone’s advice is after the cleansing and toning, apply Repairwear Laser Focus, followed by moisturiser, then a sunscreen and finally, foundation.”
– Personal care is a growing market where anti-aging products bring the interest of consumers. It is and remains a pillar of Clinique, where Lauder still invest with Laser Focus.
– In the search of more and more market impact, Clinique chose to compare the efficacy of its latest formula with a surgical procedure, a trend now on the market for several years.