Beiersdorf has long been a dedicated researcher into skin care and the anti-ageing process having undertaken research on MALDI imaging and how this can develop understanding of the skin and looked into skin regeneration with a Berlin university earlier this year, combined with its vast experience in the research field spanning over 130 years.
Now, in collaboration with AgeNet, and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German firm will look at more effective approaches against skin ageing by gaining new insights into the complex processes of ageing and developing strategies for the protection and effective treatment of symptoms associated with age.
AgeNet network project Beiersdorf researchers, Dr Sabine Hageman, research scientist, and Dr Marc Winnefeld, head of the Special & Aged Skin Lab, are investigating the influences of environmental factors that speed up aging such as UV light and air pollution as part of the ‘GerontoSys2’ project.
Winnefield explains that the vitality and motivation of skin cells are determined by genes and their activity, as genes have a huge impact on the appearance and function of the skin.
"In our research we are interested in a newly discovered form of influence that environmental factors the skin is uniquely exposed to have on gene activity," adds Hagemann.
"These factors put their molecular stamp on the genes. It's called epigenome and causes changes to gene and cell activity that can cause disadvantageous changes in the appearance of the skin."
An Epigenome consists of a record of the chemical changes to the DNA and histone proteins of an organism and is involved in regulation of gene expression, development, tissue differentiation, and suppression of transposable elements.
As the link between environment and genome, the epigenome can be modulated, and this is where Beiersdorf's research begins.
"The first findings of the age difference in the epigenome and the related changes in cell activity are encouraging," stated Marc Winnefeld.
"After the conclusion of this research combined with the research results of other workgroups at Beiersdorf, we will have enough material to derive completely new and highly-effective approaches to skin care."