OneSkin. Slowing the velocity of skin aging (really)
Updated: 3 days ago
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I've been using (and spending time down the rabbit hole with!!) a new brand of skincare that really has my attention; OneSkin. I'll share something here - I cannot remember ever evaluating a skincare brand that had more research and substantiation behind it. Ever.
In fact, with OneSkin I would say that, as exciting as it is for me to talk about the product itself (actually more than one product - as I'll get to in a few minutes) this is a case where the story of the journey to the product - the 'science of aging' work that went into developing the product - is as compelling as the product itself.
OneSkin, as a company, literally has biotechnology in its DNA. They focus on research first, and products second. And their claims are validated by data - using the most sophisticated new tools, both in the lab and in real skin.
Before we jump into things, I want to mention that I've added four Appendixes at the bottom of this blog (trying to keep it straightforward and interesting but not wanting to leave out critical info!!), so do refer to this material if you're craving more detail!
Appendix 1: A summary of the testing that OneSkin has done
Appendix 2: A bit more about the company
Appendix 3: A comparison of key ingredients in OneSkin Face vs. OneSkin Body
Appendix 4: Frequently asked questions - there's lots of info there as I've been recording my learning as I've done the research!!
A *QUICK* LOOK AT SKIN AGING FUNDAMENTALS
Before we go into OneSkin and what makes it so impressive, let's review a few fundamentals.
In its simplest form, aging is a reflection of the accumulation of damaged cells in our tissues. Much of this damage is extrinsic (UV exposure, pollutants, etc) and some of it is intrinsic (our bodies make ROS during the process of just being alive!)!
In our skin, we see this damage in a number of different ways. What we call 'hyperpigmentation' is damage to our melanocytes that's caused them to go a bit out of whack. When we see broken capillaries we see that our vascular system is weakening and our skin is getting thinner. What we call 'sagging' is slightly more complex and may be damage to a number of types of cells including adipocytes (causing fat cells to lose their plump) weakening fibroblasts causing elastin - to degrade, etc.
Thankfully, our amazing body has a way of controlling this damage as it occurs. Our system has complex processes to rid itself of old/damaged cells that have reached their useful replication (dividing) limit or have somehow been assaulted by external factors (think UV damage). Depending on the reason for 'cell retirement' one possible outcome is that the cell could become 'senescent.' Simply put, this means that the cell can no longer divide.
This is amazing - we don't want damaged cells replicating and spreading the damage to new cells!!
Cellular senescence is a natural process that occurs continuously throughout our bodies and across our lifespan. Generally, our cells maintain a consistent rate of turnover, dividing and replicating in order to replace the old and damaged ones. However, each cell in the human body is limited in the number of times that it can replicate due to the natural accumulation of damage with each replication. Once a cell reaches its replication limit, it enters a phase called ‘replicative senescence', which marks the transition of a normal cell to a senescent cell. There are other types of senescence too, brought on by things such as UV damage and pollution.
These senescent cells are no longer 'functioning' cells - they don't divide or serve their normal cellular purpose. But they're not dead either - in fact, they refuse to die. They're metabolically active 'zombie' cells that can actually do a lot of harm if left unchecked. In fact, recent advances in cellular biology has led scientists to believe that senescence could be at the root of all aging, including skin aging.
Bear in mind that certain types of senescence actually have a productive role in our system (tumor suppression, wound healing, etc) So a little senescence at the right place at the right time is not a bad thing. But a lot of senescence for a longer period is really not good for our bodies!!!
James Kirkland's team at the Mayo Clinic found that transplanting senescent cells in young mice caused the spread of senescence to other cells and organs and led to increased aging and frailty. Conversely, when senescent cells were removed from one of a set of twin mice, the mouse with senescent cells removed actually became biologically younger. I find that completely fascinating.
Above: The mouse on the right appears younger than his twin on the left because researchers have removed its senescent cells. Photograph credit: Jan van Deursen, Mayo Clinic. https://www.science.org/content/article/suicide-aging-cells-prolongs-life-span-mice
Interestingly, these senescent 'zombie' cells aren't just damaging because they take up space without giving us any benefit, but also because they 'pollute' our cellular environment. Senescent cells send off a sort of 'signaling soup' (Senescence-Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP) which acts as an 'inflammation alert' to our immune system. When we're young, when they're no longer useful we're able to easily eliminate these senescent cells via a super well-honed 'Immune surveillance" system. But as we age, our system gets less efficient at this 'senescence housekeeping'. So these older, unproductive senescent cells accumulate. What's worse, the 'SASP soup' accumulates as well.
Source: OneSkin. Senescent cells passing their 'contamination' along via SASP, causing otherwise healthy cells to become senescent.
The discovery of the SASP gave scientists a mechanism to explain why senescent cells, which are thought to accumulate in relatively low numbers throughout our lives, have such large negative effects on our health. The SASP, when too abundant, can spread senescence to otherwise healthy cells. It can be pro-fibrotic, it can round up and activate immune cells contributing to chronic inflammation. It can even impair the function of stem and progenitor cells putting our 'repair and regenerate' systems at risk. Yikes.
It can be helpful to think of a senescent cell emitting SASP as a rotten apple in a basket. The over-ripe or bruised apple emits ethylene, a gaseous plant hormone that spreads quickly through that basket of apples. Seemingly overnight, one bad apple can emit enough gas to turn a bushel of perfectly good apples into ones that need be tossed into the compost.
And so it goes with senescent skin cells (albeit not as quickly!!) Importantly, while those senescent (not useful) cells are stewing in their inflammation-causing soup, spreading the senescent messages to other cells and effectively 'polluting' them, they're also interfering with stem cell proliferation and function.
As our skin accumulates more senescence cells, there is a cascade of inflammatory signals leading to collagen breakdown, and a decrease in hydration factors in the skin which in turn will lead to a series of further dysfunctions in the skin such as issues with the skin barrier - leaving us exposed to even more external assaults. In the end, we have the obvious signs of aging; laxity, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, etc. - sound familiar?
If we're able to partially halt the senescent cell communication chain we can allow new and healthy cells to continue to proliferate, keeping up with healthy collagen and repairing your skin barrier, essentially slowing down aging.
So, we know that damage to our cells, and the slowing down of our body's ability to repair this damage, is at the root of ALL of these signs of aging - including aging of our skin. But what can we do about it? Well, some of these things we already know. They're the basics that will keep our entire bodies healthy:
PREVENTING THE ESCALATION OF SENESCENT CELLS
I can't rush into the 'cure' without mentioning the 'ounce of prevention'. The best way we can manage senescent cells in our bodies is to keep them away in the first place. The older I get the less I roll my eyes in dismissal at these 'basics'. Advances in science are not only letting us learn about our genome in the finest detail but also these advances let us understand more about the effect our lifestyles and environments have on our genes - called 'epigenetics'. Our mothers and grandmothers might have told us to 'eat our veggies' because their mothers and grandmothers said the same to them. But today we have the deep science to know exactly how a diet rich in plant nutrients and proper sleep, for example, can make the world of difference in our health outcomes (and quality of our skin) over time. The evidence really is compelling (I'll be creating more content on these topics soon!)
SPF - protecting ourselves from the sun other environmental pollutants
Other good lifestyle choices (sound sleep, eating well, managing stress, etc)
Using antioxidants in our diets and topically (vitamin c, astaxanthin (topical and ingested), NMN, NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccaride Mist to name just a few)
Intermittent fasting (time-restricted eating)
"The main harm of senescent cells comes not from the senescence cells themselves, but more from the inflammatory signaling that spoils the surrounding cells, causing them to age faster - and the continuation of this cascade. If we can block that communication, we can basically stop or decelerate aging." Carolina Reis Oliveira, CEO and Founder, OneSkin
ADDRESSING SENESCENT CELLS AND SASP
The science here is moving so quickly and there is a huge body of work evolving in this space. For anybody interested in learning about senescence, I strongly recommend following the work of David Sinclair - Professor of Genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School:
David Sinclair's YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwD5YYkbYmN2iFHON9FyDXg
Senescence impacts just about every cell in our body. but for now, we'll keep it pragmatic and focused on our skin. Beyond prevention, what can we do to minimize senescent and the inflammation signaling soup they surround themselves with? How can we make sure that space is allocated for fresh new skin cells?
OneSkin - WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
OneSkin: WHAT IS IT?
OneSkin is a 'topical supplement' designed to extend skin health on the molecular level by targeting aging from within. In late 2020 the company launched its Face cream and this week they launched OneSkin Body.
Among a few other skin-loving ingredients, the OneSkin products contain an ingredient called OS-01. OS-01 is a peptide that can pass through the skin barrier. When it gets there it decreases the production of inflammatory factors from the senescent cells (the SASP soup) and it also prevents healthy cells from becoming senescent even if they are in the presence of other senescent cells. OS-01, is the first ingredient proven to reduce skin’s biological age by reducing the accumulation of senescent cells.
OS-01 is able to regulate the pathways that control oxidative stress and inflammation. OneSkin's remarkable little peptide has been proven to reduce senescent cells in skin tissues by 24-40% - consistently, across all age groups, skin colors, genders, and skin types.
Above: This test was done on Human Skin Equivalent showing that the key peptide, OS-01, reduces the senescent burden on skin. OneSkin scientists stained skin cells with beta galactosidase (a compound that appears blue in senescent cells and doesn’t show color in non-senescent cells). The number of senescent cells after exposure to the OS-01 peptide demonstrated a reduction of senescent cells (blue) by up to 50%.
OneSkin's OS-01: HOW DOES IT WORK?
Simplistically, OS-01 works by binding to receptors in the membrane of cells and also interacting with the cytoplasm in the cell membrane. It influences pathways that regulate oxidative stress and inflammation - the very factors that cause us to age. In three-dimensional skin models and biopsy samples, OS-01 enhanced DNA repair mechanisms and down-regulated senescence-related signaling pathways. Over time, skin cells treated with OS-01 peptide accumulated fewer markers of senescence, regardless of the inductive trigger.
HOW DO THEY KNOW THAT IT WORKS?
Okay, so we know a bit about senescence and how the OS-01 peptide helps the body quell the inflammatory cascade caused by senescent cells, but how do we know it works and actually translates to healthier, more youthful skin?
OneSkin’s R&D team put significant resources behind formulating dozens of iterations and testing them on skin both in the lab and in real life with several rounds of beta testing and a third party clinical trial, before landing on the final product. With so many skincare brands making impressive claims, this is an area that is increasingly important; how rigorous are the tests and studies that support a brand's anti-aging claims?
HUMAN SKIN EQUIVALENTS
One of the things that has enabled OneSkin to test hundreds of novel peptides to see the impact on various parameters of aging is the company's own investment in Human Skin Equivalent (HSE) infrastructure (to you and me, that's 'modeled skin in a Petri dish', but for the purpose of this blog we'll call it HSE 🙂). As a small aside, the OneSkin team became involved in Human Skin Equivalent technology even before they started their company. When outrage about using animals to test cosmetic ingredients finally hit Brazil in 2015 with a law that banned the practice, one of the OneSkin founders, Carolina Reis Oliveira, started a company to produce human cells from stem cells, offering alternative technologies to animal experimentation and providing cosmetic companies with more reliable and robust data.
But Human Skin Equivalent isn't just 'modeled skin in a petri dish.' Today's HSE lets companies test ingredients on a wide variety of skin ages, colors, and conditions. HSE even responds to external conditions just like our own skin - so a UVA simulation on HSE will create the same senescence as would a day of the unprotected sun on your cheeks.
These skin models can then be exposed to molecules that may potentially have a positive impact on our skin and the effects of those molecules can be analyzed by measuring a variety of skin-health markers, including biological age, gene expression, protein production, DNA damage, and cellular structure. An enormous volume of cost-effective, reliable, and replicable data is possible when skincare companies invest in an internal Human Skin Equivalent infrastructure - all without testing on animals.
When we talk about examining 'gene expression' essentially that means the OneSkin scientists measure which genes have been activated or suppressed upon treatment in RNA extracted from skin samples. So a candidate skincare molecule should induce genes related to healthier, stronger skin (such as collagen and hyaluronic acid production) and suppress those associated with aging, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and collagen degradation. And that, my friends, is what OS-01 has been shown to do.
Above: the 'model skin' or 'human skin equivalent' may not look much like real skin from the outside, but inside it is astonishingly close.
This is a key differentiator as it allows OneSkin to test thousands of permutations of skin type/age and other factors. Speaking of age - that's another thing that sets OneSkin apart - they test young AND older skin - many companies only test on HSE based on neonatal skin - so not the best rigor to understand whether formulations will work on a 48 year old like me!
Above: Comparing Human Skin Equivalent with Human Skin, Human Skin Equivalent with different ages and the results of treating the skin with OneSkin's OS-01, How Human Skin Equivalent is made - tissues come from skin of all ages.
Source: OneSkin, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169409X21001769
MOLCLOCK: A WAY TO TEST SKIN'S BIOLOGICAL AGE
I mentioned that OneSkin has a tool for measuring the 'biological age' of skin. I'll go into this more in the future, but essentially MolClock enables OneSkin to test to see whether the skin sample has gained or lost in biological age due to some condition in the testing.
For example, a tissue that starts out with a biological age of 30 might go up to 33 with lab exposure to UV radiation. Tests might then show the tissue age drops back to 31 after the application of the OS-01 peptide for a period. MolClock is the tool OneSkin developed to measure this change. MolClock is the only tool in the industry that is specific to the testing of the biological aging of the skin. Incidentally, OneSkin has made MolClock available openly - so any skincare company can use it to test the efficacy of its ingredients and formulations.
In an early test using MolClock, OneSkin’s R&D team measured the biological age of skin before and after exposure to the OS-01 peptide. Before exposure, the biological age of the skin showed to be 70.83 years. Impressively, after only five days of exposure to the OS-01 peptide, a new measurement showed the skin sample to have a biological age of 68.23 years - an age reduction of the skin of 2.5 years in just 5 days! This reduction in age correlates with a reduction in how the skin functions AND appearance.
The MolClock algorithm was trained by using data from over 500 human skin samples and over 2,000 DNA methylation markers. Training the algorithm against such a huge body of genetic skin sample data means that MolClock can accurately predict the biological age of skin, based on an individual’s DNA methylation profile. Importantly, OneSkin has made this tool available publicly so that other skincare formulators can test the efficacy of their compounds.
Being able to run regular tests that include different variables can uncover vital information that the company can use to further its understanding and development of new products. For example, OneSkin has shown the use of its products containing the OS-01 peptide helps address the damage caused by the sun (UVB rays) when used immediately after the exposure. Interestingly, while the results are impressive in both aged human skin equivalent models, the 30-year-old sample responds better. It's exactly this type of test that's part of daily work at OneSkin that can help with the continuous discovery of new peptides and other compounds that are optimized for different skin profiles.
Above: we can see that the benefits of OS-01 are greater in addressing UVB damage in the 30-year-old skin sample than in the 79-year-old sample - great feedback for the OneSkin team who can use this info to help model products optimized at supporting older skin.
Through their in-house developed tool 'MolClock', OneSkin scientists can validate that the reduction in senescent cells correlates with a reduction in the biological age of the skin (it always does). Pretty. Stinking. Cool. And importantly, these lab experiments are supported by studies with human participants which show a measurable reduction in the signs of aging (yes, they've been lucky enough to get a set of participants who agree to skin biopsies!!)
SKIN: OUR LARGEST ORGAN AS A MODULATOR OF SYSTEMATIC INFLAMMATION
I'm going to mention another test the OneSkin team has run. So far they've only run it with a small sample of five participants but they're about to start a version of the same test with 30 participants. OneSkin BODY is being tested for its Impact on Systemic Inflammation.
Based on a preliminary study indicating that skin deterioration leads to systemic inflammation and extensive internal data supporting OS-01’s ability to prevent and repair skin deterioration, OneSkin scientists have set out to determine whether consistent use of OS-01 BODY reduces systemic inflammation.
Just to be clear - their hypothesis is that using a topical cream on the body can have a positive systematic effect on overall health. Just wow. Happily, measuring the level of systemic inflammation in the body is relatively simple, as there’s one class of proteins in the blood that are known to be directly correlated with inflammation, called inflammatory cytokines.
In December 2021, OneSkin teamed up with a physician to test this hypothesis in a small-scale pilot study. During the study, the levels of cytokines in blood were tested before and after consistent use (2xdaily application) of OS-01 BODY for 41 days in 5 subjects between the ages of 59 and 71 years old. While results from the pilot test were preliminary and not statistically significant given the small number of participants, they showed a trend in the right direction of decreasing the average amount of a few key inflammatory cytokines in the blood (INF-gamma, IL-1Ra, IL-6, and MCP-1).
Of course, OneSkin hasn't limited its testing to the petri dish. The company has done extensive testing (including double-blind and third-party validated) on their products on actual humans. Their testing strategy is so vast that I put together a little table (Appendix 1 below) so I could get my head around what each test sets out to prove, and how the combination of tests paints such an impressive efficacy picture.
Above: early studies indicate that topical application of OneSkin body has a positive impact on markers of systematic inflammation (inflammaging 😮)
A few years ago when I was working on relaunching my website I sat down to create a little tagline - just a short 'blurb' that would reflect what my content/approach is all about.
I landed with the phrase 'Healthy and beautiful skin, for all.' I strung the words 'healthy' and 'beautiful' together for a reason. When our skin is healthy it IS beautiful. Recently I was talking Carolina Reis Oliveira, OneSkin founder and CEO and she said something that really resonated: "Beautiful skin is a consequence of intervening in the root cause of skin aging".
OneSkin's approach to addressing the genes and pathways that cause inflammation and aging is hugely innovative. I love both products: OneSkin Face and Body and the science that backs them up. I couldn't be more excited to see what this fascinating company does next.
Above: OneSkin's before/afters of those who been using OneSkin Face for 12 weeks.
My code PENN20 will give you 20% off the price of OneSkin products (these are affiliate links which means if you use them I will earn a commission - at no additional cost to you.)
OneSkin Face: https://shrsl.com/3h6by
OneSkin Body: https://shrsl.com/3h6c2
Appendix 1. What kinds of tests has OneSkin run to validate the OS-01 peptide?
This is NOT a beautifully formatted table, but I wanted to share with you my research and understanding of the tests and studies that have been done on OS-01. If you have questions on any of these please do feel free to reach out to OneSkin!
Appendix 2. A bit more about the company
Normally I wouldn't spend much time talking about the founders of a company. I'm making an exception here because the background of the four female founders of OneSkin provides such important context. OneSkin was founded and led by a team of 4 female PhDs:
Carolina Oliveria Reis holds a Ph.D. in Immunology and tissue engineering
Alessandra Zonari earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology and her Ph.D. in skin regeneration and tissue engineering
Mariana Boroni earned her Master’s degree in biochemistry and her Ph.D. in bioinformatics with an emphasis in genomics
Juliana Carvalho earned her Master’s degree in biochemistry and immunology, and her Ph.D. in molecular biology
So why is this so important? Because to create something truly novel this group of women each had to play a critical role and do their parts so address critical questions:
What causes skin aging (which genes/functions/pathways)? What does the latest research say (including some of their own published research)
How do we use technology to quickly and efficiently screen a molecule or compound that can target and halt this cause? (ideally, one that's extremely effective BUT won't require ten years of testing for FDA approval)
Once the compound or molecule is isolated, how can testing for efficacy and safety be done efficiently - without using animals but with ROBUST proof that it actually works - on all ages, skin types and races.
Between them, the founders of OneSkin have co-authored over one hundred research papers related to aging and related diseases and were uniquely positioned to crack this nut! Some examples:
What's most interesting to me is that this team of women didn't set out to create skincare. Their initial project was to develop a platform that would enable them to use the latest developments in genomics, tissue engineering technologies, biochemistry, and bioinformatics to assess the effectiveness of skincare ingredients - for other companies.
Over a period of a few years, the team put together an infrastructure that would let them help the developers of novel skincare ingredients test the compounds using 3D skin modeling and tools for measuring the age of skin. Two of the team relocated from Brazil to San Francisco in order to be at the epicenter of biotechnology developments. Not long after (with some probing from their new Silicon Valley colleagues and advisors), they realized that rather than use their platform to support other companies to develop cutting-edge skincare compounds, they would use their own platform to develop their own: OneSkin.
Not surprisingly, from a company run by scientists, OneSkin performs their end-to-end R&D process in-house, adhering to a rigorous scientific methodology throughout all phases of development.
Appendix 3. Comparing the key 'goodies' in OneSkin Face and Body
Appendix 4: Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do you know that the effect of OneSkin has to do with the OS-01 peptide and not the other ingredients in OneSkin?
A. The OS-01 peptide has been tested both independently of and in conjunction with the other ingredients in OneSkin Face and OneSkin Body so the company has clear data on the specific pro-health and anti-aging attributes attributed to OS-01 specifically.
Q. Which product has a higher percentage of OS-01, Face or Body?
A. OneSkin Face has been formulated with a significantly higher percentage of OS-01. This is because the skin on the face, neck, and décolleté receive far more exposure to UV rays and pollution than areas of the body.
Q. I'd like to save money by purchasing OneSkin Body and using it on my face. Is there any reason not to?
A. OneSkin Body certainly can be used on the face. However, there are a few things to bear in mind. One is that it contains ingredients such as mango seed butter which, while it is an amazing ingredient for the skin of the body that has a lower concentration of sebaceous glands, many will find that it is too rich for the facial skin. Also, OneSkin Face has a significantly higher concentration of the key OS-01 peptide. For me personally, I like the idea of having both tools for different areas, in different seasons. My arms suffer quite a bit of hyperpigmentation and are showing crepiness earlier than the rest of the body, so I’m using OneSkin Face on my arms in the morning, but then for added moisture, I use OneSkin Body on my arms at night. And I’ve used OneSkin Body on my face on occasion (like when I recently visited Arizona and had serious dehydration issues.) I think the important thing to note is the products were formulated for different needs of the different skins on our bodies vs. faces. That doesn’t mean we can’t get ‘creative’ but helpful to know that OneSkin Body has a much lower percentage of the key peptide and also some ingredients that could cause congestion in the face.
Q. I understand that the molecular weight of the OS-01 peptide is 1182. I thought that molecules over 500 daltons were unable to penetrate the stratum corneum?
A. The ability of a given molecule to cross the stratum corneum isn’t solely determined by the molecular weight. Things like polarity and solubility have an impact, among other factors. OS-01 is slightly positively charged which helps with penetration. In addition, the OneSkin emulsification system generates liquid crystal structures that mimic the extracellular lipid matrix of the stratum corneum, which additionally facilitates the penetration of molecules. Of course OneSkin knows for sure that it’s penetrating the stratum corneum and going into the epidermis and dermis because it is doing tests (including mass spectrometry) to verify the levels of penetration
Q. Is OneSkin vegan?
A. Yes, OneSkin is vegan and fragrance-free.
Q. How long will it take to see results from OneSkin? What areas of aging can I expect it to work on quickest?
A. OneSkin have seen impressive visual results in 12 weeks in their studies (some of the photos are above in the body of this blog.)
Q. Are there any ingredients that I shouldn't layer with OneSkin?
A. No! The OS-01 peptide and other OneSkin Face and Body ingredients play well with everything! In fact, OneSkin’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a natural pair with retinoids and other skin actives that can cause inflammation.
Q. Will OneSkin help with hyperpigmentation?
The production of melanin in our skin is influenced by so many different factors including aging, inflammation, sun exposure, and even hormones, like in the case of melasma. Those are all different stressors to the skin or inducers of pigmentation in the skin. OneSkin Face and Body have several compounds in the formula that are antioxidant and are anti-inflammatory. The OS-01 peptide helps prevent the accumulation of melanin by melanocytes in several different ways. Firstly, by helping the cells to withstand DNA damage and decreasing the stress of sun-damaged cells. Additionally, OS-01 works directly on the melanin synthesis pathway, controlling the function of one of the main enzymes that are responsible for melanin synthesis - Tyrosinase (as well as other proteins involved in the production of melanin). OS-02 effectively controls the melanin synthesis pathway. In normalizing the production of tyrosinase, the production of melanin is decreased.
Q, Does OneSkin work prophylactically? Is it worth it for somebody in their 20s to starting OneSkin?
Yes, OneSkin's studies support that OS-01 helps the young cells to continue to be effective in repairing and bouncing back from damage, which it can only to a certain extent in cells from elderly people. So OneSkin is definitely a great preventive approach to help your skin to maintain its function and youthfulness.
Q. I've seen that OneSkin can be useful to treat eczema. What about for a young person or baby with eczema - is this likely caused by senescence cells or by something else? Is OneSkin appropriate to use on other members of my family? Children?
A. Eczema and atopic dermatitis are associated with a weaker skin barrier which can lead to further infections and compromise the skin even further. The cause of eczema can be due to different factors, genetic and environmental triggers. OneSkin hasn't yet been tested specifically in infants they don't advise its use directly. However, my advice would be to talk your pediatrician to see what s/he thinks.
Q. Are there other brands that are offering skincare that has a proven impact on skin cell senescence? I’ve heard of Senisca, in the UK, for example? Is there anything comparable to OneSkin that is less expensive?
A. The field of longevity research is experiencing phenomenal growth. Particularly over the past 3 years, innovations in biotechnology have meant that there are many many research groups and companies who are hotly pursuing the goal of increasing skin health and slowing the pace of skin aging by reducing skin senescence. Having said that, in all of my research I haven’t found any other skincare product that’s currently on the market that competes directly with OneSkin.
Q. The company mentions that OneSkin helps with DNA repair. Does it work similarly to plankton-based DNA repair enzymes such as Photozyme?
A. Aging is essentially a dysregulation in pathways. So when we’re aging quickly, our ‘longevity pathways’ are downregulated and our ‘senescence (aging) pathways’ are upregulated - causing problems. OS-01 is simultaneously upregulating the longevity pathways and downregulating the senescent (aging) pathways - effectively striving for homeostasis. OneSkin works on upregulating the DNA repair proteins we have native to our cells, making our own systems more efficient.
DNA repair enzymes encapsulated in liposomes (such as those found in Photozyme) make their way into the cell acting as ‘helpers’ to increase the removal of DNA lesions and DNA repair synthesis.
There is no reason that we can’t use both this boost to our ‘native’ system as well as DNA repair ‘helpers’. Personally, I’m using both OneSkin AND Photozyme.
How does OS-01 work?
A. Simplistically, the OS-01 peptide decreases both the production of inflammatory factors from the senescent cells but it also prevents healthy cells from becoming senescent even if they’re in the presence of other senescent cells.
The main harm of senescent cells comes not from the senescence cells themselves, but more from the of inflammatory signaling that spoils the surrounding cells, causing them to age faster.
Q. Does OneSkin target senescent cells, directly eliminating them (senolytic), or does OneSkin target pre-senescent cells and the SASP (senomorphic)?
A. OneSkin reduces the creation of new senescent cells as well as reducing SASP (the pro-inflammatory secretion that senescent cells produce.)
Senomorphics can modulate the properties/behaviors of senescent cells to those of young cells through impacting inflammation, senescence-related signal pathways, and SASP, without actually killing off the senescent cells whereas the aim of
Senolytics aim to “kill off” the senescent cell.
OneSkin can be categorized as a senomorphic.
Q. Which elements of the SASP does OS-01 target?
A. IL-6, IL-8 and MMP-1 (which degrades collagen)
Q. Are some senescent cells 'good' and others 'bad'?
A. Senescent cells aren’t inherently bad - they have a function/purpose in the body. When we’re young and healthy the body’s immune system has an effective system for clearing away senescent cells when the time is right. However, when senescent cells accumulate their collective impact (the secretion of SASP) can overwhelm the tissue, cause systematic inflammation and contribute to aging and disease.
Q. is there any way I can test the biological age of my skin?
A. I’m not aware of anything on the market today that will test the DNA of skin cells for markers of aging. However, OneSkin did mention to me a project they’re pursuing that may enable people to test skin aging at home in the not too distant future - possibly using a ‘sticky tape’ system for collecting skin cells and sending them to a lab - much like we can do a pinprick test on our finger to collect blood on a piece of cardboard to send to a lab.
Q. If some senescent cells are anti-tumorigenic, how can we be sure that OS-01 doesn't have a negative impact, halting senescent cells that are doing good in the body?
A. OneSkin does not change the nature of existing senescent cells in the body. It neither helps to repair existing senescent cells nor does it ‘kill them off’. What OneSkin DOES do, is create an environment to keep cells healthy and out of the senescent state. It does this, in part, by upregulating ‘good’ genes and downregulating ‘bad’ genes. This way, the body has a ‘healthy’ senescent load that it can cope with. Because existing senescent cells aren’t overburdening the system with high levels of pro-inflammatory SASP, the body’s own immune system can do efficient housekeeping, clearing the senescent cells away when the time is right.
Q. Has OneSkin gone through safety checks? Can I safely use OneSkin in areas that have or have recently had skin cancer?
A. Please always check with your doctor before introducing anything into your routine if you have or are at risk for cancer. Having said that, OneSkin Face and OneSkin Body were tested for human sensitization (RIPT - a clinical study to assess skin irritation) as well as a number of in vitro tests (Cell toxicity *Mutagenesis: Ames test *Karyotyping *Chromosomal Aberration following FDA guidelines.
Q. Is OneSkin safe for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women?
A. OneSkin Face and Body have not been tested specifically on pregnant women, but there is no ingredient that would cause concern. However, OneSkin recommends that women talk to their doctors before they make a decision.
Q. I notice that OneSkin Body contains alcohol and am concerned that this could be drying.
A. OneSkin uses a type of non-drying alcohol in the Body product, at a very low level 0.2% - it should not cause dryness in any way.
Q. I'm concerned about the Genestein (soy) as I have (or had) breast cancer and I've been advised to avoid soy. Do I need to skip OneSkin Body?
A. I've been told that Genestein is present at 0.0028% in the formula. They believe the actual impact would be very low if any. In any case, do consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Q. Are OneSkin containers recyclable?
OneSkin as a company is working with ZeroCarbon to ensure that the ‘footprint’ created in producing their products is carbon neutral. OneSkin Body packaging is already 100% recyclable and they’re redesigning OneSkin Face along the same design. Additionally, in the next few months they’ll be releasing disposable pouches to refill OneSkin Face and after that the same for OneSkin Body.
Q. Does OneSkin have other plans for the OS-01 peptide, say versions that are available for professionals to inject or ingestible versions?
A. While there could possibly be applications for the OS-01 peptide in oral or injectable deliveries, OneSkin is focused on delivering topical solutions to increase healthspan. They’re open to working with partners down the road to explore other uses for the peptide.
Q. Is OneSkin working on any other peptides or compounds to complement OS0-01?
A. OneSkin is actively testing a variety of molecules and using the latest screening and testing tools to see if there are other substances that could help support skin health.
Q. Will OneSkin be releasing other products in the near future?
A. Yes, OneSkin is planning on releasing a cleanser later in 2022.
Q. When will OneSkin be available outside the US and Canada? Is this something we can expect in 2022?
A. OneSkin is focusing on the US and Canada for now. They’re a very small company and their goal is to provide excellent products and services to their existing markets before they expand globally. I don’t have exact dates to share with you but my impression is that they’re not expecting to go global in the next year.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice. Content provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin-related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this website should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this website are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skincare professional to determine if it’s right for you.
I'm closing comments here as we have a rich forum for questions/discussions in my private Facebook group - you're very welcome to join!!