Extracellular Vesicles in Facial Aesthetics: A Review

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 16;23(12):6742. doi: 10.3390/ijms23126742.


Facial aesthetics involve the application of non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques to improve facial appearance. Currently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are attracting much interest as nanocarriers in facial aesthetics due to their lipid bilayer membrane, nanosized dimensions, biological origin, intercellular communication ability, and capability to modulate the molecular activities of recipient cells that play important roles in skin rejuvenation. Therefore, EVs have been suggested to have therapeutic potential in improving skin conditions, and these highlighted the potential to develop EV-based cosmetic products. This review summarizes EVs' latest research, reporting applications in facial aesthetics, including scar removal, facial rejuvenation, anti-aging, and anti-pigmentation. This review also discussed the advanced delivery strategy of EVs, the therapeutic potential of plant EVs, and clinical studies using EVs to improve skin conditions. In summary, EV therapy reduces scarring, rejuvenates aging skin, and reduces pigmentation. These observations warrant the development of EV-based cosmetic products. However, more efforts are needed to establish a large-scale EV production platform that can consistently produce functional EVs and understand EVs' underlying mechanism of action to improve their efficacy.

Keywords: anti-aging; anti-scarring; cosmetic; extracellular vesicle; pigmentation; skin rejuvenation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Communication
  • Esthetics
  • Extracellular Vesicles*

Grants and funding

This work was supported by research grants from Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (FF-2019-450/1) and Ming Medical Sdn. Bhd. (FF-2019-450).