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ABOUT FACE: How Sunflower Sterols Enhance Skin

Women (and many men) of all ages know that putting their best faces forward will help them attain goals through confidence. Cosmetics are formulated to help boost self-confidence via enhancing the visual appearance of skin — making it look more youthful, glowing, dewy and fresh. These are adjectives that consumers respond to, and view as desirable attributes.

Although these adjectives may be clinically hard to define, they do have meaning. Specific ingredients, notably plant sterols (also known as phytosterols), have been shown to impart these benefits, as well as provide sun protection and inflammation modulation.

Phytosterols, especially those isolated from non-GMO sunflower oil, have compelling research as both nutritional supplements and skin care ingredients.  They are also attractive to today’s consumers who seek natural products and are eco- and clean-label conscious.

Phytosterols are common in nature (the most abundant are beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol). They consist of solid complex alcohols with a similar structure and function to cholesterol; the key difference lies in the structure of the side chain. Two of the most desired commercial sources of phytosterols are soybean oil and sunflower oil, which has the added benefits of being non-GMO, soy-free and rich in beta sitosterol.

Phytosterols are commonly added to nutritional supplements and functional food for their ability to support healthy cholesterol profiles, a fact clearly demonstrated by numerous studies dating back to the early 1950s. In 2000, the FDA permitted manufacturers to use health claims stating that regular consumption of foods enriched with plant sterol or stanol esters — as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol — may reduce the risk of heart disease. Health claims are also allowed on certain foods sold in Europe, and phytosterols are one of the few nutritional compounds to be granted an approved health claim by EFSA.

In nutritional supplements, research has shown that beta-sitosterol is of particular interest to men concerned about prostate health — one review of studies on men showed that this supplement helps improve urological symptoms and flow measures. 1, 2

For skin care applications, phytonutrients help prevent skin from drying out, and in esterified form act as an emollient. In topical products formulated to provide anti-aging benefits, emollients are necessary — they are wax-like thickening agents that retain water, promoting hydration and adding that appealing plumpness. And because of these capabilities, phytosterols are commonly and successfully used as emulsifiers in the cosmetics industry.

Introducing Sunvasterol™
According to a September 2017 survey of women by the global information firm The NPD Group, approximately 50 percent of respondents said they actively seek products containing natural or organic ingredients. This statistic validates an earlier survey, “Green Beauty Barometer” (Harris Poll) performed in summers of 2016 and 2017, which revealed that nearly 60% of women age 35 and older believe it is important to use beauty products that are fully “free from” — parabens, fragrance, phthalates, sulfates and gluten, and this number increased to 73% of millennial respondents.

Sunvasaterol Ester perfectly suits these attributes that women are seeking in their beauty/skincare products. Produced exclusively from sunflower and consisting of concentrated phytosterols esters, mainly beta-sitosterol. Sunvasterol™ is also vegan and non-GMO, as well as non-allergenic (no soy, tree nuts, wheat or animal products). Further, two factors that are trending strongly in skin care and cosmetics in 2018 are “toxic-free preservatives” and “free-from,” according to leading skin care/beauty trade magazine, Happi (Rodman Publishing, New Jersey). Sunvasterol Ester satisfies both demands.

According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Report (January 2014), Sunvasterol Ester can be safely used as a skin conditioning agent, hair conditioning agent, viscosity increasing agent, skin protectant, and antioxidant. According to UE 257/2006 they are included in approved inventory for cosmetic products as an emollient.

Globally, individuals are photographed more than ever in history — smartphones are the new portrait photographers, and we can be on video in a flash. Therefore, how we appear to others in person and on social media is more important than ever. Showcasing clear, glowing and healthy skin goes a long way to boosting self-confidence. And as more people continue to demand that skin care and cosmetic products are clean-label, Sunvasterol Ester delivers what the consumer not only desires but deserves:  support of healthy, youthful skin so she (and he) can put their best faces forward.

  1.  Wilt, et al. “Beta-sitosterol for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia:  a systematic review” BJU Int. 1999 Jun;83 (9):976-83.
  2. P R Berges, et al., The Lancet 345, 1529-1532 (1995)
  3. N.-R. Han, et al “The β-sitosterol attenuates atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions through down-regulation of TSLP,” Exp. Biol. Med. Maywood  NJ, vol. 239, no. 4, pp. 454–464, Apr. 2014.
  4. E. S. Ang, et al. “Evaluating the role of alternative therapy in burn wound management: randomized trial comparing moist exposed burn ointment with conventional methods in the management of patients with second-degree burns,” MedGenMed Medscape Gen. Med., vol. 3, no. 2, p. 3, Mar. 2001.
  5.  B. S. Atiyeh, et al. “Improving scar quality: a prospective clinical study,” Aesthetic Plast. Surg., vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 470–476, Dec. 2002.
  6. B. S. Atiyeh, et al. “Scar quality and physiologic barrier function restoration after moist and moist-exposed dressings of partial-thickness  wounds,” Dermatol. Surg. Off. Publ. Am. Soc. Dermatol. Surg. Al, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 14–20, Jan. 2003.

Sun E 900™ Natural Vitamin E       

  • INCI – Tocopherol
  • Derived from Sunflower
  • Anti-aging applications

Tocomix™ 70R

  • INCI – Tocopherol
  • Mixed Tocopherols derived from European Rapeseed
  • Natural preservative

Tocomix™ 70IP

  • INCI – Tocopherol
  • Mixed Tocopherols derived from IP soybeans
  • Natural preservative

Sunvolec™ L Sunflower Lecithin

  • INCI –Lecithin
  • Emulsification


  • INCI – Phytosterols
  • Phytosterols and their esters
  • Derived from sunflower
  • Slows down the degradation of collage 

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • INCI – Acetic Acid
  • Use as a toning agent

Sodium Hyaluronate (HA)

  • INCI – Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Skin plumping properties

DMAE Bitartrate

  • INCI – Dimethylaminoethanol
  • Skin firming properties

Natural Beta Carotene

  • INCI – Beta-Carotene
  • Conversion to Vitamin A

Sea Buckthorn

  • INCI – Hippophae rhamnoides Oil
  • Moisturizing properties

Fenugreek Fiber

  • INCI – Trigonella foenum-Graecum
  • Exfoliating properties


  • INCI – Spirulina Platensis
  • Exfoliating properties

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