A study conducted at the Medical school of the University of Hamamatsu, Japan, has shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can potentially be an important component in creating more effective products for lip care.
The University has collaborated with research laboratories, Kose Corporation to better understand the molecular profile of the lips. This approach, according to scientists, is critical for the development of targeted cosmetic products. In other words, in accordance with the molecular profile characteristic of human lips, it is possible to detect critical internal components for cosmetics for lips”.
To get a better understanding, the researcher aimed to make a kind of map of human lips using mass spectrometry to get an idea of the distribution of lipids. The team received samples of the tissue of the lips of a person and subjected them to analysis by mass spectrometry with ionization and electrospray (DESI-IMS) in negative ion mode.
As a result, the researchers noted that at the red border of the lips – the border between the lip and adjacent skin, it was observed a higher accumulation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) compared to the rest of the lips. The researchers also found that there are differences in the distribution of palmitic, linoleic, oleic and arachidonic acids.
Docosahexaenoic acid is a fatty acid omega-3, which is known to support heart health, brain function and contributes to the development of babies. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and accelerates wound healing. However, it is unclear how this acid affects the functioning of cells and tissues of the human lips.
“DHA is an essential polyunsaturated fatty omega-3 acid in the human body and is well-known, due to its numerous beneficial effects. Although the importance of DHA to the lips, was not well understood, it is clear that omega-3 acids of the aforementioned type, including DHA, contribute to the structural integrity of the skin” – say representatives of the research team. In particular, it remains unclear why the DHQ is distributed on the lip that way, but scientists have suggested that it has something to do with the distribution of blood vessels immediately beneath the epithelium.
Professor Mitsutoshi Seth from the Department of cellular and molecular anatomy noted that the skin of the lips and face varies according to many parameters, especially the lipid content. He also stressed the importance of understanding the precise structure of the body to ensure the biocompatibility of cosmetics. According to Mr. Seth, DHA may possess antioxidant and anti-aging properties as an ingredient in lip care. The Professor believes that this discovery may lead to the development of superior products for lips in the future.