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Human beta-defensin-3 (hBD-3) is an antimicrobial peptide that displays a key role in skin immunity and wound healing. The potent antimicrobial activity of hBD-3 together with its wound closure-promoting activities suggests that hBD-3 may play a crucial role in wound healing.
Hair follicles are a well-known niche of multipotent stem cells. Recently, hair follicle cells expressing leucine-rich orphan G protein-coupled receptors (LGR) have been described as multipotent adult stem cells with a high potential for regenerative therapies.
Defensins are natural immune peptides that have been shown to activate an LGR6+ epithelial stem cell locus in the hair follicle, identified as the source of most new epidermal cells during acute wound healing. After activation, LGR6+ stem cells physically migrate into the basal layer of the skin and create a new epidermis, and eventually, new, younger-acting skin.
Here is a summary of defensins' role in anti-aging:
• Old fibroblast and keratinocytes are sluggish and lazy.
• Old cells do not “hear” signals as well as younger cells.
• LGR6+ stem cells repopulate the epidermis with new, young keratinocytes.
• Defensin stimulates LGR6+ stem cells.
• The defensin/LGR6+ pathway plays a role in keratinization.
• Using topical defensin can improve the skin’s appearance
A 12-week study using a 3-product skin care regimen containing alpha and beta defensins (2/3 of the participants, with 1/3 getting placebo), concluded the defensins improved the visual appearance and structure of aging skin without irritation, dryness, or inflammation. Specifically, the regimen increased epidermal thickness, reduces appearance of pores, reduced wrinkles, and reduced melanin. This data is consistent with the hypothesis that a defensin-containing skin care regimen activates the body's own dormant stem cells to generate healthy new epidermal cells.
"Even old skin has young dormant cells that can be turned on by defensins. We saw a marked difference at 2 months in a 73-year-old patient," Dermatologist Angela Bowers, MD
"We noticed better skin quality, including firmer skin, fewer fine lines, more luminosity and clarity, and a reduced appearance of pores," Dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD
"After microneedling, patients are less likely to break out with acne post treatment,” Dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD
"Use for 4 to 6 weeks before having filler procedures to prep the skin and enhance results," Dermatologist Kathleen Welsh, MD
"Before and after ablative skin treatments, primes skin to respond more quickly and robustly, healing faster,” Dermatologist Steven Swengel, MD