Anti-Aging & Wellness Corner

Exosomes in Regenerative Skin and Hair Therapy

This fast-growing concept use cells to calm inflammation, reduce pain, recover after injury and increase one’s ability to heal.


By: Navin Geria

Exosomes in Regenerative Skin and Hair Therapy

Dermatologist Marina Paredo MD, maintains that exosomes are the future of regenerative medicine. They have become increasingly popular as of late because they are a buzzword in the world of regenerative medicine. NewBeauty1 magazine recently described exosomes as “the next generation of stem cell therapy.”

Exosomes use cells to calm inflammation, reduce pain, recover after injury and increase one’s ability to heal in general. Sales of exosome-based products are expected to soar 35.6% a year to $661 million by 2026, according to MarketsandMarkets, a research firm.

This column will briefly examine how exosomes help reduce the signs of aging.

Exosomes reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
According to Dermatologist Patricia Farris MD, exosomes are emerging bioactive substances involved in multiple biologic and cellular activities of the skin. Exosomes are not cells. Instead, they support communication between cells. Exosomes get to work right away, reducing inflammation, helping to heal more efficiently from the inside out. Because they support the stem cells already in the area, the process of skin rejuvenation occurs more rapidly. Exosome therapy can minimize the appearance of wrinkles, scarring, age spots, sun damage and enlarged pores.

According to Mayo Clinic Dermatologist Saranya Wyles MD, exosomes are about slowing down the aging process by contributing to holistic regeneration. Regenerative medicine represents a paradigm shift from fighting illnesses like cancer and heart disease to focusing on restoring skin and body health. Exosomes support the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin, two essential proteins found in healthy skin. As new collagen grows in the area after the procedure, your skin should feel firmer and smoother.

Exosomes are microscopic particles that get released from a cell and, simply put, signal surrounding cells to change their biological behavior. Not all exosomes function the same way. Just because a skin care product has exosomes in it, does not mean it will be effective.

Behind the Headlines

It is important to identify the source of exosomes and the data behind the formula. This advanced regenerative treatment is causing a stir and for a good reason. According to Dermatologist Leslie Baumann MD, the most powerful antiaging actives, such as peptides and growth factors, have performance drawbacks. Most peptides are larger than 500 kDa (a unit of molecular mass) and hence they cannot enter the skin. As a result, Baumann is not a peptide fan.

Salt facials can boost the efficacy of exosomes.
Many upscale skin care brands also tout skin benefits of growth factors. They may not be considered safe because they can easily stimulate skin cancers. On the other hand, platelet-derived exosomes provide wonderful anti-aging skin benefits without any risk that is associated with the use of growth factors and without any inflammation that is associated with the use of retinoids. Baumann proposes using exosomes (Rion brand) with retinoids in her practices.

Think of an exosome as a container. It is what is in it that matters. Many of the other exosome products do not impress her because of their ingredients. Source of the exosomes and how they are extracted, is critical to get skin benefits from exosome-based products. According to Baumann, the Plated Skin Science brand has the best data to back up its use. Used twice a day for six weeks, it was shown to improve the skin’s appearance by reducing wrinkles and redness.2 These results were evident at 4-6 weeks. This means, you must use the product for 4-6 weeks before you will see any result.

Cardiologist Atta Behfar MD patented these platelet-derived exosomes for use in aging skin. Behfar suggests using Plated Skin Science Intensive Repair Product for six weeks, followed by the brand’s Revitalizing Essence 1.0 to maintain the results. Exosomes speed healing, decrease inflammation and increase collagen production by decreasing senescent cells.

As noted, just because a skincare formula contains exosomes, that doesn’t ensure product efficacy. It is important to make sure you know the source of the exosomes and the data behind the product before you get excited about formulating one of these exosomes-containing skin care products. Exosomes occur naturally; they must be isolated from some sort of body tissue. The actions of exosomes differ depending upon the source of exosomes. Exosomes used in skin treatment usually come from fat cells, umbilical cords, placentas and platelets. The source of the tissue determines the exosome’s activity.

Better results are obtained when exosomes get delivered deeper into skin by needle or laser. The benefits of exosomes depend upon many factors such as origin, size, content and function. As a result, not all exosome-based treatments are effective. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are utilizing exosomes as an adjunct to in-office treatments. Chernoff and his team used Exovex serum which is applied to skin immediately after a treatment such as microneedling.

A three-step salt facial is another method of delivering exosomes into the skin. First, skin is exfoliated with sea salt. Next, the exosome emulsion is forced into skin via ultrasound. Finally, the customer is wrapped with linen and is exposed to high power LED for 20 minutes.

Although the science is incredibly promising, there is currently no FDA indication for exosomes for medical usage, notes Plastic Surgeon Yael Halaas. The same holds true for platelet rich plasma. As a result, companies cannot make curative claims.

Clinical Study Result

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Dermatologist Greg Chernoff and his team found that after monthly applications of exosomes for three months, patients experienced a significant improvement in wrinkles, pores, evenness of skin and vascularity, and a decrease in pigmentation. The exosomes were derived from human placental mesenchymal stem cells. Chernoff said that exosomes cause more hairs to be in the growth phase than the resting phase. On some of patient’s biopsies, the exosomes also increased dermal papilla cells in the hair follicle.

Looking ahead, companies such as Rion Aesthetics have more industry-disrupting goals in mind. The goal is to move2 medical aesthetics away from in PRP and hyaluronic acid which degrades with time, to exosomes which are more rigorous and reproducible, according to Dr. Behfar. 

  1. New Beauty Winter-Spring 2023
  2. Leslie Baumann MD, blog.

Navin Geria
Chief Scientific Officer
Ayurderm Technologies, LLC
[email protected]
Navin Geria, former Pfizer Research Fellow is a cosmetic and pharmaceutical product development chemist and the chief scientific officer of AyurDerm Technologies LLC, which provides Ayurvedic, natural and cosmeceutical custom formulation development and consulting services to the spa-wellness-dermatology industries. He has launched dozens of cosmeceutical and ayurvedic anti-aging products. Geria has more than 30 years of experience in the personal care industry and was previously with Clairol, Warner-Lambert, Schick-Energizer, Bristol-Myers and Spa Dermaceuticals. He has nearly 20 US patents and has been published extensively. Geria edited the Handbook of Skin-Aging Theories for Cosmetic Formulation Development focus book published in April 2016 by Harry’s Cosmeticology. He is a speaker, moderator and chairman at cosmetic industry events. 

Keep up with the story. Subscribe to the Happi free daily

Related Posts