Using folk wisdom in anti-wrinkle and anti-aging cream

  • 04. September 2020
  • Cooperation projects,
  • News,
  • Success story
Using folk wisdom in anti-wrinkle and anti-aging cream
  • 04. September 2020
  • Cooperation projects,
  • News,
  • Success story
Rando Tuvikene, www.tlu.ee

Among the ancient people, beaver castoreum is popular for its healing properties. What exactly these properties are, however, has been little studied, but the people know that it helps against allergic skin diseases, runny nose, colds, back and joint pain.

“In Võru County and in South Eastern Estonia in general, beaver castoreum soak or various homemade preparations are used quite often to treat diseases. It is a well-known folk medicine that has been passed down from generation to generation. In addition to treating colds, men use beaver castoreum to increase the potency of alcohol and say that this miracle cure is good for the heart and blood vessels, nerves and metabolism,” Martti Lemvald, the head of OÜ Xarus Cosmetics explains, as he with the help of scientists is making natural cosmetics by using beaver castoreum as the main component.

Castoreum has without doubt been known for its good properties since ancient times, but in today’s beauty products it is a largely unused resource in Estonia. It is known that its secretion contains trace elements, essential oils, organic acids. It contains important fatty acids such as omega 3-6 and phospholipids. It also contains a lot of vitamins A and E and B.

Worldwide, castoreum is used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical and food industries as well as an animal product with many positive therapeutic and affective effects. There are still several development opportunities in this direction in Estonia and OÜ Xarus Cosmetics fills this gap in the development of specific beauty products on the market.

New cream in cooperation with the university

As a result of changed consumption habits, we also want higher quality products in cosmetics and natural cosmetics which last longer and have scientific added value. The advantage to stand out in the market is environmentally friendly companies and products.

The interest in testing the beneficial properties of the secretion in cosmetics began in 2019. “The production and consumption of natural cosmetics is a growing trend. Thanks to the commonly known properties of beaver castoreum, I decided to bring a scientific aspect to the matter, because cosmetics cannot be made from the hip. Of course you can, but if you make quality cosmetics and you have bigger marketing plans, then the quality must be guaranteed. So a year ago, I started looking for cooperation partners among universities who would help me with my ideas,” Lemvald recalls. Adding that the first helper was the internet, where he found that the necessary research for the product could be done by Tallinn University. In product development, the company involved the competence of chemists in developing the recipe of new products and testing the properties of a new product.

“I was lucky because I got in the right direction with the first call and soon I met Rando Tuvike, a senior researcher and associate professor at the Institute of Natural and Health Sciences. Our primary activity in product development was to develop the right recipes and ingredient complexes in a cream that contains castoreum,” Lemvald recalls.

However, the head of the company could not imagine that the university would also be a big support in writing the project and have information about the grants of the European Regional Development Fund. “To be honest, I had no idea that the cooperation with the university could be so productive. For example, Ingrid Hindrikson, an expert in business relations at Tallinn University, project manager at ADAPTER of Tallinn University, helped me with the financing possibilities of Enterprise Estonia’s units. I would not have been able to do it myself,” the entrepreneur Martti Lemvald said.

Good cooperation lead to the next development

In June this year, the innovation voucher project “Development of a cream containing castoreum” ended in cooperation with the research group of the Laboratory of Molecular Sciences of the Institute of Natural and Health Sciences of Tallinn University. “The anti-wrinkle, anti-aging and moisturizing cream is now ready and being tested. 20 women of different ages are involved in this process, who appreciate the properties of the cream. We will soon summarize the results of the test group, but I presume positive results. Besides, we are already in the next stage of work,” Martti Lemvald says.

In the next stage of product development, it is planned to find out what specific therapeutic properties the cream has – what the real effect on the skin is and study the anti-inflammatory effect in more detail using cell tests. In the next phase of development activities, it is also desired to include financing opportunities from the Enterprise Estonia units.

“I encourage cooperation with a research institution. Folk medicine is folk medicine, but it often has nothing to do with scientific evidence. If it is a good and a well-thought-out idea, you should definitely turn to universities, because there are people there, who can help you write projects and submit applications to Enterprise Estonia for innovation and development units, if necessary.”

OÜ Xarus Cosmetics is engaged in the production of natural cosmetics based on local raw materials, involving the expertise of scientists in product development.

Kaja Liivak

Adapter.ee co-author

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