“Incorporating Genomics into Skin Care Product Development: How do products really work?” Essentially genomics covers gene expression, gene regulation & epigenetic changes.
Anna Langerveld is the President and CEO of GeneMarkers (founded in 2007) located in Kalamazoo Michigan. She was the speaker at the Center for Dermal Research CDR/ Basic & Applied Dermatology Forum joint event covering “Incorporating Genomics into Skin Care Product Development: How do products really work?” Essentially genomics covers gene expression, gene regulation & epigenetic changes. It is of interest to companies who develop skin formulations and want to know how to demo biological activity of their product or to gain an idea what their product may do in the skin. Genomics identifies skin biomarkers in a high throughput screen using gene chips. It’s not quantitative but gives you tons of data and points you in the right direction of what your product may be doing in the skin. Then once you have some ideas which proteins /genes are affected you can then do a more detailed dive into the data by doing Real Time PCR study (polymerase chain reaction). You can focus on a couple of hundred genes using this method that is fast and efficient. For example, you can compare gene profiles for young and older skin or for a series of formulations to do comparisons between them.
GeneMarkers also is involved with looking into skin epigenetics and how the environment, life style, nutrition may affect your skin. The future is in personalized skin care that will focus on your own particular skin type and skin exposure, your nutrition, age, etc. and give you a personalized profile on which products will be the best for your skin. The first products are already out there by Chanel and Sederma. Sederma launched a new anti-aging ingredient claiming that it is the first to target microRNAs in skin. MicroRNAs do not code for proteins but can be viewed as “master regulators of gene expression” as Anna referred to them. The Sederma product (Senestem) targets the microRNAs to prevent the decrease of protein synthesis that get worse with aging and results in unsightly phenotypic changes in the skin. These are the beginnings of really targeted attempts to stop the process of aging by direct interference with the cellular pathways in a very logical and biological approach. We look forward to more of these personalized products that will make us look and feel younger coming onto the market soon.