Skin and Stress, Stress and Skin: a new Basic Experimental Acquisition

Published on Healthy Chemistry  

Research carried out at our laboratories was led to the finding of a major scientific datum which might influence future formulations engineered for the skin. It has been proven that the keratinocytes of the epidermis can autonomously produce stress hormones. More precisely, we ascertained that the epidermis reacts to stress-generating stimuli by locally producing catecholamines (noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine). Cutaneous stress may therefore also be caused by local agents (idiopathic stress) and not only as the result of the individual’s general stress (skin of a stressed person). Both cases may give rise to cutaneous symptoms such as peripheral vasoconstriction, vasodilatation, hyperhydrosis, pruritus, increased capillary fragility and other dysmorphisms, some of which are similar to those of skin ageing. Indeed, skin ageing is a process which is more related to the life habits of a person than to his/her age. In addition, the presence of stress-related hormones in the skin modulates the triggering of many adverse, even immunologic phenomena. Other researchers have proven the presence of adrenergic receptors, or agents reacting to stress hormones in a second group of cells, i.e. the cutaneous Langerhans cells (LC). These cells play an important role in providing antigens to the immune system and they are connected to nerve fibres which cross the epidermis. The evidence that LC have adrenergic receptors is further confirmation that the nerve and immune systems are interconnected and suggests that stress hormones may modulate the triggering of immunologic phenomena and/or vice versa at the skin level. The main culprits of stress-causing stimuli, or the main stressors of the skin, triggering adverse reactions (idiopathic stress), include unsuitable substances applied to the skin, environmental agents, job-related mechanical agents, garments, sun and artificial light, gene-related factors, phlogotic and infective agents. After identifying the formation phases of stress-related hormones, we formulated a substance which can prevent their formation in a particular phase. We obtained this substance from molecules belonging to the vegetable kingdom by peptide-based synthesis. This substance has been marked by the abbreviation “ACS” which corresponds to the registered trademark AntiCytoStressor®. Its action promotes an overall bio regulation, which follows and respects the physiologic mechanisms of the skin, thus preventing the alterations triggered by stress-related hormones, and therefore becoming resolutive as a reconstitutive/reparative and protective/preventive agent in both local treatment systems. In particular, ACS prevents wound-related local stress by furthering the healing process without formation of cheloids. Therefore, it is an active ingredient for the protection of the skin, designed for functional, healthy and decorative cosmetic products as well as for excipients for skin medication. It is also indispensable for the preparation of excipients and vehicles to prevent dermal stress caused by unsuitable or dose-related chemical ingredients.