with proven synergistic effects for modulating TIEG-1 gene
and protein expression.”
An LVMH in vivo clinical study proved that a cosmetic
formula containing these vegetal extracts improves colla-
gen organization and reduces collagen fragmentation, im-
proves skin texture, and reduces skin wrinkles, laxity, and
ptosis, Dr. Ye concluded.
Is such a comprehensive approach only reserved for complex topics like anti-aging? DSM doesn’t think so. Its research
team also adopted a very advanced and all-round approach
toward a seemingly simple skin care need: moisturization.
In a presentation “The presence and consequence of essential and non-essential corneum proteases: the vital need
for protease inhibitors,” Dr. Rainer Voegeli, senior scientist
at DSM Nutritional Products discussed the company’s latest research into the underlying causes of skin dryness. By
pioneering a visualization technology that enables the investigation of skin biochemistry at a molecular level, the
researchers found that specific inhibitors of the plasminogen system can improve barrier function and the subjective
perception of moisturized skin.
Dr. Voegeli concluded by illustrating the role of a moisturizer: increase stratum corneum hydration in the short
term; normalize desquamation in the medium term; and improve barrier function in the long term. He won the IFSCC
Applied Research award for this approach.
New Cosmetology Territories
When it comes to new areas of skin research, anti-pollution
is an important one. It is regarded as “new” largely due to
its still vague definition and less-understood mechanism on
skin. During her presentation on skin and environmental
exposures, Dr. Janney Qiu from L’Oréal China R&I tried to
address these issues.
“Our skin is exposed on a daily basis to UV, especially
UVA, and air pollutants including O3, NO2, SO2 and par-
ticles like PM2.5,” she explained. “The negative impact
caused by these factors go far beyond the surface of our
skin, and can penetrate deep into living tissue, even enter
For example, PM2.5 inhaled through lungs can enter the
bloodstream, and affect skin from the inside out, Dr. Qiu
L’Oréal researchers have studied the impact that urban
pollution has on a variety of functions, including skin homeostasis, cutaneous modification, and skin aging. Its cluster analysis of clinical and instrumental evaluations link
air pollution to many skin problems ranging from increased
oxidative stress and reduced barrier function to worsening
clinical diseases like atopy and eczema.
Moreover, the company’s evaluation models (both ex vivo
and in vitro) have demonstrated a synergistic, deleterious
effect of pollutants and UV radiation on skin, which L’Oréal
calls “photopollution.” This bombardment by aggressors
calls for a comprehensive approach that includes sunscreen
(especially broad-spectrum formulas), cleansing and block-
ing to reduce accumulation of pollutants, protecting and
repairing the skin barrier, and utilizing antioxidants to pre-
vent oxidative stress.
The microbiome is an emerging area that has captured
the attention of cosmetic researchers. With more industry
players entering this area, a practical application of probiotics in cosmetics was presented at the forum. In a presentation titled “Stress on skin microflora: Probiotic extract
manages the skin microbiota,” Dr. Jean-Yves Berthon, CEO
of Green Tech shared his insights.
“Human skin is a complex barrier organ that provides
an ecological niche for a wide range of microorganisms, and
bacteria are generally considered to be the most important
organisms in this ecosystem,” Dr. Berthon explained. “The
complex dialogue between them is necessary for healthy
skin and efficient skin barrier.”
By using molecular tools like metagenomic techniques, it
is possible to investigate and characterize the relationship
between skin microbiota and the human skin barrier. An
active ingredient, Lysate from probiotic Lactobacillus pen-
tosus was then introduced. It has proven skin care benefits
such as maintaining equilibrium in commensal skin micro-
biota and strengthening the functional barrier, according to
Dr. Berthon. When asked about the emerging applications
of live bacteria in cosmetic formulation, he warned that reg-
ulatory compliance and product consistency must be consid-
ered carefully before such products make it to the market.
For other scientific fields, psychology is also the one increasingly cited by today’s cosmetic research. And it was
also touched on by Shang Xiang of Exsymol during his presentation “Treatment of epidermal damages due to cortisol
generated by psychological stress.”
Researchers are closely monitoring animal test ban developments around the world. In recent months, legislation
to ban animal testing has been passed in Guatamala, Australia and Korea. With animal tests on cosmetics coming
under increased scrutiny in China—and related regulations
might come out sooner rather than later—seeking alternatives seems inevitable for manufacturers and suppliers
alike. This is why a presentation titled “Human reconstructed skin and epidermis (RHE) for R&D of actives and
finished products,” by Dr. Robert Zhao of Episkin Academy
China, drew great interest from the audience.
The conference addressed so many topics and yet so much
more remains to be explored; perhaps the only limitation to future research and development is legislation and regulation. n