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Arabidopsis thaliana

Reviewed by Katherine July 15, 2011 2 Comments
Whether I’m in Trader Joe’s inspecting the ingredients on food labels, or in Sephora examining the contents listed on the back of beauty products, I find myself mindlessly skipping over the ingredients I can’t pronounce (who thinks up those names?). Not simply because I don’t know what they mean, but also because, I’ll admit it, I find them mildly intimidating. That’s not to say I won’t buy a product or food item if it contains an ingredient I don’t recognize…I simply…just…disregard the ingredient entirely.

Tsk tsk tsk. The more I become involved with Truth In Aging, the more I realize what a bad habit this truly is. Not only am I completely ignorant of what I am putting on my face, in my hair, or inside of my body, but, on top of that, I could be using or consuming some dangerous things. All because I can’t pronounce something?

So, with that, I present to you an ingredient that I find incredibly hard to pronounce: Arabidopsis thaliana. And I can proudly say that I have done my homework to research this ingredient. What I found I felt was worth sharing with you:

Arabidopsis thaliana, also known as mouse-ear cress (much less difficult to pronounce), is a tiny flowering plant that stands about 20-25 cm high and has a short lifespan of about six weeks. It has one of the smallest plant genomes, making it a perfect candidate for the first plant to be sequenced.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what’s all the hype about? What makes this ingredient worth putting in anti-aging products? Well, I’ll tell you.

Arabidopsis thaliana prompts a specifically designed system of liposome delivery (involving the repair enzyme known as OGG1), which identifies DNA damage in your skin, and proceeds to assist the body’s natural process in restoration by beginning the cellular repair process, and also by transporting powerful and effective enzymes and antioxidants into the skin.

Basically, it recognizes the damage in your skin, and then initiates the body’s natural way of repairing it, speeding up the process of restoring your skin. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it?

Arabidopsis thaliana is currently used by a couple brands on the market, including ReLuma (ReLuma’s eye cream, $90 in TIA shop), as well as the Kardashian sisters’ PerfectSkin line. Keep your eye out for this one. Sounds like it will be making an appearance in some more products in the future.

Another interesting fact: according to the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Arabidopsis thaliana is believed to cause asthma. I guess it’s good that we’re only dealing with it in eye creams and serums…

I have yet to find any research providing me with a reason to dislike arabidopsis thaliana as an ingredient in the realm of skincare. So, luckily, the old "I-think-I'll-just-skip-that-ingredient" me would have been saved in this case.

What's more, I probably don’t have to tell you to read up on your ingredients, as you have clearly done your homework and read this (well done), but spread the word! Don’t let your friends mindlessly use harmful ingredients. Here’s an easy fix: have them visit Truth In Aging. I’ll tell you what; it saved me.
  • May 20, 2016

    by Jess

    Christine,

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC150563/

  • March 28, 2015

    by Christine

    I think that it is pretty optimistic to just assume that a protein placed on the skin will end up in the nucleus of skin cells, effect DNA repair etc. It requires passage through two phopholipid bilayers, transporters, cell signaling, etc. Without getting into the science of it, is there any bona fide in vivo studies to show this effect? I was shocked to see arabidopsis on ingredients lists. Having worked years in the lab and made thousands of transgenic arabidopsis, I was more than surprised to see this ignoble plant. It is used in labs because of its short life cycle - 6 to 8 weeks to get seed. If arabidopsis makes OGG1, then pretty much every plant does. nOthing probably much special about arabidopsis OGG1 and in fact, based on homology, it very well may not even interact with human DNA. Very few DNA modifying proteins work purely in isolation, rather a holoenazyme is formed. Think of OGG1 as one lego. What can you do with one? Nothing. Now go to Toys R Us and buy your favorite Lego set - Now you're cooking. In fact Mice Lao make OGG1 too. Not sure I would put mouse extract on my skin expecting DNA repair though. It looks to me like someone who thinks genetic models are some magic elixir when used as homogenates or extracts. I am extremely skeptical of this alleged effect and would love to see bona fide in vivo studies. Otherwise, it looks like quackery to me.

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