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Compound K: A Rare and Powerful Ingredient

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Panax ginseng is commonly consumed as a health supplement in Korea, Japan and China – in fact, it is the most popular health supplement in Korea.


Ginseng’s bioactive constituents include ginsenosides, which are the key pharmacologically significant bioactive constituents of ginseng. There are around 150 ginsenosides that have been isolated from ginseng (roots, fruits, leaves, flower buds, etc.), and among those ginsenosides,  Compound K is one of the rare ginsenosides, because it is either absent in unprocessed ginseng or available in low concentrations. There has been an increasing focus of research on Compound K, because compared to other well-known ginsenosides (i.e., Rb1), Compound K is well absorbed by the body and many studies have shown various health-promoting benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, anti-aging and skin protective benefits. In fact, Compound K is one of the most powerful antioxidants they’ve encountered in their Age-Response Compound K Hyaluronic Booster their research that deliver “all-in-one” skin benefits (as shown through various studies), including fighting dryness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and skin photo-aging after chronic UV exposure.

To isolate Compound K from ginseng, a bio-conversion technology using microorganism fermentation is used.  But, even if Compound K is isolated, Compound K has extremely low solubility in water and oil, and only partial solubility in alcohol.  Consequently, due to its low solubility, it also has low membrane permeability. These factors have restricted the dermatological application of Compound K, including using the active in skincare and cosmetic products.

VENN has overcome these restrictions with their patented solubilization technology.

Their patented solubilization technology allows them to harness the power of Compound K in skincare by water-dissolving Compound K in high concentrations and thereby also significantly improving its permeability through skin.  Specifically, they are able to dissolve up to 400,000ppm of Compound K in water.  To give you a perspective on the significance of this, in a third-party in-vitro study (DPPH assay), Compound K showed as strong antioxidant power as the maximum antioxidant power of L-Ascorbic Acid (or vitamin C) at 750ppm of concentration.  So, with their solubilization technology, they’ve been able to effectively use Compound K in skincare formulations and dermatologically harness its benefits in their skincare formulations.

Their hero products, Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate, and Age-Response Compound K Hyaluronic Booster, use 1,000ppm and 2,700ppm of Compound K, respectively.

They’ve been granted a patent in South Korea on both the method of water-solubilizing Compound K as well as on the water-solubilized form of Compound K.  The same patent is currently pending in the United States.

VENN brings together over 20 years of skincare research and innovation in South Korea with clean, high-performance ingredients to develop category-defining products that help streamline skincare routines without compromising on the efficacy. VENN challenges the status quo in the skincare industry by offering efficient, streamlined skincare products that replace unnecessary steps and complications in traditional skincare routines.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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