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Shiseido skin protection research points to new skin care technology

By Andrew McDougall+

23-Apr-2014
Last updated the 23-Apr-2014 at 12:45 GMT

Cosmetics manufacturer Shiseido will use research efforts into Langerhans cells and a function of skin immunity to develop a new line of skin care products as a solution for maintaining skin stability.

The Tokyo-based firm has long focused its research on skin immunity as an important means of maintaining skin's health, and has discovered that the self-protection function that sedates the stimuli response factors of Langerhans cells, is important to maintaining skin homeostasis, and that this function declines with age.

This has led to the development of a multiple component that effectively combines three ingredients, including β-glucan, to target the Langerhans cells and help recover their self-protection function.

It is the first time that a research team has proved the function can be recovered, and having applied for a patent for the technology in 9 countries, Shiseido is currently planning to engage in R&D for the launch of a new skin care product.

Skin immunity

Shiseido’s research looked at the Langerhans cells, which control the immunity of skin, and how they play an important role in maintaining this stability.

Upon detecting a stimuli response factor that causes skin troubles, for example inflammation caused by external stimuli such as UV exposure, dryness, pollution, or emotional stress, the Langerhans cells directly attack the stimuli response factor in self-defense.

In this sense, Langerhans cells are the commanders of other cells, as well as performers that take action.

Research into these cells dates back over 40 years by many different scientists, and this formed the basis of Shiseido’s research.

Years in the making

In 1993, Shiseido made a landmark discovery, scientifically proving that the skin and the nervous system are closely related, mediated by the Langerhans cells.

With this discovery, Shiseido became part of creating a new field of skin physiology called Neuro-Immuno-Cutaneous-Endocrine – or the NICE theory. It was this finding that inspired efforts to focus research on skin immunity.

Then, in 2007, Shiseido identified a mechanism of skin disorders, distinct from the known mechanism triggered by skin stress factors such as UV exposure and dryness.

This looked at how external stimuli affect the skin and led the company towards Langerhans cell research into skin protection.

This year, Shiseido discovered that the self-protection function that sedates stimuli response factors of Langerhans cells declines with age.

As such, the company has developed Shiseido ingredients that would influence Langerhans cells and restore their self-protection function, to heighten the immunity of the skin.

This has led to the development of a prototype serum, on which new skin care products will be based.

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