1. Exosomes – More than just a new beauty biz buzz word?

These days when attending any of the big international beauty conferences we hear a few buzz words all the time: „Reverse Ageing“, „Longevity“, „Regenerative Medicine“ and „Biotech Innovations“ are good examples.

Another common one is „Exosomes“ and it is very likely that in the coming months you’ll be hearing a lot about it in connection with skincare too. Some experts in the field even say that Exosomes hold the potential to revolutionize the beauty industry due to their unique properties. And we agree, this relatively new area of research and application should definitely be on the radar of any beauty industry professional. 

But of course, just like you, we had a few questions about Exosome therapy and what it really is. In this blog we cover the basics and try to find out wether Exosomes truly are the next big thing in skincare.

2. What are exosomes?

Exosomes are small vesicles that are released by cells, including various types of cells in the body. For our purpose think of vesicles as miniature beauty bubbles inside your skin cells. They act as tiny couriers, transporting vital ingredients like proteins and lipids throughout your skin.

Just like sleek bottles carry skincare potions, vesicles ensure that key components reach where they’re needed most, keeping your skin healthy and radiant.

Exosomes play important roles in intercellular communication and the transfer of biomolecules between cells. While they can contain RNA, they themselves are not RNA.

There are two kinds of Exosomes: Those derived from stem cells and those derived from plants. They can each offer unique benefits for the skin.

Two kinds of Exosomes

Stem cell-derived Exosomes harness the regenerative power of stem cells, offering potent rejuvenation for the skin by promoting collagen production and tissue repair. Numerous preclinical studies and some clinical trials have investigated the potential therapeutic effects of stem cell-derived Exosomes on skin health and regeneration.

Symptoms treated with stem cell-derived Exosomes may include deep wrinkles, scars, and skin damage caused by aging or environmental factors. However in most countries, the sale and use of skincare products derived from human stem cells are illegal and should not be available on the market yet. 

Plant-derived Exosomes are rich in natural antioxidants and nutrients, providing gentle yet effective skincare solutions that help replenish and revitalize the skin’s natural radiance. Plant-derived Exosomes can be used to address issues such as dryness, inflammation, and uneven skin tone

3. Benefits of Exosomes – When Exosomes speak, cells listen

Again it should be mentioned that the research on Exosomes is by far not complete. It is in fact happening as we write this. So more data is needed to determine its long-term benefits and potential risks but here is what we know so far about the benefits: 

Anti-aging properties: Exosomes have been studied for their potential anti-aging effects on the skin. They help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging by promoting collagen synthesis and enhancing skin elasticity.

Tissue repair and regeneration: Exosomes contain growth factors and other signaling molecules that can stimulate the repair and regeneration of damaged skin tissue. This makes them potentially useful for treating scars, wounds, and other skin conditions.

Biocompatibility: Exosomes derived from human cells are generally well-tolerated by the body and have low immunogenicity, which means they are unlikely to cause adverse reactions when used in skincare products.

Targeted delivery: Exosomes can be engineered to target specific types of skin cells or deliver specific molecules, making them a potentially powerful tool for targeted skincare treatments.

So far, so good. However we should talk about potential risks too. One is the possibility of unintended immune responses or adverse reactions. While Exosomes derived from human cells are generally well-tolerated by the body, there is still a risk of immune reactions, especially if the Exosomes are not properly matched or if they contain contaminants that could trigger an immune response. This is also the reason why the treatment is not yet approved by the FDA for example. 

Additionally, the long-term effects of Exosome therapy are not yet fully understood, and there may be unforeseen risks associated with the use of Exosomes for skincare.

4. What is Exosome therapy?

At the moment we mostly hear about plant derived Exosomes as a post-treatment regimen following laser therapy or microneedling procedures for the skin.

After such treatments, the skin undergoes a healing process that can benefit from the regenerative properties of Exosomes.

These tiny vesicles can be applied topically to the treated areas to enhance skin repair, reduce inflammation, and promote collagen synthesis, ultimately accelerating the healing process and improving overall skin texture and appearance.

Incorporating Exosomes into post-procedure skincare routines may help optimize treatment outcomes and minimize downtime, leading to faster recovery and more satisfying results for patients undergoing laser therapy or microneedling. Chloe Burcham and Perdita Nouril are writing about exactly this effect in their opinion piece ‘I tried the exosome facial treatment and it wasn’t what I was expecting’ for WomensHealthMag.com

While Exosomes are also increasingly being incorporated into skincare products such as serums for topical use, their effectiveness in penetrating the deeper layers of the skin is still under investigation. Unlike treatments like laser therapy or microneedling, which create microchannels in the skin, the ability of Exosomes to effectively penetrate the skin barrier on their own is limited. Therefore, while topical application of Exosome-containing skincare products may provide some benefits, their ability to reach deeper skin layers and exert their full regenerative potential may be hindered without the aid of such channels. Further research is needed to determine the optimal delivery methods and formulations to maximize the therapeutic effects of Exosomes in skincare.

5. The future of Exosome skincare

Let’s do a little thought experiment here: Let us imagine a future where Exosome therapy is extensively researched, deemed safe, and highly effective, we believe the landscape of skincare could undergo a profound transformation. 

Advanced anti-aging treatments might emerge, with Exosomes becoming pivotal in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging by stimulating collagen production, enhancing skin elasticity, and promoting tissue regeneration.

You might get your Exosome therapy done at a skin clinic where expert dermatologists and skincare specialists curate bespoke treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs and goals. In the treatment rooms, state-of-the-art technology seamlessly integrates with ancient healing practices to deliver fantastic results. Advanced imaging systems analyze your skin’s condition with precision, providing valuable insights that inform your personalized treatment plan.

Generally, skincare solutions could become more personalized, tailored to address individuals’ specific skin concerns and needs.

The future of skincare might also witness a shift towards natural and non-invasive alternatives. Exosome therapy could offer safer and more sustainable options compared to traditional skincare treatments, harnessing the body’s natural regenerative processes for youthful and radiant skin.

Regular use of Exosome-based skincare products could lead to overall improvements in skin health and function. These tiny vesicles may help repair damage from environmental factors, strengthen the skin barrier, and promote a healthier complexion from within.

Ok, ok, we’ll stop our little peek into a potential future here. It might happen or not! But you get the idea. 

In all honesty when we discussed the topic in our team we couldn’t quite decide how to feel about Exosome therapy.

A few of us are not convinced about the idea of stem cell derived products penetrating our skin and „floating“ around in our body, so to speak. Others over here are quite excited about the fact that Exosome therapy could promote long-term skin health and delay the onset of aging-related changes like no other product before. 

As we learn more, literally by the day, this is what we can do now: Use plant derived Exosome therapy wisely, focus on its benefits and staying mindful of its limitations. Very soon there will be so much more data on Exosomes and we will for sure keep you updated.