Earlier this year, DolCas Biotech, LLC partnered with nutritional supplement company Clear Within to produce a vegan nutricosmetic supplement featuring DolCas’ concentrated turmeric extract Curcugen. The beauty-from-within veggie capsule is formulated as a plant-based, nutrient-dense option for consumers seeking supplemental support for clearer, healthier skin.
Turmeric, more specifically the curcumin bioactive contained within the plant material, is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, qualifying it as an excellent option for a nutricosmetic supplement to support skin health.
To learn more about the bioavailability and composition of Curcugen, its efficacy as an oral beauty-from-within nutricosmetic supplement, and the formulation of Clear Within, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel, Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs at DolCas Biotech, LLC and Arrad Rhagoshay, Founder and CEO of Clear Within for their insights.
Curcugen’s bioavailability & composition
About Curcugen, Dr. Jackson-Michel explained that the dispersible turmeric extract is applicable across multiple platforms including traditional supplements, crossover and functional foods, and beverages. Further, she added, “it was formulated to provide the same composition of curcuminoids and essential oils, at no less than 50% and 1.5% respectively, in any format it is presented in.”
Additionally, while there are some exceptions, like powdered beverage platforms, Curcugen is generally available as a 100% whole turmeric extract for formulation.
Extensive evaluation was performed on Curcugen’s bioavailability before it was selected for inclusion in Clear Within’s formulation. When compared against standard curcuminoid formulation C-95%, it was determined that Curcugen was “thirty-nine-times more bioavailable than C-95% for freely circulating, unbound curcumin in the plasma over twenty-four hours,” said Dr. Jackson-Michel.
C-95% was selected for comparison because “Curcuminoids 95%, or C-95% is a purified curcumin extract, highly concentrated in curcuminoids, particularly the curcumin analogue.” She further explained that “it is the industry standard, found in formulation and clinical study, but its very low bioavailability generally obligates higher doses.”
Additional evaluations revealed that “Curcugen was found to be 52.5 times more bioavailable than the combined measure of the three prominent curcuminoids: curcumin, DMC and BDMC after being deconjugated by enzymatic digestion (outside of the body),” she said.
As Dr. Jackson-Michel explained, this result is “commonly termed, total curcumin bioavailability and infers the potential of available, bioactive curcuminoids under inflammatory, acidic, or other like environment that would similarly activate innately produced deconjugating enzymes.”
A third finding from Curcugen’s extensive evaluation is that “the major, water soluble metabolite of curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) was found to be 31 times more bioavailable than C-95%.”
How Curcugen benefits skin health as an oral supplement
Curcuminoids like the bioactives contained in Curcugen work to benefit skin health as a beauty-from-within supplement by actively “targeting messaging signals that are released by triggered white blood cells who respond reflexively to infection, invasion, tissue damage, oxidative stress, and/or intense local environment changes” to produce an inflammatory response in the body’s system like cytokines.
Further, curcuminoids work to not just target but actually “interrupt the cascading of downstream pathways that exact symptoms of inflammation and lead to maladapted responses that hurt us more than they help us,” she explained.
There are many common skin issues that result from this ‘dysregulated cell signaling,’ which can be caused by a variety of factors including “irritants, oxidative stress like excessive UV exposure, infection (as in the case of skin breakouts) or due to changes to signaling molecules at the level of the DNA that can lead to excessive skin cell and blood vessel reactivity,” she said.
For these types of reactions, curcumin is considered to be beneficial, and “when curcuminoids are made bioavailable and accessible to the system, like with Curcugen, these theoretical benefits can become actualized in its ability to create balance and improve skin health,” she shared.
Clear Within development & formulation
When the Clear Within team set out to reformulate its beauty-from-within supplement, the research team sought to create a “unique blend of ingredients that tackle skin breakouts from angles that other skincare supplements do not, packed in an allergen-free vegan capsule,” said Rhagoshay.
As the only skin care supplement on the market that utilizes Curcugen, the formulation team was able to combine the Curcugen extract with “high-impact ingredients like Astaxanthin and Milk Thistle, which have their own host of benefits.”
The resulting Clear Within formula can, therefore, help “aid the body in preventing future blemishes while taming skin concerns that are often triggered from a host of internal issues,” he shared. The team’s ultimate goal in creating the supplement formulation is to provide a nutricosmetic supplement with the capability to help consumers “tackle recurrent skin breakouts at their root for long-term results,” he explained.
While there are many currently available topical cosmetic products to address skin issues like acne, they often carry unwanted effects like irritation, contain non-natural ingredients, or offer short-term results. Clear Within was produced as an alternative to these options to provide “long-lasting results in a transparent manner,” with recognizable ingredients for consumer support with common skin concerns.
During the formulation development process, the Clear Within team’s greatest challenge in trying to create an all-in-one beauty-from within supplement was “identifying what the main root causes of recurrent skin breakouts were for people, and how we could create a formula friendly enough for everyone - no matter the trigger and no matter what your gender is,” said Rhagoshay.
To accomplish this, rather than sacrificing a crucial component in the formula or “compromising a few ingredients to fit them in a capsule, we spent a lot of time examining what the most effective doses would be for each ingredient and how it could benefit everyone,” he shared. As a result, the final formulation for Clear Within contains the most universally suitable ingredients to improve skin health in an effective vegan formulation that is appropriate for the widest consumer base possible.