Skin models that better fit reality

Participants presented their eagerly awaited advancements in a round table dedicated to skin models.

We work on a simplified representation of reality, so there will always be differences”, according to Christian Pellevoisin, from Skinethic. However, developers keep working on getting as close as possible to the complexity of the human skin and always aim to meet specific needs.

Petra Boukamp, from the University of Heidelberg, Germany

Petra Boukamp, from the University of Heidelberg, Germany

Petra Boukamp, from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, presented new advancements, some of which could provide 3D models that would remain stable for longer periods of time. Stem cells survival in these environments would be ensured, and so would the possibility of adding other cells than epidermal ones. Nevertheless, these models still do not reproduce the physiological phenomenon of skin desquamation. Maybe tomorrow.

Formulations enhanced by physical chemistry

Whether dealing with emulsions, lipsticks or powders, the key to progress and innovation in formulation seems to be physical chemistry.

At L’Oréal, Florence Levy’s team spent several months on a research project which consisted in measuring the impact of lipstick components on moulding and on the quality of the deposited film. They used rheology, image analysis and Raman spectroscopy methods.

Florence Levy

Florence Levy

Pickering emulsions have been around for quite some time, since they date back to the thirties. They are much recommended by Professor Wood, from the University of Edinburgh, UK, as a means to form bigel particles, an alternative to multiple emulsions. Other researchers are also interested in this revival, such as Otto Glatter, from the University of Graz, Austria, who presented a protocol to develop them more easily.

Technologies of the future

One of the sessions focused on technologies that may be commonly used in the cosmetics industry in the near future. For instance, acoustic levitation will enable to study the behaviour of suspended blood cells with no contact, thanks to the research carried out by Louis Hennet, from Orléans University. Then it will be easier to have access to photodynamic therapy (PDT) through the optical fiber-based fabrics developed by Serge Mordon, from INSERM in Lille, France. Finally, developing cosmetics devices “offers great market opportunities on all continents, because their efficacy goes beyond that of cosmetic products”, explains Jean-Yves Legendre, from L’Oréal.

Two other fields that have become central for a few years, green chemistry and biotechnologies, were also discussed during the scientific congress.

Several prizes awarded

Several prizes were awarded. Claude Grison, from CNRS, and Jacques Biton, from Stratoz, a young and innovative company, received the Cosm’innov Award. Their research focuses on an industrial solution for an environmentally friendly chemical catalysis that uses the effects of phytoremediation. The biological properties of plants that hyperaccumulate metals are used to restore mining soils with toxic metals. The leaves that are concentrated in metals such as zinc, nickel and manganese are transformed to produce new chemical catalysts that serve in the production of molecules for cosmetics purposes.

Dr Iva Doleckova, from Contipro Biotech, received the Best Young Researcher Award for developing a new hexapeptide targeting desmosomes, and Laboratoires Expanscience got the Best Innovation Award for the Schizandra Hydrolysate active.

All in all, this was a comprehensive congress, and next edition is scheduled for 2015.