Equol is the only cosmetic active ingredient that demonstrates correspondence between gene & protein expression for collagen, elastin & MMPs to Protect, Repair & Restore the skin


Brigham Young University has invested over 500,00.00 USD in our equol technology and skin and hair applications. Via cell culture and gene expression studies equol was found to: stimulate collagen, elastin, TIMP1, SOD, Nrf2 and at the same time inhibits matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs 1, 3 & 9), NFkappB, the 5α-reductase enzyme in fibroblasts, and protects in multiple ways against oxidative stress via decreasing interleukins and COX (as reported in Gopaul et al., Biofactors 2012, Lephart, Pharma Biol. 2013, Lephart, Ageing Res. Reviews, 2016 and Internat. J. Molecular Sciences, 2017, Cosmetics 2018). By percutaneous absorption profiles, equol forms a natural reservoir within the epidermis by binding to estrogen receptor beta in the keratinocytes, and then, is slowly released into the dermis up to 28 hours after a single application (Lephart, Pharma Bio. 2013). Equol is the only cosmetic active ingredient that demonstrates correspondence between gene and protein expression for collagen, elastin and MMPs (Lephart, J. Cosmetic Dermatology 2018). In vitro, equol has been shown to protect against the negative impact of 5α-DHT in human fibroblasts. Also, in human gene expression studies that compared equol to resveratrol or astaxanthin, equol’s efficacy was better than resveratrol or astaxanthin for antioxidant, extracellular matrix integrity & breakdown, growth factors and inflammatory biomarkers (Lephart, Internat. J. Molecular Sciences, 2017; Lephart, J. Functional Foods, 2019). In clinical studies, the oral application of equol decreased wrinkles (crow’s feet) in postmenopausal Japanese women (Oyama et al., Menopause 2012) and in another study, topical application of equol improved structural and molecular skin parameters (roughness, texture, smoothness, firmness, elasticity & ↓ methylation and teleomere length in skin cells) (Magnet et al., Internat. J. Cosmetic Science 2017). Notably, in this study the women did NOT show a significant difference in topically applied equol verses micro-encapsulated equol, suggesting the delivery was not enhanced by microencapsulation. Also, since equol binds specifically 5α-DHT, a recent clinical study in 2018 showed that the topical application of equol protects against male-pattern baldness by decreasing cell death of human hair follicles and stimulating hair follicle growth in men and women (Brotzu et al., Dermatology Therapy 2018).

Conclusions: The botanical – Equol binds specifically 5α – DHT & binds selectively to estrogen receptor beta in skin, scalp (prostate & breast) tissue. Equol also binds and activates estrogen related receptor gamma that protects against neoplastic growth (Lephart, Ageing Res. Reviews 2016). Equol has better efficacy compared to resveratrol and astaxanthin for many human skin gene biomarkers and clinical studies support the in vitro findings for improved skin and scalp hair health.

There are 3 current cosmetic formulas (1) moisturizing serum, (2) night complex and (3) foaming cleanser that contain equol that can be incorporated into a cosmetic line for immediate use without further planning/human (RIPT) testing or logistical challenges. Plus, a hair formula for scalp hair retention/enhancement for male and female pattern baldness is available.

Brigham Young University has 7 issued patents in the United States, Japan and Australia with patents pending in other countries.

Key Benefits

General Goals in skin cosmetics: (1st four points-mechanism, last three points below display results)
1. enhance- dermal collagen and elastin
2. inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that breakdown collagen and elastin
3. decrease negative androgenic hormonal influences and
4. enhance estrogenic hormonal influences in the skin without the negative perception of estrogen on health
5. decrease the appearance of fine and medium lines and wrinkles
6. enhance skin integrity/repair/health by decreasing oxidative stress to counteract chronological and photoaging
7. enhance/elevate a women’s appearance so they can feel better about themselves
Our Equol Cosmetic Technology addresses all of the above points to improve human dermal health


Cosmetics: Topical and oral skin products and topical and oral hair products
OTC products for the above

Purchase a license for full unlimited access to all innovation profiles on LEO

  • Direct connection to thousands of more innovations
  • Access to market Experts and Universities
  • Filter relevant solutions into your own dedicated Network