The skin is a complex organ where different types of cells interact, including epidermal, immune and neuronal cells.
Neurons that influence the skin are classified into motor neurons (those that innervate the muscles) and peripheral sensory neurons, which respond to different types of stimuli both external (touch, pollution, temperature and ultraviolet) and internal (stress, hormonal changes and tiredness).
In response to the activation of sensory neurons, the sensations of itching, cold, heat, irritation and pain are produced. Therefore, for a better understanding of the skin’s environment, it is necessary to include skin models that integrate the sensory component. In this way, the studies will be closer to the normal or altered physiological conditions that the skin may present.
The study of neurons’ activity allows us to design molecules that modulate their response. These molecules are known as neuro-cosmeceuticals.
Among other uses, neuro-cosmetics allow us to attenuate the sensation of itching, reduce excessive sweating, or cause a warm or cool sensation through action on sensory neurons. In the same way, the neuro-cosmeceuticals can reduce the neurogenic inflammation at the epidermal level through their activity on the terminations of these neurons, and calm the symptoms of sensitive skins and other conditions that occur with cutaneous inflammation.
Nowadays, there are neuro-cosmetics available on the market that focus on reducing the appearance of wrinkles by acting on the motor neurons of the skin and blocking muscle contraction. However, a broader view of the use of neurons as cosmetic targets opens a range of possibilities in the design of new neuro-cosmeceuticals.
The study of the involvement of sensory neurons in the generation and maintenance of chronic itching, or pruritus, as well as the search for assets that block this action, suppose an added value in the care of sensitive skin.
In conclusion, the study of neurons in the search for new active ingredients and the development of cosmetics directed to neurons, constitute an innovative advance in cosmetics.
AntalGenics studies the skin from a global approach, including the nervous system, to gain a more realistic vision of its physiology.