Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Be happy about your wrinkles. The cosmetic companies are rushing to put out creams with endorphins---the body's self-made painkillers. It has been reported that acupuncture, tickling and massaging the skin can cause release of these compounds. Runner's high and smiling are also said to release these natural tranquilizers.

Now, cosmetic companies have jumped on the endorphin phenomenon. Mibelle AG Biochemistry,for example,has just launched Happybelle-PE, a formulation that includes Monk's Pepper and Beta-Endorphin extract - said to have proven efficacy as an anti-wrinkle treatment.

Dr. David Schmid, company spokesperson says that Beta-endorphin has been shown to stimulate skin cells and that it thought that beta-endorphin could have a potential in skin regeneration and wound healing.

"The fact that this ingredient contains endorphins is what really makes it something new on the market," said Schmid. "The newly discovered regenerative properties, combined with the fact that endorphins are said to be mood enhancing, should help to give it added marketing impetus."

Monk's Pepper, also known as chaste tree, is a large shrub native to the Mediterranean area. Monk's pepper berries have traditionally been used as plant medicine, mainly to regulate women's menstrual cycles and PMS.

There are scientific publications that have found a beta-endorphin-like effect of monk's pepper berries. This effect is thought to come from berry compounds that bind to the human beta-endorphin receptor or berry compounds that stimulate the production of beta-endorphin in humans. Since anxiety, depression and sleeping problems are symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), the mood enhancing beta-endorphins are thought to be involved in the beneficial effect of Monk's Pepper in the treatment of PMS.

MIMICAL CONTROL SYSTEM from Barbor, which sells to salons, uses an extract of the Italian curry plant to promote the production of endorphins the skin. The endorphins, the company claims "stimulate the skin cells that play an active role in combating skin aging and leave your skin looking fresh, rejuvenated and radiantly beautiful."

A spicy ingredient of many curries may be an effective treatment for radiation burns .Researchers in the United States believe it may prevent skin blistering and redness associated with cancer radiation therapy.

Whether new endorphin ingredients will be effective against wrinkles---well, if you believe you look younger after using such creams, then perhaps you will release some endorphins on your own.