In its latest study on capillaries and skin, the research arm of the Japanese cosmetics company discovered that APJ, a molecule expressed in capillaries, can ‘sense’ the elasticity of surrounding skin area and control the thickness of capillaries.
Using skin models with various elasticity levels, the team was able to confirm that the thickness of capillaries could be influenced by the increasing or decreasing APJ expression.
Additionally, the team succeeded in generating thicker capillaries by manipulating the APJ expression levels in a skin model with low elasticity.
This led the researchers to discover that another molecule, called VE-cadherin, could strengthen blood vessels by promoting the adhesion between vascular endothelial cells.
The team believed that capillaries with low VE-cadherin levels would become thinner and regressed.
Using skin models again, the researchers found that that decreased VE-cadherin resulted in less skin elasticity, confirming that thick and strong capillaries were crucial to the development of resilient skin.
Part of these results were presented at the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists Conference (IFSCC) in September 2019, where it won the Conference Award,
Additionally, the results were also presented at the annual meeting of the North American Vascular Biology Organisation, held in October 2019.
According to Shiseido, capillaries which were damaged or decrease due to ageing and UV rays were one of the fundamental causes of skin ageing.
As such, the researchers believed that those external environmental stressors can cause a decrease in VE-cadherin levels and reduced APJ expression, thus leading to less skin elasticity.
After screening several ingredients, the firm found two plant extracts it believed could address these issues.
The first was neem leaf extract, which through in-vitro studies was observed to significantly increase APJ expression levels.
The other was Houttuynia cordata, or chameleon leaf, extract, which through in-vitro studies was observed to boost VE-cadherin production.
Together, Shiseido believes the action of these ingredients can be expected to maintain thick and strong capillaries and to “revive skin resilience from the inside”.
This study was a follow-up to the firm’s 2019 discovery that yeast extract was effective in boosting the production of collagen.
The study also revealed that capillaries played an important role in skin elasticity which was highlighted in an experiment utilising Shiseido’s 3D visualisation technology.
It showed that capillaries form an extremely dense network as if they are physically holding up the skin, further proving the link between capillaries and skin elasticity.
Shiseido concluded that it would continue to pursue this avenue of research and develop new skin care products that promote strong skin capillaries.
“Going forward, we will promote the development of skincare products that prevent skin troubles caused by the decrease of skin elasticity, such as wrinkles and sagging, and create resilient skin through utilising these findings and providing care for capillaries.”