Spotlight – Novel Skin Barrier Techniques and Development of Autophagy Activators

photograph of Sekyoo Jeong

Sekyoo Jeong, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Bio-Cosmetic Science
Seowon University
Cheongju, Republic of Korea

Professor Jeong’s research area encompasses skin barrier function and development of new cosmetic ingredients as well as functional evaluation of their bioactivity. During the past 15 years, he has been dedicated to basic and clinical research on skin barrier function, focusing on developing active ingredients for personal care. During a stint in the personal care industry, he successfully introduced new cosmetic ingredients into the marketplace, including one product that stimulates expression of epidermal anti-microbial peptides and acts as antagonist for epidermal protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) and epidermal cannabinoid receptor. After making the transition to academia and establishing a laboratory in the Bio-Cosmetic Science Department at Seowon University, his focus has been on topical autophagy activators for skin care applications. Based on its important and diverse roles in skin homeostasis, autophagy attracts much interest as an effective target for cosmetic applications, which include developing anti-aging, whitening, sebogenesis regulator, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. In collaboration with innovative companies, Dr. Jeong is working to develop autophagy activators and their practical applications in personal care.

With his extensive experience in skin bioengineering methodology, Professor Jeong is also working towards the development of new devices for improved measurement of skin barrier function. His team recently introduced a World-first IoT-based portable device, which simultaneously measures trans-epidermal water loss and skin hydration in less than 10 seconds. With its high reliability and reproducibility as well as affordable price, this device can be used for measuring skin function on a daily basis at home by consumers, which potentially provides real-time evaluation of clinical efficacy of cosmetic products. Professor Jeong also serves as Academic Director for the Korean Society of Skin Barrier Research and General Secretary of the Pan-Asian Pacific Skin Barrier Research Society.