Inositol, an active molecule, is extracted from the pulp of the carob fruit. This extract shows tanning stimulant and antioxidant effects, and is used in certain skin care products, more particularly in self-tanning products. The carob tree also provides a gum, used as a thickener in cosmetic formulas as well as in some foods. Find here the main benefits of carob for the skin.
The Carob, Briefly Explained.
Carob is the fruit of the carob tree, a perennial tree of the leguminous family, measuring on average 5 to 10 m high. The carob tree appreciates dry and warm climates; since Antiquity, it is mainly cultivated on the Mediterranean coasts, namely in Morocco, in Spain, in Italy, etc... Carob pods are used in the form of powder, gum and aqueous extract, depending on the desired use. Carob powder can substitute cocoa powder in culinary preparations, while carob gum is used as a thickener in cosmetics and in the food industry. For its part, the carob extract and more precisely the inositol is used in skin care, for its benefits as a tanning intensifier and antioxidant.
The benefits of Carob Gum for the Skin.
Carob gum, with the INCI designation “Ceratonia Siliqua Gum”, is a natural thickening or gelling agent that increases the stability of emulsions. In addition to this functional quality, skin membranes benefit from its protective effect against lipid peroxidation, i.e. the oxidation of unsaturated lipids by oxygen radical species, also called free radicals. As a reminder, these are generated in excess by various external aggressions such as pollution and the sun's UV rays and accelerate skin aging.
The Effects of Inositol on the Skin.
From the fruit of the carob tree, we can extract the skin-benefitting inositol, which has a similar name according to the INCI system.
Firstly, inositol protects the skin from photoaging. It acts by activating the synthesis of collagen I in the fibroblasts. As a reminder, collagen is a fibrous protein present in the dermis that ensures the skin's flexibility and firmness. Nevertheless, over the years, its production by the body tends to decrease, which leads to skin slackening and the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, the sun's UV rays accelerate its degradation. Inositol reinforces the stock of collagen and thus compensates for part of its degradation during exposure to the sun.
In addition, inositol is an active plant ingredient known to intensify and prolong the skin's tan thanks to an innovative mechanism based on the activation of second messengers involved in melanin synthesis. On a biological level, it regulates the Diacylglycerol/Protein Kinase C (DAG/PKC) pathway. Diacylglycerol (DAG) is a second messenger, signal transducer, synthesized from membrane phosphoinositols. It activates protein kinase C (PKC) in a number of tissues. PKC is actually a family of enzymes found in human melanocytes. The PKC system activates tyrosine, the key enzyme in melanin synthesis, by phosphorylating its cytoplasmic domain, particularly on serine residues. Studies have shown that inositol is able to increase the amount of DAG. From there, melanogenesis is activated and a cascade of events, such as PKC activation and tyrosine phosphorylation, leads to an increase in the amount of melanin. Thus, inositol stimulates and prolongs tanning.
Because of its benefits for tanning and its ability to limit skin photoaging, inositol, extracted from carob, is present in our self-tanning serum. It enhances the complexion from 12 hours after the first application for a progressive effect. Caution! The self-tanning serum does not protect against the sun's UV rays and cannot be used as a substitute for a sunscreen. Be sure to protect yourself from UV rays with a broad spectrum sunscreen before exposure.
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FRIEDMANN P. S. & al. Ultraviolet radiation-induced melanogenesis in human melanocytes. Effects of modulating protein kinase C. Journal of Cell Science (1994).
COGRAM P. & al. D-chiro-inositol is more effective than myo-inositol in preventing folate-resistant mouse neural tube defects. Human Reproduction (2002).