What are the functions of the skin?
Edith Filaire - The skin is our largest organ, and provides our organism integrity and identity. It allows exchange with our environment, while simultaneously mediating protection from it. The skin balances body temperature and moisture, protects from UV light, transmits sensations, and represents a tight barrier against myriad microbes, toxins, and other dangers.
Historically, the skin was seen as an organ comprising an outermost layer, the epidermis, and a subjacent connective tissue, the dermis. Whereas the epidermis comprises different stages of differentiated keratinocytes building up a layer of cornified cells, the stratum corneum (SC), which creates a mechanical barrier against potentially harmful invaders.
The dermis is a rich collection of collagen fibres, fibroblasts, and nerve endings. While these distinct anatomical layers are critical to our understanding of the organization of the skin, they accomplish many disparate functions. Currently, researchers divide the skin into four, carefully orchestrated, functional levels of the cutaneous barrier: the microbiome barrier, the chemical barrier, the physical barrier, and the immune barrier.
These developed during evolution and function to both stabilize and restore cutaneous homeostasis and to mount measures of defense when needed. Alterations in each component of the skin barrier can cause pathogenic conditions, such as skin infections, skin inflammation, allergic sensitization.
Consequently, the best possible understanding of the functioning of the different parts of the cutaneous barrier is a prerequisite to develop strategies to conserve the integrity of the skin and to support the recovery of disturbed barriers.
What is the skin exposed to nowadays?
Edith Filaire - The skin receives a lot of stressors named Exposome. Exposome is the totality of specific and nonspecific external environmental exposures to which a subject is exposed and their consequences at the organ and cell levels.
Among the best-studied environmental factors of the specific external exposome, indoor and outdoor aeroallergens and air pollutants play a key role in the etiopathogenesis of the inflammatory response to allergens and in clinical manifestations of allergic disease. Climate change, urbanization, and loss of biodiversity affect sources, emissions, and concentrations of main aeroallergens and air pollutants and are among the most critical challenges facing the health and quality of life of the still increasing number of allergy and skin diseases such as acne.
How to prevent these aggressions?
Edith Filaire - Environmental insults such as ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun, cigarette smoke exposure and pollutants, and the natural process of aging contribute to the generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that stimulate the inflammatory process in the skin, playing an important role in the intrinsic and photoaging of human skin in vivo.
Strategies to prevent photodamage caused by this cascade of reactions initiated by these stressors include among another, prevention of UV penetration into skin by physical and chemical sunscreens, prevention/reduction of inflammation using anti‐inflammatory compounds (e.g. cyclooxygenase inhibitors, inhibitors of cytokine generation), scavenging and quenching of ROS by antioxidants, inhibition of neutrophil elastase activity to prevent extracellular matrix damage and inhibition of MMP expression and activity.
What is Greentech developing in this area?
Edith Filaire - In this field, Greentech is at the forefront! For many years, we have developed active ingredients allowing a global protection of the skin against pollution.
Urbalys® protects against biological attacks from daily urban pollution in all its forms, by activating skin’s own lines of defense and cell detoxification. Urbalys® permits an effective global action, triggered when there is contact or penetration by pollutants: a double defence mechanism fights both free radical stress and inflammation, and strengthens the cutaneous barrier. Alerted and mobilised against all daily pollutants, the skin breathes again. It recovers balance and radiance, a smooth texture and a glowing complexion.
Aware of the deleterious effects of Exposome, Greentech developed an alga-based active ingredient to fight against reactive and sensitive skin: Expozen®. The skin is the organ that protects the body from the outside environment, but it’s also the mirror of our way of life. It is therefore directly impacted by the Exposome, including environmental stressors (UV, pollution, cold…).
Expozen® limits neurogenic inflammation, strengthens skin barrier and reduces sensitive skin symptoms such as itching, pain and flushes. It also shows a soothing effect on agressed, reactive and intolerant skin, calming feelings of discomfort and redness. It also maintains bacterial diversity, reduces species involved in inflammation and redness and promotes strains known to be beneficial for skin as Staphylococcus epidermidis. At the same time, Expozen® decreases levels of Corynebacterium Kroppenstedtii, a novel target for the control of skin redness. The skin is less flushed, more comfortable and more radiant.
In this same area, Greentech developed Soliberine®. It acts against all damages induced by solar rays, including blue light, thanks to a dual power of protection and stimulation.
Soliberine® limits acute and chronic inflammation by decreasing the release of inflammatory mediators and inhibiting erythema formation. It also reduces hyperpigmentation and appearance of sunburn cells. The youthful appearance of the skin is preserved by preventing irritation, dryness, occurrence of dark spots and premature wrinkling of the skin.
Finally, one of our latest actives, Hebelys®, is based on a new concept in cosmetics related to a psychobiological and systemic approach: the Positive Aging. We focused on the population above 60 years old, which in 2050 will represent 33.5% of the world’s population.
Today’s population expects to live longer but in good health. The trend is all about living a good life, in good shape and the most of all : living happily. The Well and Happy Aging will be the must in the cosmetic field of tomorrow, and it starts now!
Hebelys® boosts the cutaneous architecture and maintains skin’s beauty after 60 years old. Acting on the key markers of senescence, it limits the deleterious of senescent and maintain the biomechanical properties of skin. Moreover, Hebelys has emotional benefits, increasing self-esteem (Rosenberg test, 1965) and improvement of global mood state (Profile of Mood State, McNair and al., 1971).
Greentech is a pioneer in Positive Aging and at the forefront of the innovation in this field.
About Edith Filaire
Edith Filaire obtained her PhD from the University of Clermont-Ferrand in 1997. She has worked in major French universities (Lyon 1). From 2006 to 2018, she was full Professor and -co director of a Research laboratory at Orleans-Paris Saclay. Her research focuses in cells biology and physiology. She has developed research programs related to the progression of non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common lung cancer.
Currently, she is scientific director of the Greentech Group, including four companies (Biovitis, Greentech, Greensea and Mapric). In this Group, she develops thema about biology, neuroendocrinology and psychophysiology, nutrition-health, and the relationship between gut microbiota, pulmonary microbiota and lung cancer. She is author/coauthor of more than 120 contributions to scientific international journals and 4 chapter books. Recently (7th november 2018: Lisbonn), she was nominated for the Women in Tech International Award that recognizes people around the world who innovate, inspire and transform the technology sector.