By leveraging biotechnology, the beauty industry is undergoing a significant transformation that offers products and treatments that go beyond mere aesthetics to also enhance our health and potentially our lifespan
The beauty and cosmetics industries have traditionally offered topical cosmetic solutions to address visible signs of aging. However, biotechnology is reshaping this landscape by providing topical treatments focused on skin health and longevity, a new concept attracting massive startup investment. Rather than focusing on products that provide a quick fix or temporary relief to improve appearances, which often forces consumers to compromise on long-term skin health, skin longevity promotes anti-aging treatments at a cellular and molecular level, enabling the restoration and rejuvenation of the skin at a deeper level. As a result, consumers can access potent, scientifically-backed skincare products that deliver visible, functional, and long-lasting results.
Skin aging is a complex process associated with multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors, such as genetics and environmental conditions, culminating to cause tissue dysfunction and degenerative diseases. Biotechnology plays a pivotal role in unraveling the complex mechanisms of aging by identifying vital genetic factors, cellular processes, and environmental influences that contribute to age-related conditions. With this knowledge in hand, scientists can develop targeted anti-aging treatments at a cellular and molecular level that can stimulate collagen synthesis, tissue repair, protection against oxidative stress, and even activate cellular pathways associated with longevity.
One of the most promising new longevity-related treatments available seeks to decrease senescent cells in the skin. The presence of aging-associated senescent cells was previously considered a byproduct of tissue aging, but recent studies have demonstrated that they can be active inducers of aging and dysfunction. Those studies found that the accumulation of senescent cells drives chronic inflammation, tissue dysfunction, and degenerative aging, all of which not only degrade skin health but also promote visible signs of aging.
Due to these findings, researchers have been searching for ways to delay the process of aging by targeting cellular senescence. A class of molecules called senotherapeutics can selectively eliminate senescent cells or prevent their spread, therefore slowing and even reversing the aging process.
Some biotech companies are already marketing topical products with this class of molecules. In February 2021, OneSkin, one of the companies in 2Future's portfolio, released its topical supplement for the face featuring OS-01, a peptide proven to stimulate damage repair and decrease senescence in skin. A 2020 three-month clinical trial successfully demonstrated that the product could reduce the skin’s biological age by improving the skin barrier, supporting DNA damage repair, and preventing the accumulation of senescent cells. Now the brand has a complete line of topical skin products ranging from a gentle daily cleanser that prepares skin for complete absorption of active ingredients of the topical supplements to a specific product for the eyes and the body.
Other promising research for skin care using advanced biotechnology includes:
Stem cell-based skincare products: this class of products aims to harness the regenerative capabilities of stem cells to promote a more youthful appearance. These products claim to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture and elasticity, and stimulate the production of new skin cells. Note that regulatory and ethical considerations surrounding the use of stem cells continue to be an important factor in this research area.
Regenerative medicine: by utilizing the principles of tissue engineering, biomaterial scaffolds, growth factors, and cytokines, regenerative medicine can promote wound healing, stimulate the production of new skin cells, and improve skin texture and elasticity. Regenerative medicine can also use bioengineered skin substitutes, which are artificial constructs that mimic the structure and function of human skin and can be used to replace damaged or diseased skin, having the potential to accelerate wound healing, reduce scarring, and restore skin function.
Genetic testing for personalized regimens: this allows individuals to gain insights into their genetic predispositions and risks for certain aging-related conditions. Such knowledge can guide personalized beauty and cosmetic decisions, empowering individuals to choose products and treatments tailored to their unique genetic makeup.
Drug delivery systems: nanotechnology-based approaches can encapsulate and deliver therapeutic compounds directly to the targeted skin cells or structures. This enables the precise and controlled release of active ingredients, enhancing efficacy in treating skin conditions.
It is also important to mention that, beyond the realm of beauty and health, biotechnology can drive the beauty industry towards ethical and sustainable practices. Using ingredients such as cultured or bioengineered substances reduces the need for animal testing and minimizes the environmental impact. Moreover, the focus on longevity and overall well-being encourages the development of products and practices that prioritize holistic health, incorporating natural, eco-friendly ingredients and promoting wellness alongside beauty.
In conclusion, with the advancements in targeted anti-aging treatments, personalized beauty regimens, and ethical practices, consumers can now embrace the potential of biotechnology to enhance their natural beauty, promote longevity and experience the transformative power of science. As biotechnology progresses, the future holds exciting prospects for a beauty industry that is deeply rooted in scientific innovation and dedicated to empowering individuals on their journey towards healthier, more vibrant lives.
While advancements in technology have opened up a plethora of innovative approaches to skin care, traditional practices rooted in well-established principles continue to play a vital role in maintaining optimal skin health. Combining cutting-edge advancements with traditional healthcare methods allows for a holistic approach that addresses both external and internal factors affecting skin health.
By the way, did you know that the aging process is about 10-30% influenced by genetics and 70-90% defined by extrinsic factors like the environment?
This suggests that your daily habits speak volumes about your skin aging process, so the sooner you adopt healthier habits, the better. Thus, besides your daily skincare routine, there are several ways to prolong your skin’s lifespan. We can look at them as both general approaches for improved healthspan, which is about improving the overall quality of life in conjunction with targeted skin health.
Consider how you are doing in terms of the following habits, and know that they also influence the aspect of your skin:
Do you want to know more and see how you score on skin longevity? Take the OneSkin longevity quiz.