Endotoxins in cosmetics: detection and removal
Endotoxins in cosmetics
The skin is an important organ, it is acting as a protection barrier between the body and the environment. As such, it is a natural place of interactions, most of them being invisible to the naked eye. Indeed, the skin is the host to a whole microflora, including countless bacteria. Given the importance of the skin, it is natural that there is a growing interest from the dermo-cosmetic industry to study the interactions between the skin and its microflora.
Given the prevalent position of gram negative bacteria in this environment, R&D studies in the field are a growing aspect of new product launches and a sensitive topic for industrial know-how in terms of competitive advantage. It is becoming very difficult to go around such R&D activities, because conducting tests before releasing a new product on the market is often a regulatory requirement for the safety of users. Additionally, even when it is not required, it is still overwhelmingly encouraged to avoid the potential negative impact of a pyrogenic contamination.
Bacterial skin infection detection & treatment
Bacterial skin infections are quite common. Some can be benign, while some can be life threatening, especially when the infection manages to reach the bloodstream and creates sepsis for example. For such reasons, it is recommended to quickly detect the origin of skin infection and identify the strain.
Selecting the good lipopolysaccharide is a key factor to produce an efficient diagnostic kit, since it would directly impact the selectivity of the test to a particular strain. Furthermore, the selection of the endotoxin could also play a critical role in the screening process to identify a drug candidate.
It is also a central point to provide the appropriate therapy to solve the infection problem. Given the heterogeneity of the microflora on the skin, it would be better to use selective drugs instead of a wide spectrum one which could lead to the development of resistant bacteria, much trickier to cure. This would be necessary in order to keep the skin flora naturally balanced.
Evaluate dermatologic treatment impact on bacterial inflammation
The skin is a natural host to many bacteria, so when products (whether from a natural or chemical source) come into contact with the skin, they trigger a reaction from the microflora. Some products could play a supportive role such as a feeding source of water and nutrients for bacteria, while others could hinder inflammatory bacteria development. It would be the case of an antiseptic spray used for cleaning a wound to avoid infection for example.
In between these two polar opposites there is a whole range of possibilities regarding bacteria reactions to their environment. One way to identify the product benefit is to measure the level and the type of endotoxins released by these various bacteria and make the correlation with the inflammatory power of the endotoxins found on the skin surface. Do you seek to evaluate the effectiveness of your skin treatments?
Endotoxins removal from cosmetics and dermatology products
Dermal fillers are a good case study when it comes to endotoxins removal in cosmetics thanks to the various issues they tackle. Since bacterial extracts such as Botulinum toxin or Hyaluronic acid are originally coming from the pharmacology industry, the concerns they raise for the cosmetics industry are very similar to the issues the healthcare field must face.
Botulinum toxin is extracted from Clostridium botulinum and its family. As any bacterial extract, it requires to be purified when extracted from the bacterial biomass, to avoid harmful effects. The batch quality depends on the purity of the extract. So, it is important to make sure no endotoxins are present in the final product.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a good exemple. Naturally present in the Human body, its production can be done through extraction from biological sources such as rooster comb or purified from bacterial biomass after biosynthesis. As any production with biological matter, bacterial endotoxins contaminants are common in the final product, whether they originate from the raw material or came through the line of production.
Hyaluronic Acid, as well as bio sources raw materials are often challenging in the dermato-cosmetic industry to remove endotoxins or to ensure that the minute quantities remaining are not dangerous for the users.