EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Atopic Skin and Senses • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz

Atopic Skin and Senses

by John Jimenèz, in collaboration with: Paola Alfonso, Liseth Diaz, Paula Peralta, Diana Rey

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Atopic Skin and Senses • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
John Jimenèz
Senior Exploration Scientist at Belcorp Colombia

Our environment is changing rapidly and at the same time, the need to be aware of skin care emerges, one of the organs most affected by the Covid19 pandemic. For this reason, the consumer is more analytical in the face of various skin conditions, one of which involves the greatest discomfort and is highly prevalent in adult life, atopic dermatitis. This condition mostly generates episodes of itching, irritation, allergies and dry skin.

The increase in skin conditions is a great opportunity for the cosmetic industry. The main objective of the cosmetic formulator is to develop products that help reinforce the barrier function, maintain hydration and balance the skin’s microbiome. The global market for atopic dermatitis products was worth US$11.77 billion by 2022 and is estimated to be US$21.80 million by 2027 with a CAGR of 13.13% for this period. The National Eczema Association of the United States indicates that more than 16 million people in this country have this condition and it manifests in the form of dry patches on the face, hands, feet and the inside of the elbows and knees.

What percentage of people have atopic dermatitis? This is a multifaceted chronic inflammatory skin condition that is commonly associated with other atopic manifestations such as food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. It is the most common skin disease in children, affecting approximately 15% to 20% of children and 1% to 3% of adults.

What causes atopic skin? Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition and is characterized by itching. This pathology has a complex etiology that involves interactions between the environment and the skin. Among the multiple alterations that occur, some of the most studied are those that involve changes in the barrier function, changes in the morphology of the epidermis and the stratum corneum, as well as in the lipid composition, in addition to inflammation mediated by lymphocytes. As indicated by Hanifin and Chan in a paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, one of the greatest disturbances identified corresponds to mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG), a crucial protein in the structure of the epidermal barrier since it is part of the anchoring structure of keratin and the differentiation of corneocytes. This same protein is degraded in the superficial part of the stratum corneum and forms moisturizing natural factors.

Elias P in J Skin Pharmacology and Physiology in a 2019 publication showed how the decrease in the production of ceramides affects the retention of water reservoirs and the maintenance of good hydration, which triggers the generation of itching and dryness and alterations in the pH of the skin with an alkaline tendency, generating an imbalance that mainly favors the incidence of pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes that rapidly colonize the skin and unbalance Staphylococcus epidermidis and some species of Cornyebacterium, which generates activations in cytokine signaling cascades that block the synthesis of structural epidermal proteins, binding proteins and ceramides, as well as the deficient expression of antimicrobial peptides such as human beta defensin and cathelicidin that contribute to the balance of the skin microbiome.

The senses: A publication by Gittler J in J Allergy Clin Immunol indicates that people with a history of atopic dermatitis have increased skin permeability to allergens and irritants, compared to those with clinically normal skin. For this reason, the main treatment is the protection of the skin against irritants that can be found in the workplace and at home, as well as the use of products specially designed for this condition.

In a 2022 article in Current Dermatology Reports by Patel K, it is noted that there is increasing evidence that adequate moisturizing plays an important role in the care of atopic skin by preventing the absorption of exogenous substances and improving barrier recovery cutaneous. The use of high lipid humectants is believed to help significantly over lower lipid formulations.

Traditionally, the symptoms of atopic skin have been relieved by immunosuppressing patients with medications such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. However, some studies have evaluated the combination of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids that mimic those found naturally in the skin. This combination is interesting because it shows similar efficacy in atopic skin compared to a topical corticosteroid in addition to having a favorable safety profile. On the other hand, neuromodulatory products have recently been developed to restore the balance of the neurosensory system and regulate the cutaneous immune system thanks to active ingredients with neurocosmetic mechanisms that relieve sensory discomfort such as burning, itching and pain.

A colleague with this condition told us the following verbatim:
“Having atopic skin, I must limit the products I use, because many cause itching and discomfort; And it’s not just cosmetic products, but also my own sweat, because when I exercise my own sweat irritates me.” The treatment of atopic skin therefore represents a growing market opportunity for the cosmetic industry. The challenge is to find revealing insights into these consumers. Next, we are going to look at some of the most interesting trends.

Posbiotic care: Lactobacillus johnsonii lysates in skin care contribute to restoring the acidic pH of the skin, reducing the colonization of pathogens and thus reestablishing the production of epithelial cell binding proteins, to reinforce the barrier function, stimulating the production of peptides antimicrobials such as β defensin and the production of sphingocine based on what was reported in previous studies Blanchet-Réthoré et al. in 2017 who evaluated the effect of a topical lotion with preparations of Lactobacillus strains, thus showing the restoration of values of barrier and hydration function through TEWL measurement.

Microbiome-friendly: This is one of the most interesting claims where brands that have products for the treatment of atopic skin can innovate. Companies are developing and introducing comprehensive new testing methods as well as new formulation excipients and actives that help support this promise. One of the mechanisms that will be in trend is related to excipients that help prevent the adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus on the skin.

New findings in phototherapy: Also known as light therapy, uses different wavelengths of UV light to treat atopic dermatitis.

Holobiont and Holobiome: In the coming months we will see very interesting findings related to the interaction of the holobiont of the humans and the skin and how the loss of balance between these can open the door to develop new skin care mechanisms.

Makeup for eczema: This is a trend that has been growing since We see very interesting concepts on the market that indicate very high hydration and no irritation. People with atopic skin want to cover their blemishes, but not at the expense of creating new ones. These brands are also developing highly differentiated concepts, for example, developed with the help of dermatologists. In the market there are proposals such as mineral makeup bases, moisturizing tints, foundation serum, mineral eye shadows, formulas 100% free of fragrances, dyes, parabens and preservatives, physicians’ formula and skin drops, among others.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz • John Jimenéz
John Jimenéz
Senior Exploration Scientist at Belcorp Colombia

John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.

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