Production, characterization and evaluation of potential cosmetic uses of Arthospira Platensis exopolysaccharides
Tutor / director / evaluatorBravi, Marco
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
The cosmetic history starts around twelve thousand years ago, when Ancient Egyptians discovered the healing abilities of scented oils. Perfection and beauty have always been goals of all civilizations, in fact, cosmetics has played a prominent role in the advances from ancient civilization to the current lifestyle. Cosmetics have helped to change how people look, to heal sick bodies and to enable to express our religious beliefs. Cosmetic progress over time has not been progressive; this, at certain times it looked like cosmetics were going to disappear from public life. Ancient Egypt is the birthplace of cosmetics. Precisely in Ancient Egypt is where cosmetics became popular in different ways, such as maintain a better body, appearance or fashion, and also, a medical importance to a civilization that lived in very harsh desert conditions. To give an example, Egyptian women made regular use of deodorants, skin tonics and ointments, most of these consisting of donkey milk, yeast, honey, clay and oils. After this, Ancient Rome managed to build for an itself large empire that reached to the edges of known world, with access to vast resources and trade routes to the neighbouring civilizations; it quickly became enchanted with cosmetic products of all types. This came led by the invasion of the Roman Empire over the Greeks, when women belonging to that civilization extended their habits to Roman women, which employed extracts of lemon, rose and jasmine to soft their skin and clay, vinegar and bark to harden their breasts, among other things. Early 20th century coinciding with the development of the chemical industry, remains as one of the most exciting times in the history of the cosmetics. During those years, a lot of new products were introduced to the market enabling radical change in fashion styles and society. These products are no longer a luxury and products become accessible to everyone. The First World War had a significant impact and was a parenthesis in this growing industry, which is recovered in the 50s coinciding with the appearance of the products for skin tanning. After the 20s, worldwide fashion stabilized into a popular style that was embraced b both older and younger female population. In turn, the 70s brought big steps that changed forever the modern fashion with the hippy, punk and glam movements, for instance. Nowadays, the cosmetic industry occupies a large place in modern society. Desire of beauty and the investment in it, causes an intensive research of new methods and / or components and cosmetics. In turn, the availability of more precise techniques allows observing changes in skin parameters, and obtaining results of cosmetic products more effectively. Current and future challenges of the cosmetic major focus on prevention and protection from radiation, in an attempt to prevent damage to the skin surface. In a cosmetic, different molecules join together, which provide specific characteristics of odour, colour, etc. to the cosmetic product and free electrons can not unite with each other, due to the free electrons are already attached. This provides that within the container molecules are attracted to each other allowing a uniform product. All cosmetic has a common base: the active ingredient, excipients and additives. The first one refers to the components that perform the action which has been created the cosmetic, e.g. hydrate or reaffirm. The active ingredient can be classified in two distinct groups: the surface (or external impact) or deep (or internal impact). Moreover, additives are one of the most important parts of cosmetics, and where more studies are reversed. They could be natural or synthetic, but nowadays are being questioned for their safety and how they are obtained. For all this, there are researches to find natural substances capable of the same functions as synthetic, without doing any damage. Finally, the excipient is defined as the set of ingredients, formed by a high percentage of water, including the active ingredient and the other components, with the primary objective of transport. This work is done with a main objective, based on studying the potential application of Spirulina Platensis biomass and exopolysaccharides in cosmetics, such as a facial moisturizer. For this purpose, the cultivation of this alga with the successive release of exopolysaccharide, the culture medium and biomass will be studied, being extended with the evaluation of the addition of biomass and EPS in facial moisturizer, proposing a formulation for this. This work also studied the use of metal nanoparticles to improve the properties of Spirulina in the final product. The two main properties of the nanoparticles, which make it used in cosmetics, are its high surface area, which makes them highly reactive, and quantum effects influence the optical, electrical and magnetic behaviour of materials. One of the most curious is the use of nanoparticles in sunscreens. They are used to make creams that do not do white lumps, which are called unsightly, and guarantee a sunscreen more transparent, less viscous and more penetrating on the skin.
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