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Future Perfect

By: Nancy McDonald and Salvador Pliego
Posted: October 5, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Let’s first consider gene manipulation, human stem cells and DNA technologies are three intriguing newcomers that are still in their infancy, and certainly warrant our attention. But—and it’s a big BUT—further investigation and trials to determine both the efficacy and long-term safety need to be seriously pursued.

At the moment, though each of them have serious potential for and consideration from the medical/pharmaceutical fields, many in the beauty industry’s scientific community feel that their serious debut in cosmetics is still far away.

Epidermal growth factors, which are not as new, are currently in use by some beauty manufacturers, but these growth factors still manage to cause some stir and controversy among R&D teams. Again, a lack of in-depth and conclusive clinical and safety testing gives some pause. The jury is definitely still out on this one.

On the other hand, there are exciting areas of exploration going on that have breakthrough potential and have been deemed successful in the pharmaceutical arena. Probiotics is a great example. Research indicates that it is likely possible to modify our gut flora and replace the harmful microorganisms/bacteria in our bodies with the good, healthy kind. Thus far, people have been encouraged by the results.

Why shouldn’t we take those learnings and replicate them in skin care? Perhaps there is a way to replace the harmful bacteria in our skin that causes negative skin conditions such as acne with ones that keep the skin healthy and protected. What do you think of the term “skinbiotics?”