Exosomes, or extracellular vesicles, are evolutionarily preserved nanoparticles of about 100 nanometers and are naturally secreted by living organisms for the transfer of information between cells.
“Because they are capable of transmitting efficacious materials to other living organisms or cells in a bio-friendly, accurate, and fast manner, exosomes have recently been drawing attention in the fields of life science and medicine around the world,” explained Park Young-ho, head of basic research & innovation division at the Amorepacific R&D Center.
The maker of K-beauty brands including Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Etude House has been studying the beneficial effects of green tea leaves since the 1980s.
In February this year, the South Korean company unveiled Green Tea Probiotics Research Center deepen its study of a probiotic strain (Lactobacillus plantarum APsulloc 331261) it discovered in organic Jeju Island green tea.
This particular strain of green tea probiotics was previously found to be able to suppress gastric damage and alleviate inflammation.
In the past few months, the company has been working to uncovered evidence of the superiority of green tea probiotics compared existing probiotic strains.
The latest research found evidence that green tea probiotic-derived exosomes have anti-inflammatory effects on human skin tissue and immune cells.
Senior researcher Cho Eun-kyung and her research team succeeded in separating and purifying exosomes from the green tea probiotic strain.
The team was able to prove that the exosome induces undifferentiated monocytes to be differentiated into type II macrophage 2b (M2b), which plays a leading role in producing anti-inflammatory effects while “determining the breadth and depth of inflammatory response”, explained Park.
Cho and her team also demonstrated that green tea probiotic-derived exosomes could improve hyper-inflammatory conditions of the skin, producing anti-inflammatory effects.
“In other words, exosomes derived from the green tea probiotics can help suppress the skin ageing that results from inflammatory reactions, alleviate skin irritation and troubles through the adjustment of skin microbiome, bringing about an anti-ageing effect,” said Park.
Skin care potential
Park highlighted that Amorepacific’s strain of green tea was already widely used as a skin beauty supplement in the health food category.
However, the firm hopes to take the research a step further to develop topical cosmetic products using the findings of this research.
This would give the firm a steady footing in the large and rapidly growing microbiome skin care market.
“I think this new study published by Amorepacific's Green Tea Probiotics Research Center has great significance. It has uncovered the on-skin efficacy and applicability of exosomes, which are currently drawing a lot of attention in the field of life science across the world,” said Park.
Park concluded: “Amorepacific's Research Institute will continue our concerted efforts to deliver innovative skin solutions which can control microbiomes to consumers by further strengthening research on probiotics, which play a key role in microbiome adjustment, and research on exosomes, which make up the core of probiotic derivatives.”