Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Off Topic Saccharide Isomerate aka Pentavitin…. What is the group’s consensus?

  • Saccharide Isomerate aka Pentavitin…. What is the group’s consensus?

    Posted by Graillotion on September 20, 2022 at 2:01 am

    Every time I read a marketing blurb on this ingredient….I stop and ponder.  Is this just good marketing hype…or am I missing something?  I am always suspect of ingredients that have been on the market for 10 years and seem to have made little headway.  I guess I feel that if something were truly special….it would be in a LOT of (commercial) products after 10 years.

    So since cosmetic data is often suspect and limited….how about your personal experiences?  Do you feel it made a product better?

    When I looked at some material on Google Scholar….it made me doubt it more…as they would pair it with something like a ceramide, and then state a benefit.  If you are going to test something….you don’t add a second ingredient, then state that the first ingredient made the difference.

    What about from a scientific approach?  Is it logical to assume this is a superior humectant?  

    I read many of the old threads….and it seemed like there was a lot of straddling the fence….not much of any strong opinions…pro or con.  Time to vent on this ingredient…. :) 

    On a second side note…just for curiosity….. I think one of the areas they promote in the marketing…is ability to be used in a wash-off product.  It somehow forms a bond quickly with the skin, and will adhere even in the midst of a sudsy episode.  I find this hard to believe…but always open to an enlightening.  Is this possible…to make a cleansing product into one that moisturizes?

    Let me hear your experiences…. Good or Bad.

    Graillotion replied 1 year, 7 months ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Pharma

    September 20, 2022 at 10:36 am

    What about from a scientific approach?  Is it logical to assume this is a superior humectant?  

    The chemical composition is not really known and/or depends on the manufacturing processe (which isn’t publicly known). I had a hard time figuring out what it actually is and found some indications that it’s not actually ‘isomerised’ in the proper sense but ‘modified’ (caramellised?) and/or otherwise polymerised/rearranged glucose and/or other glucosides. According to the CIR report, which seems to be the most comprehensive publication I could find, there are actually several products on the market composed of low molecular weight mono-/disaccharides and derivatives thereof such as uronic acids, aminoglucosides, and/or acetylated aminoglucosides, corresponding medium molecular weight oligosaccharides, or respective high molecular weight polysaccharides.
    The presence of aminoglucosides would result in this ‘immediately sticks to skin’ effect (think of Jaguar and other cationic conditioning agents). However, the CIR report mentions that the product sticks to skin by the inverse mechanism (uronic acids binding to lysine side chains)… which, to me, doesn’t sound convincing given that many polymers are anionic and don’t really stick well to skin.
    Bottom line is: There is not one saccharide isomerate but several and these are likely to have more or less different behaviours and skin feel.
    Are they good humectants? I’d say they are as good (or bad) as similar products (meaning, there are better ones out there and for less $$, too).
  • zetein

    September 20, 2022 at 1:02 pm
    It’s just glorified fructose corn syrup.
    And the sticking to skin thing is called glycation, technically. Glycation/AGEs is generally considered to be a bad thing, especially in cosmetics/supplement/food marketing, right?
    For topical use, self-tanning lotion takes some time to work. So I doubt a rinse-off would leave much.
  • Pharma

    September 20, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    What? I expected an ionic interaction but forming a Schiff base spontaneously with their brew (but not any other saccharides)? Are they nuts? What about science?

  • Graillotion

    September 25, 2022 at 2:29 am

    So, for clarification…. how would one compare how Pentavitin sticks to the skin, when comparing with a product that would use a cationic emulsifier?  For the sake of illustration…. let’s keep this to a leave on lotion or cream for skin.

    Will a cationic lotion stick just as well as Pentavitin?  Will pentavitin stick to the skin until desquamation naturally removes it (hence the 72 hour advertising) ?  How long does a good cationic stick to the skin….and what it the mechanism of removal from the skin of a cationic cream/lotion?

    I don’t particularly like working with cationics…..so is Pentavitin a ‘back door’ in to creating a cationic ‘residual effect’ in a cream/lotion.  Or is this just way off base?



  • Pharma

    September 25, 2022 at 6:02 pm
    A cationic emulsifier/surfactant sticks to the skin like one pole of a magnet to another one with the opposite pole, thereby stretching its lipophilic tail into the air. Cationics form a one molecule thin layer on top of the skin. This so called ionic bond is a fairly strong bond, the strongest non-covalent one (covalent means that the two partners form a single new molecule). Washing off is hence possible with enough salts/electrolytes (these act like a bunch of small magnets which distrub/disrupt the emulsifier-skin bond), by friction, and by desquamation.
    An anionic sugar can, hypothetically, stick to positive charges on the skin the same way (just that the ‘magnetic poles’ are the other way round). However, sugars are hydrophilic, the resulting skin feel will be different. Due to a lot less ‘free’ positive charges on skin and the smaller molecular size of ‘sugar acids’ (= uronic acids, a type of polyhydroxy acids), these may penetrate somewhat deeper into skin than cationics (and hence don’t ‘feel’ but do whatever marketing tells them to do :smiley: ).
    The hypothesis by Pentavitin is that neutral sugars which penetrate even deeper (cause no charge and hence no interactions with any charged residues of the skin) chemically bind to amino acids (weird enough, ‘normal’ sugars usually don’t do this). Said reaction is also called Maillard reaction and gives fried/baked/roasted foods their typical flavours and, in a pathological sense, leads after long enough reaction times (months, years, decades) and several rearrangement steps to Amadori products and fianlly advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are for example responsible for long-term issues with poorly treated diabetes but also occur during normal ageing and are contributing to becoming visibly/health-wise old and not just old on the calendar.
    Why Pentavitin should react instantaneously (totally against laws of chemistry… and even if, then every reducing sugar would do the same) only with keratin (how should their isomerised sugar know the difference between a lysine residue of keratin and that of any other protein? Magic?) and why this reaction should be good (it certainly isn’t) remains a mystery to any sane and educated person.
    The graph @zetein posted shows isomerisation of glucose to fructose… as he said, high-fructose corn syrup. The chemistry/theory of the reaction is sound and, with the aid of enzymes and pyridoxal phosphate, is part of our everyday metabolism. However, without enzymes, you have to fry, roast, or bake sugars such as fructose (correct, fructose works better than glucose and free monoglucosides work better than polymers such as starch) with protein rich food, to make the reaction work (it needs to be hot and dry enough to get water to evaporate). How wants to treat his/her skin’s keratin at >200°C for an hour or two and who thinks that this results in a more hydrated skin?
    Show the consumers some chemical structures to make them think ‘Wow, that company is so scientific, they really have to know their shit!’…
  • Graillotion

    September 25, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Pharma said:

    Show the consumers some chemical structures to make them think ‘Wow, that company is so scientific, they really have to know their shit!’…

    Thank you for taking the time to illustrate this in such an entertaining manner.  I guess now it all adds up….with 10 years on the market, why this product is not ruling the world.  And here I was thinking….’they must really know their s#it’!   :D

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