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Dermoceuticals: a concept at a crossroads​

Consumers have many and various expectations when it comes to beauty, but certain trends have persisted, particularly since the sanitary crisis: naturality, clean-label and sustainability, efficacy and personalisation. Nutrition for beauty is also playing an increasingly important role. Consumers are realising that diet can have a significant impact on the beauty of their skin, hair and nails. Dietary supplements, and nutricosmetics in particular - with a CAGR of 9.4% until 2030 [1] - go some way to meeting these needs.

But could we go further, and support skin with an atopic or psoriatic tendency by limiting skin discomfort (itching, dryness, lesions) but also life discomfort?

Beauty-from-within : a booming market

Today, beauty is no longer just about looking good, it's about feeling good in body and mind. It's about physical and mental well-being. This holistic approach to beauty is based on 4 pillars:

  1. Emotional balance, because stress can have many negative effects: irritability, nervousness, sleep disorders. Stress also causes inflammation, which, over time, can accelerate skin ageing and make our skin more sensitive and reactive.

  2. Exercice regularly! This activates blood circulation and helps eliminate toxins, which in turn helps our skin to look healthier and more beautiful. Just 30 minutes a day - including walking - can be enough to clear your mind and relieve the stress of everyday life. Physiologically, it releases endorphins and dopamine that make us feel good and full of energy.

  3. The conventional beauty market continues to grow, despite the crisis (+8% in 2021, +6% in 2022), even if, the sanitary crisis has changed consumer habits. According to an Ifop Beauty survey on perceptions of beauty in France, 29% of women say they prefer to apply as few products as possible and choose products for specific uses. This may explain the growth of the skin care segment, and, in particular, dermocosmetics (+13% in 2021, +9% in 2022).

  4. And finally, our favourite subject at Abyss: nutrition. We've all heard about the beauty food trend, an anti-inflammatory diet based on fruit and vegetables, rich in omega-3s, and avoiding sugars and processed food. And don't forget to stay well hydrated!

Behind these pillars, there are underlying trends that affect all industries, not just beauty, but also clothing, food and so on. Consumers are looking for naturality and ecological neutrality, they want to know what they are buying, and where it comes from. They are looking for authenticity and personalisation. More specifically, make-up is gradually giving way to skincare.

At Abyss, we've taken a close look at skin health, particularly for skin with atopic tendencies.

Focus on atopic dermatitis

Let's take the example of atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, a multifactorial chronic inflammatory skin disease1, which affected more than 223 million people worldwide in 2022, significantly impacting their physical and psychological well-being and quality of life.

Nowadays, the treatment strategies employed are mainly symptomatic and consist of modulating the skin microbiome, targeting the innate and adaptive immune system, reducing itching or inhibiting the inflammatory response [2]. These treatments, usually based on dermocorticoids or antihistamines, are effective on the short term, but the question remains for their long-term efficacy.

People with atopic dermatitis suffer from dry to very dry and sensitive skin, localized red and scaly patches, intense and persistent itching, and skin lesions that cause pain and discomfort [3]. Atopic dermatitis can also have a significant psychological impact, causing sleep problems, irritability and even depression.

Although the causes have not yet been fully elucidated, numerous factors and triggers, both endogenous and environmental (allergens, pollution, irritants, climatic conditions, etc.), play a key role in this pathology. Endogenous factors include genetic mutations (particularly filaggrin), leading to skin barrier dysfunction, abnormalities in the skin microbiome (in terms of abundance and diversity), immune system dysregulation and hormonal changes. The complex interaction of these changes makes the skin particularly fragile and reactive.

​Stress at the Heart of the Concept

In addition to the above listed factors, which cannot be controlled, it is possible to limit some of them, such as stress, which is considered to trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

Stress is a general response of the body to internal or external factors, involving both psychological and physiological resources. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA), which controls the immune response via neuroendocrine factors and the sympathetic nervous system. The skin, whose cells have a functional equivalent of the HPA axis, reacts actively to stress, involving cutaneous immune cells, hormones and neurotransmitters [4-5]. Stress-induced skin responses include the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-1, IFN-γ), the release of peripheral neuroendocrine factors (CRH, ACTH) and the production of corticosteroids [6-7].

Numbers of studies suggest that stress and neuroendocrine factors are involved in the emergence, recurrence or aggravation of dermatological pathologies such as psoriasis, acne, rosacea, vitiligo or atopic dermatitis [8-10]. For instance, some stress factors such as feelings of impotence or worry may play a role in aggravating the itching sensation in patients with skin diseases [11]. In many clinical studies, people with skin diseases have reported stress, or stress has been identified as a factor contributing to skin irritation or sensitive skin syndrome [12-15]. Similarly, people who identified themselves as having sensitive or very sensitive skin had a higher skin reactivity to emotions than those with slightly sensitive or non-sensitive skin, as well as a poorer quality of life [16-17].

The body's response to stress can have a negative impact on skin barrier function and influence the immune response [18]. Chronic stress can also lead to increased vulnerability to infection, and therefore to a worsening of skin lesions. Furthermore, it has recently been shown that the intestinal and cutaneous microbiome are factors that modulate interactions between the skin and the brain [19].

New concept, new bioactive ingredient

Based on this observation, as well as its recent research into the effects and mechanisms of natural marine active components on skin beauty and stress, Abyss Ingredients is launching a new concept: dermoceutics. Halfway between dermocosmetics and nutraceuticals, this new range of active ingredients aims to improve the comfort and appearance of skin with dermatological problems, as well as the quality of life of those suffering from them.

Dermatidyss®, the first product to emerge from this concept, is a natural marine ingredient which combines anti-stress and collagen peptides and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.

Unique Composition

Several studies have demonstrated the effects of these components not only on stress, but also on skin hydration and faster healing.

By modulating the expression of genes involved in the stress response and preventing the deregulation of stress-induced proteins, marine peptides prevent the negative effects of stress, including on our skin [20-21].

Collagen peptides and GAGs have demonstrated their benefits on skin. By stimulating the synthesis of hyaluronic acid [22], a key player in tissue hydration [23-24], These compounds help to maintain deep skin hydration, which could make them an effective ally against the dryness of atopic skin. They also accelerate tissue repair by stimulating the production of TGF-β, an anti-inflammatory cytokine that plays a signal role in inhibiting the enzymes responsible for degradation of the collagen matrix (metalloproteinases) and proliferation of skin cells [25].

An active ingredient combining these components would be a natural solution for improving skin comfort and reducing stress in people with sensitive and/or atopy-prone skin.

Benefits on both skin and life discomforts

A consumer study has evaluated the benefits of Dermatidyss® on the discomforts of skin and life associated with atopy-prone skin and confirms this hypothesis. This test, carried out under dermatological medical advice, showed that Dermatidyss® could reduce the intensity of atopic skin symptoms and reduce drug dependency.

When asked about their expectations, the women who took part in the study wanted to improve their dry skin first and foremost (76%), which is the most frequent symptom; 66% of them wanted to improve the comfort and beauty of their skin, and 64% wanted to make their skin softer. 86% of participants would opt for an effective dietary supplement that has been tested by consumers (34%) or that has been the subject of clinical studies (30%).

At the beginning of the study, 62% of the selected women felt a real and significant level of discomfort due to their atopic skin. Among their skin-related symptoms, the participants noted a high level of discomfort due to their dry skin, itching, tightness, dryness flare-ups, irritation and redness, as well as uncomfortable, sensitive and rough skin. They also reported a high level of stress and nervousness - rated on average at 7.2/10, with 10 being very high - accompanied by fatigue, anxiety, unease and sleep problems. Overall, atopic skin has a strong and negative impact on their quality of life (6.1/10) and well-being (6.2/10).

In less than 30 days, Dermatidyss® met the expectations of 8 out of 10 women, who noted a significant improvement in almost all of these symptoms.

At the end of the study, i.e. after 3 months of supplementation, almost 7 out of 10 women noted a reduction in skin dryness, dry flare-ups, itching, sensitivity and roughness. More than 6 out of 10 women notice a reduction in tightness, redness, discomfort, and skin irritation.

Moreover, by the end of the study, 68% of the participants noted an improvement in their feelings of stress, 70% in their anxiety, 68% in their sleep and 64% in their feelings of tiredness, with the frequency of discomfort decreasing for each of them after 30 days of supplementation.

In fact, the impact of atopic skin on the quality of life of the women taking part in the study was reduced, and almost 6 out of 10 women felt that their quality of life and well-being had improved. The general discomfort associated with atopic skin was reduced for more than 6 out of 10 women.

At the end of the treatment, almost 9 out of 10 women feel the benefits of Dermatidyss® on their atopic skin and confirm its effectiveness. Their feedback speaks for itself:



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[2] Global Burden of Disease, 2022

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