Experts Predict The Future Of Fillers, Lasers, And Injectables In Beauty

“In the next year, augmented reality is going to get really big. It lets you superimpose anything onto a real-life object or person — like using a Snapchat filter that’s highly accurate to the point where you can’t believe your eyes. Eventually you’ll be able to change your lipstick, your hair color, even your nose in a picture, and the results will be hyperperfect. As millennials and Gen Zers get more and more comfortable posting altered, enhanced pictures of themselves, companies are furiously working on ways to make augmented reality better. Sure, right now you can tell what’s been filtered, but soon you won’t be able to figure it out. Someone could look totally different online than they do in real life.

“And imagine if you could be the face in a YouTube beauty tutorial. In the coming years, there will most likely be sophisticated mirrors in stores that project different beauty looks — and the steps that go into getting them — onto your reflection. In the next 10 years, I also fully expect that your entire bathroom mirror could be a smart mirror: You’ll be able to get beauty tutorials on your reflection while you check the weather and new text messages pop up. Companies have already started to play with turning mirrors into touch screens, and there’s so much potential.

“The gadgets in your bathroom will get smarter, too. Your facial-cleansing brush will ping your phone when it’s time to exfoliate, recommend products for your skin type, maybe even tell you when you need to get a new mole checked out. It’ll learn more about your skin the more you use it and recommend new products as your skin changes. You’ll be the center of your own beauty ecosystem.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Allure. To get your copy, head to newsstands or subscribe now.

A Hair-Loss Solution

Gail K. Naughton is a leading researcher in the field of tissue engineering and the chief scientific officer of Histogen, a regenerative-medicine company in San Diego.

“For the last eight years, we’ve been testing and perfecting an injectable treatment for growing hair and have been seeing exciting results — new hair growth in as little as 12 weeks, with improvement still evident after one year. The treatment, called HSC, works by targeting stem cells in the hair follicles with a mix of naturally secreted growth factors. One factor, follistatin, allows dormant stem cells to shift into a new hair-growth cycle. Another, keratinocyte growth factor, causes cells to proliferate and grow, converting a baby hair into a mature hair or creating brand-new hair. My big aha moment, believe it or not, came when I showed before-and-after photos from our first clinical study to my neighbor’s five-year-old daughter — she pointed to each after picture and said, ‘More hair! More hair!’ I mean, truly striking results. The U.S. trials are planned to commence in 2018; we expect it to gain approval in Mexico first, perhaps in 2020, and then in the U.S. sometime after that.

“It’s worth noting: All of the growth factors in our formula come from cells grown in a simulated embryonic environment — we essentially float young healthy skin cells on tiny starch beads in a low-oxygen system, so it’s as though they’re in a womb, which causes them to revert back into multipotent stem cells, and release a unique blend of growth factors. Why do we this? Well, growth factors made from fetal or embryonic cells are the gold standard. They can stimulate stem cells all over the body, replacing or repairing even very damaged skin. But since traditional fetal stem-cell therapies are, obviously, hotly debated, we mimic the embryonic environment to avoid ethical issues and still get the very best growth factors. Of course, there are also safety concerns surrounding growth factors — can they affect pre-existing cancer cells? — which I think are largely unfounded. There has never been a case where even the injection of a large amount of these naturally secreted growth factors has at all enhanced cancer growth. In fact, we’ve published papers showing that the material our cells give off can actually shut down the growth of basal, squamous, and melanoma skin cancers. Recombinant growth factors are another matter, however. They are not natural — the proteins typically come from a plant or animal, and that genetic material is manipulated and mixed with human DNA. And a number of recombinant growth factors have been associated with an increase in cancer. Natural growth factors derived from human cells really make the most sense.

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