This combination will firstly infuse the skin with an extra portion
of moisture and, secondly, will help the skin to retain the newly
acquired water as long as possible.
Lichen (Cetraria islandica or Iceland moss) imparts moisturization. Substances such as polysaccharides, and in particular li-chenan and isolichenan, are thought to (re)hydrate the skin surface
by forming a moisturizing, physical film. 10, 11
Moss (Sphagnum) retains water. The water-loving moss is an
unrivalled champion in water storage. It is famous for its unique
moisture holding capacity as it absorbs 20 to 30 times its weight
in water. Moss thus has connotations of humidity, moisture and
Fern (Polypodium vulgare) provides complementary sup-
port. Substances such as saponins synergistically support the li-
chens’ action in providing a moisturizing film on the skin. 15, 16 It
also supports the moss’s action in storing water; substances such
as polypodines provide adaptogenic and anabolic effects and are
thought to make the skin more resistant to stress and aging and to
increase its metabolism. 17-19 In particular, we think that substances
such as polypodines lead to increased natural moisturizing factor
(NMF) levels (data not shown) and, in turn, eventually increase the
skin’s moisture holding and retaining capacity.
In essence, the combination of these ingredients properly hydrates the skin and helps to turn back the epidermal clock. Indeed,
the application of the anti-aging moisturizer rejuvenated the skin
by roughly 20 years within four weeks.
We aimed to demonstrate a positive impact on skin aging parameters such as hydration, elasticity, roughness and firmness and to
calculate skin rejuvenating effects; i.e., to define a distinct gain in
youthfulness expressed in years.
Here is a double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized
study design: Before starting, skin parameters such as hydration,
elasticity, roughness and firmness were assessed in different age
groups (each group with n = 20, female, Caucasian skin) using well-established biophysical measuring methods in order to understand
age-related changes and to delineate regression lines (= model lines
which enable the age to be derived on the basis of the skin parameter, see also figure 1).
Those in the age group 56-65 years applied a light emulsion containing 0% (placebo) or 3% active ingredient twice daily on the inner
side of the forearm for 28 days and skin parameters were monitored
over time (last application the evening before measurements).
The application of the active ingredient improved skin hydration and provided a three-day retention effect (data not shown).
Moreover, it positively affected skin-aging parameters and rejuvenated the skin.
Overall, after 14 days of application, the test subjects displayed
skin elasticity, roughness and firmness characteristics that, on a calculated basis, would be found in skin roughly 10 years younger. After
28 days of application, the test subjects displayed skin physiology
Figure 3: The novel anti-aging moisturizer is a combination of three forest plants. The lichen Cetraria islandica (Iceland moss; left), the moss Sphagnum magellanicum (peat moss; middle) and the fern Polypodium vulgare (common polypody, right) are all true experts at dealing with moisture. However, until now, very little
attention has been paid to lichens, mosses and ferns in the cosmetics industry. This might be due to the fact that in the absence of flowers they frequently look
unattractive to the layperson. Yet the biology of these plants reveals many interesting and unique details.
Figure 2: Dehydrated skin is a driver of premature signs of aging. Hillebrand et
al. 9 measured facial wrinkles in 122 women at baseline and after eight years.
When the women were divided into two groups; i.e., above-average and below-average skin hydration at baseline, the study revealed that women with a
drier stratum corneum develop many more wrinkles. In other words, women
with dry skin developed 52% more wrinkles within eight years, whereas women with hydrated skin only developed 22% more wrinkles. It is worth noting
that women with dry skin already had elevated wrinkle levels at baseline; i.e.,
by 25%, compared to those with hydrated skin.
Wrinkle area (%)
0 8 08