I mentioned in previous column of the book titled “beauty in the cell”. I found the book by recommendation from an ex colleague of mine at the previous company. She said she found the book just right for me in that it introduced a new perspective in skincare. That was just right. Even with my short Japanese knowledge, it read like a bible to me as a person who develops a next generation skincare products based on the stem cell technology. It did especially so chapter 3 of the book titled “ultimate skincare through regenerative medicine perspective”. As soon as I fold the book at the last page, I thought I should meet the author in person for anything. Luckily I found that Mr. Tadaki of TNP capital whom I had worked with for some stem cell projects in Japan has some connections with Prof. Uyama. A bottle of Moon-Bae-Ju (a very expensive traditional Korean liquor) to him as a present put me in her contact. It was the 22nd January 2018 when white snow covered all over Tokyo streets that I could finally meet with Prof. Keiko Uyama.
I spent about two hours with Prof. Uyama speaking about various aspects of the next generation skincare and cosmetics. She started her career as a journalist in health and beauty and wrote many articles and columns about new technology in skincare. Tokyo dental university recognized her contribution to the industry and academia and offered a job as special professor at the university. I was very much impressed with her comprehensive and practical knowledge and perspectives on the history of skincare and the way future cosmetics will evolve. More than anything though she really maintains her skin healthy and young as she wrote in the book. (Please excuse that I masked off my face in the photo below I took together with her just to avoid contrast).
Recently, I emailed her to ask if I could introduce her book to my readers at our website which she gladly accepted. Following is an English translation of the chapter 3 of her book titled “ultimate skincare through regenerative medicine perspectives. (Kindly understand that much of it comes from google translate for my short Japanese and may not sound natural. If you are interested in reading the book without translation, here is a link to purchase at Amazon Japan – purchase link ).
“Anti-aging at the cellular level: Stem cell”
A next generation skincare is emerging based on the regenerative medicine. The keyword is “stem cell”. You may still not familiar with the word of stem cell, but the stem cell does exist in your body and skin. For example, fibroblast in your skin that produces collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acids, essential components of your skin, is actually made from the stem cell. Stem cell maintains your young and healthy.
Stem cell by definition is a super cell that has a power to differentiate into other types of cells comprising bone, blood vessel, skin, blood, heart and muscle. Regenerative medicine is a new approach in the medical area to treat non-curable degenerative diseases by regenerating and activating old and diseased cells and tissues.
“Stem cell diminishes as we age”
Stem cell is rare in population such that it exists in number of only 3 billion out of 60 trillion cells present in our body. It thus represents only 0.005% of the total number of cells. What’s worse is that the number of stem cell decreases rapidly as we age, and it becomes more scarce.
The number and activity of fibroblast in skin is impacted by the decrease in the number of stem cell that often leads to the deficiency of collagen, elastin or hyaluronic acids in skin. In other words, diminishing stem cell leads to disruption of skin turnover that results in dryness, dark spots, wrinkles and lack of elasticity in skin that usually comes with aging. Thus, a new skincare method is desperately needed to prevent skin aging by restoring diminishing stem cell in skin as we age.
Stem cell exists in both epidermal and dermal layer of our skin. Epidermal stem cell produces keratinocytes that comprises the stratum corneum layer of our skin that acts as a barrier against external stimulus at the surface of our skin, while dermal stem cell produces fiboroblast that maintains the skin elasticity by supplying collagen, hyaluronic acids, elastin and other types of structural proteins and carbohydrates.
“Anti-aging at the cellular level”
Conventional skincare so far works by supplementing what becomes deficient in skin as we age. For example, they are based on balancing water and oil balance in skin or supply of nutrition such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acids to improve skin functions that was disrupted in the course of aging. However, it would not make much sense to expect it ultimately resolve aging symptoms of the skin, unless there is enough cells present in the skin that makes and replenish healthy skin. In other words, there should be enough active skin stem cells supposed to react to the externally supplied nutrition if it is to work. The ultimate skincare thus should be at the level of cell at the bottom of our skin, otherwise it will end up with being temporary and superficial. We may borrow the concept of regenerative medicine in pharmaceutical to establish a new concept of skincare at the cellular level for ultimate resolution of the skin aging.
“Stem cell conditioned media: Valuable anti-aging resources secreted by stem cell”
It recently gains attention to use anti-aging molecules secreted by stem cell in skincare in cosmetic industry. A collection of such anti-aging factors secreted by stem cell is referred to as “stem cell conditioned media”.
Stem cell secrets a variety of proteins that mediate signals of “start the growth”, for example, in the course of its own proliferation or differentiation. Stem cell conditioned media contains various such signal mediating factors including growth factors, cytokines and chemokines. If we use, for example, growth factor that mediates signal of “start the growth” in skincare, it would send such signals in our skin that may lead to regeneration and activation of our aged and diminishing indigenous skin stem cells.
“Paradigm shift in cosmetic industry”
Conventional skincare has been based on the external supply of nutrition to fill out what becomes deficient in skin that comes with aging but failed to fulfill its due purpose of maintaining skin young and healthy. Paradigm shift is happening in cosmetic industry at the moment as the concept of regenerative medicine is being applied to skincare where skincare evolves from chemical to biological point of view. In other words, skincare is evolving from conventional concept of “supplementation” to a new concept of “recovery and regeneration”. Stem cell conditioned media is at the center of this new concept of skincare.
There is a misunderstanding that stem cell cosmetics contains stem cell itself, but the truth is that it does not. Stem cell cosmetics refers to the cosmetic products where signal mediating molecules secreted by stem cell are contained and plays a physiological role. Thus, it contains stem cell conditioned media but not stem cell itself. In addition, it should be such molecules secreted by “human stem cell” if it is supposed to work in correct way in our human body.
Stem cell to be used to prepare conditioned media should be the one from healthy donors who qualifies the strict eligibility guidelines . It should also be made sure there is no contamination by bacteria and virus in the course of preparation for safety. It generally requires pharmaceutical manufacturing standard called GMP (Good Manufacturing Protocol) in manufacturing for complete safety of the stem cell conditioned media.
To be continued in Part 2…