Through its latest two discoveries, Shiseido contributes towards a fuller understanding of skin care, damage and protection to answer cosmetics users' concerns over the safety and high-performance of industry products.
1. Research findings: In Vivo visualisation of dermal capillaries
Shiseido has visualised microvasculature in dermis regions. Invisible to the naked eye, the Japanese brand revealed that it has created a safe and damage-free application using contemporary imaging technology via light waves.
This newly developed visualising technology has enabled the personal care giant to identify the malformation of vascular plexuses in the upper reticular dermis in UV-induced hyperpigmentation (solar lentigo).
While typical research methods can analyse the blood flow of the skin, they are not able to visualise capillary vessel structure. Shiseido states that its high-resolution imaging technology enables a clear visualisation of the depth-resolved vascular plexuses image. The technology achieves this by utilising optical coherence tomographic (OCT) angiography that uses near-infrared light to indicate the skin structure.
The OCT angiogram of the inner face skin layer identifies the structure of dermis. Following multiple OCT images of the same skin spot, which are taken at high-speed and then examined, Shiseido can identify fluctuations in light intensity, which relate to the skin's blood flow.
By applying a proprietary algorithm and looking at the focal points, the technology enables the visualisation of the capillary plexuses in dermis. Evaluating hyperpigmentation (solar lentigo) with this new visualising technology, Shiseido is able to see the malformation of vascular plexuses in lesional skin, compared to the surrounding normal skin.
Shiseido will now complete further research to understand more about how the malformation of vascular plexuses will have influence the development of hyperpigmentation to offer added skin care insights.
These research results will be partially presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology in December 2017, and at SPIE Photonics West BiOS 2018, which will be held in San Francisco, California, US, in January 2018.
2. Research findings: Involvement of Vascular Plexus Malformation in Hyperpigmentation
As Shiseido embarks on additional research to explore how hyperpigmentation appears and the impact this may have on new skin care product launches, the conglomerate has identified the possibility of a new method towards hyperpigmentation treatment.
Historically, skin analysis has enabled Shiseido to witness and examine skin reactions that are specifically seen in pigmented skin, in a bid to interpret and resolve the numerous causes of hyperpigmentation.
Shiseido has found various abnormal skin reactions including chronic mild inflammation, cornification disorder, malfunction in inhibition of pigment proliferation due to abnormal components in the basement membrane.
This research centred on exploring the relationship between hyperpigmentation and vascular morphology, and look at hidden causes of skin damage relating to the dermis.
In joint research with Dr Kang of Department of Dermatology, Ajou University School of Medicine, South Korea — a leading authority in skin pigmentation research — the duo found the involvement of vascular plexus malformation in hyperpigmentation and illustrated how vascular endothelial cells activity can partly cause hyperpigmentation and uneven complexion.
As a result, the skin care researchers found that in hyperpigmentation (solar lentigo), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) increases in expression, with the density and area of skin capillaries, as well as the blood flow, also increasing. In addition, it identified how UV-associated vasculature (vascular endothelial cells) release melanocyte growth factor, leading to a rise in the amount of melanin produced.
What's next for skin care?
As a result of these findings, Shiseido looked for ingredients that inhibit the development of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) produced by epidermal keratinocytes and found Tormentilla extract - these are taken from potentilla erecta roots, a perennial plant from the rose family.
The intention is that these findings will offer new approaches to determining the causes of hyperpigmentary disorders. The brand will also develop whitening skin care and cosmetic products, using these results, to offer innovative discolouration control technology for skin pigmentation concerns.