Ingredient Spotlight: OceanDerMX™

Oceandermx Ingredient Spotlight

When we first heard the winners of the 2020 Loreal Innovation Runway Competition were an Auckland-based Māori-owned ingredient maker Organic Bioactives, we were inspired to look at what they had accomplished in order to gain their recognition in the global beauty market.  The result of six years of research, testing and trials were innovative skincare ingredient blends that combined sustainable traditional harvesting practices and leading-edge skincare science that has resulted in a collection of multitasking patented ingredient blends that address healthy aging, pollution protection, and more.  “We’ve integrated the latest cosmetic science with time-proven indigenous Māori knowledge to create multitasking skincare ingredients with excellent sensorial profiles,” says Andrea Taimana, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Organic Bioactives.

The blend that stood out to us was the OceanDerMX™ Balance & Brighten, which we have incorporated into our Active Serum and Active Moisturizer. This brings together the powerful ingredients Mamaku Black Fern extract, NZ algae extract , Centella asiatica extract and licorice root extract.

“Red seaweed, Centella asiatica and licorice root all have brightening effects, so we studied all of them and found they all have different modes of action.  By packing all of them together, we multiplied the effects and covered all the different pathways” Says Taimana.  What we found most impressive about this formula is that in addition to reducing pigmentation, it is also able to effectively diminish blemishes and acne, making it the perfect addition to the Eunoia range, as we aim to make all our products not only multipurpose but suitable for all skin types, ages and conditions. In fact, studies were able to show a reduction in blemishes and pigmentation in only seven days when used in the concentration we have incorporated this ingredient into our Serum and Moisturizer.


Oceandermx before and after

 Figure 1. Before and after 7 days application.


What also makes the OceanDerMX™ range suitable for the Eunoia range is the proprietary clean beauty technology TPT Xtraction™ method that uses cold water and ultrasonic extraction, which ensures the extracts retain maximum bioactive compounds while being 100% free of solvents and ensures no irritating compounds are present in our formulas.

We also liked how the ingredients chosen all work to complement and enhance each other’s method of action. “The first and most important fact to understand,” says Mario Vulinovich, Commercial Director at Organic Bioactives, “is that the OceanDerMX™ range offers performance from ‘all in one’ multitasking ingredients that can replace several individual inputs; inputs like Vitamin A, Hyaluronic Acid, plant-based oligopeptides, synthetic chelators, and melanogenesis inhibitors, which are all commonly sold individually.”  As the Eunoia range is all about combining as many bioactive and clinically proven actives as possible in one easy to use formula, this really fits our design brief.

It is well known that Vitamin A is the most well researched and most proven antiaging active on the market, but that it can be very irritating and cause unwanted reactions in some people [2].  By combining retinoid and Vitamin A precursors known as carotenoids, we are able to get the most of their benefits without causing sensitivity to the skin.  These benefits include:

Skin regeneration and antiaging: Carotenoids increase fibroblast stimulation promoting collagen and elastin synthesis [3].  They repair and regenerate collagen and elastin fibres that have been damaged due to UV radiation [4], and preventing the degradation of these supporting fibres by inhibiting elastase, the enzyme that degrades collagen and elastin [5], resulting in a visible reduction in lines and wrinkles.

Pigmentation reduction: carotenoids significantly decrease the size of melanocytes and melanin levels. This reduces undesired discoloration caused by UV exposure, hormones or inflammatory conditions such as acne [6].

Acne preventing properties: carotenoids' antioxidant properties provide protection to the lipid components in sebum. This prevents the generation of irritating and inflammatory end products that lead to the development of acne [7].


The bioactive present in OceanDerMX™ are attributed to its composition of chlorophylls, vitamin A and retinoid precursors.  Since OceanDerMX™ acts as a bioactive delivery system, it helps deliver these nutrients into the skin instead of them remaining on the skins surface like other competitors products [1]. 

Figure 2. The total amount of chlorophylls present in OceanDerMX™ compared to brown seaweed extract. 



Key Ingredients in Balance and Brighten


Algae extract (NZ native red seaweed)

New Zealand native red seaweed inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanogenesis or pigment production in the melanosomes (pigment storing cells) of the skin [8] thereby decreasing and preventing pigmentation.  It consists of eight sugar molecules that mimic the skin's GAGs (also known as mucopolysaccharides, the body’s natural moisturizers and structural components that act as a bio-identical structural scaffolding that supports the skins matrix structure.  These glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s), bind to the skin's receptors, assisting the delivery of bioactive ingredients directly to the skin cells and helping to increase the flexibility of the skin.  In addition, this highly prized ingredient contains an abundance of natural peptides, carotenoids, and fatty acids, that combine to help deliver antioxidants and hydration to your skin.

Figure 3. Evaluation of the hydrating properties of the NZ red seaweed GAG's on human skin via clinical trials preformed on the skin, after applying products twice a day over fourteen consecutive days. 


Red seaweeds essential sugars are behind its exceptional ability to bind with water allowing the product to penetrate the stratum corneum ensuring deep moisturization, allowing it to function as a natural alternative to hyaluronic acid.  The water-binding capacity of a compound is critical to how well it can perform as a skin moisturizer. The current industry standard is hyaluronic acid. OceanDerMX™ is a better natural alternative, which significantly outperformed hyaluronic acid after only 1-minute administration of distilled water [1].


Table 3. Water-binding capacity of OceanDerMX™ compared to hyaluronic acid at 1 ml for 1 minute.


Seaweed extracts, especially red types possess significant levels of anti-photoaging activities that protect the skin from UV radiation as seaweed-derived materials such as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are well known as being the most potent natural UVA-absorbing molecules [9].


Mamaku Black Fern (Cyathea medullaris) leaf extract

Traditionally used in Māori herbal medicine, Mamaku, or black tree fern, extract contains oligosaccharides and polysaccharide carbohydrates that work together to assist the rejuvenation of skin cells by encouraging the production of collagen and elastin and adding moisture to the skin while mechanically lifting and tightening the skin, immediately reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also effective as an antioxidant and protects the skin from the damaging effects of pollution [10]. 


Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) leaf extract

Centella asiatica extract is a medicinal herb rich in antioxidants, amino acids, beta-carotene and fatty acids.  It has been proven to treat various skin conditions caused by inflammation, or irritation like psoriasis or eczema. It increases cell production, boosts circulation and has been shown to stimulate hyaluronic acid synthesis within the skin and improve the signs of aging [11]. 

C. asiatica has been used as an effective anti-photoaging agent. The mechanism of action involves promoting fibroblast proliferation, mainly due to the enhancement of type I collagen, which decreases with age [12] and increasing the metabolism of lysine and proline, the amino acids essential for the building of collagen molecules [13].


Glycyrrhiza galbara (licorice) root extract

Extracted from the root of Glycyrrhia glabra, a plant known to possess many medicinal properties. It is one of the oldest herbal remedies with a rich history in medical medicine.  Its ongoing use is evolving so much that it has been referred to as “the plant of the future”. The root contains over 300 compounds that have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-ulcer anti-oxidant agents. The extract improves hyperpigmentation by dispersing melanin within the skin, inhibiting melanin biosynthesis and decreasing free radical production. The main component is the polyphenolic flavonoid glabridin.  Studies have shown that glabridin prevents UVB induced pigmentation and exerts anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been used effectively in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema and acne [14].


Where to find OceanDerMX™

With all these great ingredients working synergistically together and being present in a concentration high enough to give proven benefits, it’s not hard to see why we included this complex in our Active Serum and Active Moisturizer.


Eunoia serum and moisturizer  



  1. Craig Serpes, OceanDerMX™ Research Study 2020, (2020)

  2. Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H. C., Roeder, A., & Weindl, G. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clinical interventions in aging1(4), 327–348.

  3. TP Anunciato and PA Filho de Rocha, Carotenoids and polyphenols in nutricosmetics, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals, J Cosm Derm 11 51-54 (2012)

  4. R Ganceviviere, A Liakou, A Theodoridis and E Makrantonaki, Skin anti-aging strategies, DermatoEndocrinol 3 308-319 (2012)

  5. GJ Fisher, The pathophysiology of photoaging of the skin, Cutis 5 58–69 (2005)

  6. Bowe, W.P., Logan, A.C. Clinical implications of lipid peroxidation in acne vulgaris: old wine in new bottles. Lipids Health Dis 9, 141 (2010).

  7. L Invidia et al, Human models of aging and longevity, Expert Opin Biol The 8 1393–405 (2008)
  8. Zolghadri, S., Bahrami, A., Hassan Khan, M. T., Munoz-Munoz, J., Garcia-Molina, F., Garcia-Canovas, F., & Saboury, A. A. (2019). A comprehensive review on tyrosinase inhibitors. Journal of enzyme inhibition and medicinal chemistry34(1), 279–309
  9. Pangestuti, Ratih et al. “Anti-Photoaging and Potential Skin Health Benefits of Seaweeds.” Marine drugs vol. 19,3 172. 22 Mar. 2021, doi:10.3390/md19030172

  10. Carnachan, S. M., Bell, T. J., Hinkley, S., & Sims, I. M. (2019). Polysaccharides from New Zealand Native Plants: A Review of Their Structure, Properties, and Potential Applications. Plants (Basel, Switzerland)8(6), 163.

  11. Maquart FX, Chastang F, Simeon A, et al. Triterpenes from Centella asiatica stimulate extracellular matrix accumulation in rat experimental wounds. Eur J Dermatol. 1999;9:289–96

  12. Bylka W, Znajdek-Awiżeń P, Studzińska-Sroka E, Brzezińska M. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013;30(1):46-49. doi:10.5114/pdia.2013.33378

  13. Goldman MP, Bacci PA, Leibaschoff G. New York, London: Taylor & Francis; 2006. Cellulite: pathophysiology and treatment

  14. Saeedi M, Morteza-Semnani K, Ghoreishi MR. The treatment of atopic dermatitis with licorice gel. J Dermatolog Treat. 2003 Sep;14(3):153-7. doi: 10.1080/09546630310014369. PMID: 14522625



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