Microneedles And Probiotics: What Technologies Is The Beauty Industry Investing In?

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Microneedles And Probiotics: What Technologies Is The Beauty Industry Investing In?
Microneedles And Probiotics: What Technologies Is The Beauty Industry Investing In?
Video: Microneedles And Probiotics: What Technologies Is The Beauty Industry Investing In?
Video: 3 BS Beauty Trends That Need To Stop..... \u0026 Fixes That Actually Work 2023, February

The beauty industry tests new ingredients every year and technology: looking for a stabilized form of vitamin C, creating cosmetics based on DNA data, and even adding bacteria strains to creams. It would seem that three years ago we were buying scrubs, mechanical washing brushes and 100% organic products, and today we are already gutting cosmetics bags, praising clean beauty, retinol and minimalism. Journalist and entrepreneur Kristina Farberova spoke with cosmetic chemists about which technologies are popular now and whether they should be trusted.

Text: Christina Farberova, the author of the telegram channel "Chris Printing"


Soluble microneedle patches

Microneedle patches are in the spotlight - and not just cosmetic. Scientists are considering this method of transdermal delivery of substances as a new format for influenza vaccines, contraception and even diabetes therapy. This technology has an obvious advantage over injections: it is not scary, not painful, and you can do it yourself.

In the cosmetics industry, soluble microneedle patches have taken the lead in delivering substances to the deep dermis. When applied externally, any product, be it serum or cream, there is always one obstacle - the protective barrier of the skin. And it doesn't matter to him who is trying to get through it - a useful molecule of hyaluronic acid or a deadly microbe. For patches, a protective barrier is not a problem: the finest needles remain in the skin and dissolve. Such products can be found from the Spanish brand Natura Bisse, Australian ZitSticka, Russian BLOM.

Most of the research on the use of this technology in cosmetics comes from Korea. There, scientists found that hyaluronic acid microneedle patches in combination with cream for aging skin were more effective in maintaining skin elasticity than either treatment alone. Another study showed that applying an adenosine patch with microneedles every three days is as effective as twice daily application of a cream with adenosine, an important molecule involved in cellular energy metabolism. At the same time, the weekly dose of adenosine was reduced by 140 times - and this can have a beneficial effect on the costs of both manufacturers and buyers.

To declare patches the most effective technology in care, you need to wait for the emergence of new large-scale studies and the expansion of the evidence base. So far, we can assume that this is one of the most interesting and promising methods of delivering active substances to the skin.

Care for life

in a polluted city

Over the past ten years, several beauty brands - from Urban Decay to REN - have launched cosmetics aimed at protecting against environmental pollution. It is not always clearly written on the product from what and how it protects, but "anti-pollution" has become a fashionable label, which is put on both clay masks and aloe spray.

The trend began with evidence that PM2.5 fine particles are harmful to the skin, which some studies cite as one of the major causes of "premature aging." In the city, PM2.5 particles are compounds of heavy metals, mineral salts, soot flakes. When they get on the skin (and due to their tiny size this is inevitable), they affect the formation of age-related pigmentation and cause oxidative stress - that is, stress from interaction with aggressive substances in the environment that penetrate the skin and can damage molecules.

However, while there is already data on the dangers of PM2.5 to the skin, there is no data yet on how to prevent it. There is little research on this topic, and general recommendations include rebuilding the protective barrier and using antioxidants. However, for these purposes, you do not need a special product marked "anti-pollution".Skin care expert Carolyn Hirons assures that if you cleanse your skin thoroughly, use sunscreen and an antioxidant serum (such as vitamin C), you do not need special care against impurities.

Fermented ingredients

The fermentation process, responsible for the life and prosperity of kombucha in grandma's kitchen, has been used for several years in the production of cosmetics. As is often the case with various substances, the beneficial properties of enzymes as food are automatically transferred to cosmetics. The Japanese (SK-II, Ozeki Sake Rice Skin Care, Kurahito Skin White) and Koreans (Amore Pacific Hyosiah, Miev, Skinfood Daal Story) have lines of cosmetic products with fermented ingredients.

In Asian countries, food fermentation is especially common, therefore, research in the field of fermentation of cosmetics comes to us mainly from there. One of them suggests fermenting rice bran and putting it in cosmetics in order to reduce rice production waste. A good idea for the environment, but rather useless for the skin. Scientists suggest that fermented rice bran in action may be similar to acids, but it is too early to talk about the full use of this method. Other studies have found increased efficacy of fermented ginseng and soy milk extract as ingredients for age-related cosmetics, but they have only been tested on laboratory skin cells. Unfortunately, so far this does not give an idea of ​​how they will work on real human skin with a protective barrier.



In a world where anything - from a Starbucks coffee with your name on to a selection of TV shows on Netflix - can be personalized, using the same approach to create your makeup seems like the right thing to do. This is not due to scientific developments, but rather to the availability of technology. Mobile applications, neural networks and AR mirrors can determine the type of skin and hair, choose the color of lipstick and suggest the composition of a unique perfume composition. For example, Curology creates personalized cosmetics against acne, the Pantone Color IQ device recognizes the skin tone, and the Care / of platform collects sets of vitamins. Large cosmetic brands have also picked up this trend: the new product Clinique iD offers to mix different boosters and serums (albeit ready-made ones) and create a suitable product on their own.

There is still a bit of science in personalized cosmetics: it is known that the skin of representatives of different ethnic groups differs in structure and physiology, which means that it needs individual care. For example, the skin of Europeans and the inhabitants of the Middle East is prone to pronounced wrinkling and loses its elasticity faster, while the skin of Asians is sensitive to chemical irritants and has a different level of ceramides than others.

Stem cells

We have all heard something about stem cells - these are immature cells that can form and transform into cells of any organs and tissues. Stem cell research allows us to better understand the mechanism of occurrence of various diseases, test new drugs for safety and efficacy, and investigate ways to replace damaged tissues. For example, last year, scientists used human stem cells to grow the esophagus for the first time.

The ability to replace damaged tissue with healthy ones has also attracted interest in the cosmetic industry. Products with a proud "stem cells" mark appeared on the shelves. Alas, this does not mean that the product will grow new radiant skin. First, the use of human stem cells (embryonic or adult) even in serious medical research raises ethical questions. In the production of cosmetics, plant stem cells are involved, which, by definition, cannot be converted into human skin cells.Secondly, even plant stem cells do not enter cosmetics in their original form: most products contain only their extracts. Such components are found in the Bamboo Age Corrective Masque by Eminence Organic Skin Care, in the Intensive Hair Booster Program by Physio Coiffeur and in the Librederm series with grape stem cells. In the best case, plant stem cell extracts in the composition of the product have an antioxidant effect. But even that is reduced to zero if the cream or serum is in a jar with a lid or a transparent bottle: upon contact with air and light, the extracts are destroyed.

Circadian rhythms

This year, another exciting news has appeared in the world of cosmetics. Scientists have discovered circadin-B - a "unique component" behind which is the Nobel Prize. An ingredient sourced from a Korean herb is said to be capable of "circadian rhythms in skin cells" and even "protect against blue radiation." Let's figure out what this means.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology was indeed awarded to a group of scientists for their discoveries in the field of the molecular mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms. The studies were carried out on fruit gnats. There was no question of any creams and circadine-B in the work of scientists. There is no research on such a component in cosmetics - only press releases and statements from the manufacturer, Clariant Int. The funniest thing is for dessert. The innovative component of circadin is … melatonin. The one that people have been relieving themselves of insomnia and jetlag for more than a decade.

For optimal circadian rhythms of the skin and all other organs, there is still the main life hack - healthy sleep.


New peptides

Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They differ from proteins in size - peptides contain less than fifty amino acids. These mini-proteins are put into caring cosmetics for different purposes: from fighting against pigmentation to creating an artificial tan. But more often peptides are used as components for aging skin, and it is in this role that they are most studied.

There are five types of peptides in cosmetics: signal peptides, neurotransmitters, enzyme inhibitors, transport and antimicrobial peptides. To speak about the effectiveness of transport peptides or enzyme inhibitors, there is still too little information. The best studied are signal peptides, which appear as a result of collagen breakdown and tell the skin that it is time to produce more. Applying a composition with such peptides (Matrixil, copper peptide GHK), we kind of trick the skin, giving it a signal about damage, which needs a little fresh collagen to repair.

Neurotransmitter peptides (the most famous is argireline) are often described as a substitute for botox, because their purpose is to eliminate wrinkles through muscle relaxation. But if it were really possible now, cosmetology clinics would probably have gone bankrupt long ago. The fact is that it is not at all easy to deliver peptides (like most other components) deep into the skin. A group of scientists tried to develop a form in which argireline would go where it needed - but in the conclusion of the study, they indicated that due to the huge cost of such technology, it is unlikely to reach the market.

Research in the field of antimicrobial peptides looks promising - they are considered as a more effective and safer alternative to antibiotics. Antimicrobial peptides (such as IDR-1018) are able to fight biofilms, one of the key factors in persistent acne.


Bacteria colonizing our skin seems counterintuitive: we are used to the idea that microorganisms provoke disease. But this is not entirely true: while some bacteria can actually be troublesome, others are absolutely necessary. The skin microbiome contains over ten billion microorganisms, and many of them serve us well.For example, they create unfavorable conditions for the reproduction of pathogens and train skin cells to cope with them.

More recently, it was proposed to use external antibiotics in the treatment of acne, but now this approach is considered outdated and even potentially harmful. Antibiotics destroy not only pathogenic strains, but also the natural microbiome that is essential for healthy skin. Prolonged disruption of the skin microbiome can lead to even greater inflammation. In addition, long-term use of topical antibiotics can contribute to the emergence of resistant bacteria, which will no longer be easy to deal with.

Cosmetics with probiotics are one of the main research focuses in the care of skin with an altered microbiome: with atopic dermatitis, with acne. Some experiments show that applying probiotics to the skin strengthens colonies of “good” bacteria and inhibits the growth and activity of pest colonies in a gentle and non-disruptive way. But the microbiota is a very complex system, it contains thousands of bacteria. And not one of them causes acne.

There are high hopes for probiotics, but until they are experimentally confirmed, big data are needed. Decades of research into the effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment and prevention of disease often lead to the opposite conclusion. Some of the studies were conducted on a small sample, which raises doubts about their accuracy, and some are sponsored by cosmetic or pharmaceutical companies. “Humans, unlike the animal models on which the research is initially conducted, have a lot of variation in diet, age, genetics, and what their microbiota looks like. Therefore, people can have different responses to prebiotic treatment, the authors of a large review in Nature Medicine note. Most likely, the microbiota is individual and cosmetics or medicines with probiotics will need to be selected for each person separately."

Photos: Zitsticka, Curology

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