Personalized skincare: from molecular basis to clinical and commercial applications

Individual responses of human skin to the environmental stress are determined by differences in the anatomy and physiology that are closely linked to the genetic characteristics such as pigmentation. Ethnic skin phenotypes can be distinguished based on defined genotypic traits, structural organization and compartmentalized sensitivity to distinct extrinsic aging factors. These differences are not only responsible for the variation in skin performance after exposure to damaging conditions, but can also affect the mechanisms of drug absorption, sensitization and other longer term effects. The unique characteristics of the individual skin function and, particularly, of the ethnic skin type are currently considered to shape the future of clinical and pharmacologic interventions as a basis for personalized skincare. Individual approaches to skincare render a novel and actively growing area with a range of biomedical and commercial applications within cosmetics industry. In this review, we summarize the aspects of the molecular and clinical manifestations of the environmental stress on human skin and proposed protective mechanisms that are linked to ethnic differences and pathophysiology of extrinsic skin aging. We subsequently discuss the possible applications and translation of this knowledge into personalized skincare.


Evaluation of the antioxidant efficacy of extracts/ ingredients used in skin care products

The so-called active ingredients in skin care product formulations are purported to deliver the intended functions of the product. Active ingredients, such as the antioxidants can efficiently protect the skin if the activities are retained after incorporating into the base matrices in the product formulation. In this article, we investigated the antioxidant activities of 24 extracts/compounds that are being used in skin care formulations and their ability to retain the activities (efficacy) after being mixed with the base matrices. The antioxidant activities were evaluated using 2, 2’-azino-bis (3- ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) and diphenyl-picryl hydrazine (DPPH) assays. To test the efficacy of the samples in formulation, the samples were mixed with base cream 1%, 2% and 4% (w:w) and allowed to settle overnight. Results were expressed as either percentage inhibition (%) or IC50 (μg/mL). Out of the 24 samples, ten exhibited significantly high antioxidant activities with resveratrol> pomegranate> green tea> mango> amla> bearberry> ellagic acid> tetrahydrocurcuminoid> Rhodiola rosea> kakadu plum in the ABTS assay. In the DPPH assay, green tea> pomegranate> tetrahydrocurcuminoid> mango> amla> resveratrol> bearberry> Rhodiola rosea>kakudu plum>ellagic acid. Four out of the ten samples (amla, green tea, mango and pomegranate extracts) had IC50 value lower than Trolox standard and were included in the efficacy test. Trolox standard and amla extract seemed to retain their antioxidant activities in the formulations, while green tea and pomegranate extracts had a decrease in activities. Only mango extract had a synergistic effect with the cream base with higher antioxidant activity observed compared with the extract alone. This study demonstrates the potential interaction between active and vehicle compounds, which may hinder or enhance the activities of the active ingredients in the final product. The outcome of the research has an impact in the cosmetic product formulation particularly in the quality control, chemistry and efficacy of the finished products.


Involvement of the nuclear structural proteins in aging-related responses of human skin to the environmental stress

Human skin is a stratified endocrine organ with primary roles in protection against detrimental biochemical and biophysical factors in the environment. Environmental stress causes gradual accumulation of the macromolecular damage and clinical manifestations consistent with chronic inflammatory conditions and premature aging of the skin. Structural proteins of cell nucleus, the nuclear lamins and lamina-associated proteins, play an important role in the regulation of a number of signal transduction pathways associated with stress. The nuclear lamina proteins have been implicated in a number of degenerative disorders with frequent clinical manifestations of the skin conditions related to premature aging. Analysis of the molecular signatures in response of the skin to a range of damaging factors not only points at the likely involvement of the nuclear lamina in transmission of the signals between the environment and cell nucleus but also defines skin’s sensitivity to stress, and therefore the capacities to counteract external damage in aging.


Bacillus Subtilis Protein Interaction Network Analysis

Identifying functionally important proteins that are essential to the survival of a bacterial cell is of considerable interest in the development of new antimicrobial agents. Recent studies have shown that functionally important components in protein interaction networks may also be structurally important. We studied the protein interaction network of Bacillus subtilis to identify structurally essential proteins. Functionally essential genes encoded Fifty-four percent of the structurally essential proteins identified by our methods.