The recent International Congress of Esthetics and Spa (ICES) meeting in Philadelphia was a great place to wander the aisles, share ideas with 100 or so skincare vendors and practitioners, see product demonstrations, and learn from experts conducting educational sessions. It  also was a great place for discovery to see some of the latest industry trends. 

From Farm to Facial


“Natural” is in.  There was a bumper crop of offerings featuring plant-based products, those with fruit and vegetable extracts, and vegan and gluten-free alternatives.  You could be excused for thinking you were at a supermarket rather than at conference on skin esthetics! Botanical extracts were the first historical cosmetics and continue to have a utility for modern-day products. All parts of plants can be processed for topical use including the flower, bark, stem, root, leaf, seed, and fruit. As examples, we highlight below a few MEG 21 products that combine our patented cosmetic ingredient Supplamine® with plant-based ingredients to improve skin health and restore a more youthful appearance.  

Go-to Source for Anti-Oxidants


Ultraviolet light from the sun causes plant cell and DNA damage due to free radical formation and the resulting oxidative stress. Since plants depend on sunlight for photosynthesis, they have developed anti-oxidant defense mechanisms. An array of botanical compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols effectively inactivate free radicals or intervene with biochemical pathways that contribute to oxidative stress. Similarly, skin is susceptible to oxidative stress due to sun exposure, pollutants, and the detrimental effect of glycation from the reaction of sugar with skin proteins, lipids and DNA. MEG 21 Anti-Oxidant Boost is formulated with Indian gooseberry and grapeseed extracts, two of the most powerful botanical sources of anti-oxidant ingredients to fight skin stress from glycation and free radicals. One of the effects of oxidative stress is inflammation, and many botanicals have anti-inflammatory properties.  MEG 21 Advanced Formula is formulated with both aloe and green tea extracts to fight inflammation.

Brighten Up

Irregular pigmentation–age spots or dark patches–is often a sign of aging, and cosmetic ingredients that inhibit the formation of the skin pigment melanin can result in a more even and radiant appearance. Melanin is produced by melanocytes in the basal layer of skin through a biochemical pathway that depends on the enzyme tyrosinase.  Many botanical extracts and pure compounds such as kojic acid or arbutin inhibit tyrosinase activity and have a resulting skin lightening effect when used in cosmetics.  MEG 21 Brightening Gel Cleanser is formulated with licorice, bearberry and mulberry extracts that contain tyrosinase inhibitors to brighten skin.

Watch for more MEG 21 blog posts which will include other ICES meeting highlights, industry trends and helpful skin care highlights.

Further Reading

Ribeiro, A.S. et al. (2015) Main Benefits and Applicability of Plant Extracts in Skin Care Products. Cosmetics 2:48-65.