French company, Lessonia, has developed a hydrolysation technology applied to fucoidans. This technology involves hydrolysing these fucoidan polymers to obtainprecise fractions of biologically active oligosaccharides. The fucoidan’s low molecular weight is globally unique. The mass of molecular weight < 2 kDa can be absorbed directly through the human skin. The hydrolysation process increases the skin care and anti-ageing effect of the fucoidan compared to the standard macromolecular structure. Lessonia developed two active ingredients from fucoidans, Fucoreverse™ is an anti-ageing ingredient and Fucowhite™ a whitening ingredient.

Maurice Charles-Henry, Lessonia, France

Yulia Popova, Revada

Lessonia (Brittany, France) in collaboration with the Biological Station of Roscoff (Brittany, France) has developed a technology enzymatic hydrolysis of algae polysaccharides, which made it possible to obtain and introduce to the market innovative active cosmetic ingredients with proven effectiveness


Naturally grown kelp from the Iroise Sea (Coast of Brittany, France) is used to extract and hydrolyze fucoidan compounds. Fucoidans are polymers composed of sulfated fucose. They are insoluble molecules with a high molecular weight of 50 to 1000 kDa. Fucoidans are known for a wide range of biological activities, including stimulation of cellular metabolism and immunomodulation, but their use in cosmetics has always been limited by low bioavailability due to the high molecular weight of this oligosaccharide. Using a unique technology developed by Lessonia, fucoidans are hydrolyzed to an extremely low molecular weight. Fucoreverse™ (INCI: Hydrolyzed Fucoidan) is a combination of fucose mono-, di- and trimers with a molecular weight of less than 2 kDa. After hydrolysis, fucose molecules are saturated with sulfate groups, because. the biological activity of fucoidan directly depends on the degree of sulfation.

Thus, Fucoreverse™ is the most biologically active form of fucoidan, exhibiting the lowest possible molecular weight at the highest degree of sulfation (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 Chemical structure of Fucoreverse™


As we know, as we age, our skin experiences a functional deterioration of the extracellular matrix and a slowdown in metabolism. The main factor in this process is the degradation of ECM components in the dermal connective tissue. The extracellular matrix in the dermis is present as a molecular network (collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans) between fibroblasts that provides both structure and tone to the skin. The appearance of wrinkles and a decrease in skin tone is associated with an imbalance in the recovery processes in the skin and a decrease in metabolism. Fucoidans provide protection for matrix components by blocking enzymes responsible for matrix degradation, and also reduce the production of inflammatory mediators of cytokines that damage collagen.

Fucoreverse™ also acts as a repair agent, stimulating fibroblast metabolism and collagen synthesis. Through these synergistic actions, Fucoreverse™ delivers targeted anti-aging action to improve skin texture and restore firmness. To evaluate the effect of Fucoreverse™ on fibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis, in-vitro tests were performed on cultured human dermal fibroblasts. The tests were carried out at two concentrations: 0.15 and 1.5%. Untreated cells were used as a negative control. A significant increase in fibroblast proliferation compared to untreated cells was obtained: +35.5% at a dose of 0.15%; +51.1% at a dose of 1.5% (Fig. 2). Fucoreverse™ also has a significant stimulatory effect on type 1 collagen synthesis compared to the untreated control group: +23.7% at 0.15%; +31.1% at a dose of 1.5% (Fig. 3).

Fig. 2 Fibroblast proliferation relative to untreated cells

Fig. 3 Collagen synthesis relative to untreated cells

To prove the effect The anti-wrinkle activity of Fucoreverse™ is currently conducted in-vivo study on 42 volunteers (women 50 to 65 years old with crow’s feet wrinkles in the eye area) – twice daily application of cream with 1.5% Fucoreverse™ vs. placebo for 28 days. Wrinkle depth was quantified using the LIFEVIZ Micro instrument. Result – Fucoreverse™ reduces wrinkle depth compared to placebo by an average of 9.1% (p<0.05). It should also be noted that all respondents noted the soothing properties of the cream with 1.5% of the active ingredient – the removal of irritation and redness of the skin. Thanks to its unique structure, Fucoreverse™ effectively protects and restores the extracellular matrix of the skin and can be used as an active ingredient in a variety of anti-aging cosmetics. Fucoreverse™ has been praised by the professional community with this 100% natural ingredient winning a gold medal in the Green Ingredients Award at In-Cosmetics Global 2018.


The natural whitening ingredient was inspired by the kelp Ascophyllum nodosum, which is very common on the northwest coast of Europe. These algae are daily exposed to ultraviolet rays in the high water zone and have a special pigmentation regulation system. It was found that the main role in this is played by the complex of fucoidans with fluoroglucinols, polyphenolic antioxidants found in these algae. Fucowhite™ (INCI: Glycerin, water, Ascorphyllum nodosum extract) is a unique purified fucoidan-polyphenol complex derived from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum. The mechanism of action of Fucowhite™ is based on the inhibition of tyrosinase activity, which was confirmed in an in-vitro study compared to hydroquinone. Tyrosinase inhibition with Fucowhite™ is similar to that of hydroquinone but does not cause skin irritation. Fucowhite™ has been clinically tested on Asian skin types and showed significant results after 28 days of use (Figure 4): • 88% of volunteers in the active group saw an increase in fair skin tone (L’ parameter); • 63% of volunteers from the active group observed a decrease in skin pigmentation. Testing was carried out on 24 volunteers from Thailand applying a cream with 2% Fucowhite™ twice a day.

Fig. 4 Chromometric parameter:
b’: blue to yellow spectrum; L ‘: skin tone from dark to light

Fucowhite™ can be used as a functional active ingredient in whitening, anti-ageing, sunscreen and color cosmetics.

For more information and samples, please contact REVADA LLC


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