Methylsilanol mannuronate is an organic silanol that is used in cosmetics and personal care products primarily as an anti-aging ingredient.
Methylsilanol mannuronate is an organic derivative of silicon, which is the 14th element on the periodic table and the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, after oxygen. Often, the terms “silicon” and “silicone” are mistakenly used interchangeably, when they are actually quite different. While silicon is a natural element, silicone refers to synthetic polymers of repeating units of siloxane (elemental silicon and oxygen).
Silicon is important to nail, hair, bone, and skin health in humans. It is needed for synthesis of collagen and elastin, which are both proteins that help maintain the skin’s youthful appearance. Understanding the importance of silicon in skin health, the manufacturer Biosil Technologies, Inc. created methylsilanol mannuronate under the trade name ALGISIUM C®. Methylsilanol mannuronate can be classified as a silanol, which means it is comprised of a silicone with an -OH group attached. It is then reacted with mannuronic acid, an extract from the brown algae laminaria.
In cosmetics and personal care products, methylsilanol mannuronate is primarily used as an anti-aging ingredient because it has the ability to protect the skin from free radicals, protect collagen and elastin against glycation, stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation, and promote lipolysis.
Methylsilanol mannuronate functions as an anti-aging ingredient by protecting the skin against free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Methylsilanol mannuronate protects against free radical damage by increasing the cell membrane’s resistance.
Another way that methylsilanol mannuronate functions as an anti-aging ingredient is by protecting the structural proteins collagen and elastin from glycation. Glycation occurs when sugars enter the circulation and attach themselves to the amino groups of tissue proteins, such as collagen, rearranging their structure into something called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As a result, AGEs cause once healthy collagen and elastin fibers to lose their elasticity, thereby becoming rigid, more brittle, and prone to breakage. Since methylsilanol mannuronate protects against glycation, it can help to preserve collagen and elastin fibers.
Methylsilanol mannuronate also has the ability to promote skin regeneration through collagen production. Research indicates that methylsilanol mannuronate increase fibroblast proliferation. Fibroblasts are cells in the connective tissue that produce collagen. By increasing fibroblast proliferation, methylsilanol mannuronate can boost collagen production. The result is skin that appears more firm, smooth, and youthful.
Methylsilanol mannuronate also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that after incubation with different concentrations of silicon, UV-exposed keratinocytes showed a decrease in the expression of IL-1a (an inflammatory mediator). This suggests that topical application of methylsilanol mannuronate can soothe the skin and reduce the inflammatory response.
Another function of methylsilanol mannuronate in skin care products is to promote lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids. Methylsilanol mannuronate induces the release of excess fatty acids contained in adipocytes (fat cells), resulting in a body slimming effect. This makes methylsilanol mannuronate a useful ingredient in anti-cellulite skin care products.
The safety of methylsilanol mannuronate has been evaluated and rated on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. According to the Cosmetic Database, methylsilanol mannuronate is rated as a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest risk to health and 10 being the highest. However, the Cosmetic Database does note that there is little available data on the use of methylsilanol mannuronate in cosmetics and personal care products.
References: Wikipedia “Silicon”, Biosil Technologies, Inc. “ALGISIUM C®”, EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database “Methylsilanol Mannuronate”