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The Microbiome - Part 2: How can we positively influence the skin’s microbiome?

6

Mar

Microbiom part 2

The cosmetics industry has a growing interest in the latest scientific findings on the skin microbiome and is developing the first products to address it. Some include active ingredients that support the activity and reproduction of beneficial bacteria while others include ingredients designed to be activated by the bacteria on the skin.

After discussing in the first part of our article series what the Microbiome of the skin is, which functions it assumes and to what extent it differs from the skin flora, the focus of this article is on the possibilities to influence the Microbiome of the skin and to use it cosmetically.

One way consumers can positively influence their skin microbiome is to use prebiotics. These are chemical substances that affect the growth or activity of bacteria to have a beneficial effect on the skin.Using live bacteria (probiotics) for this purpose is, in contrast, quite difficult. So far, such concepts have only been studied and advertised as a new treatment approach in dermatology. Extracts of apathogenic (harmless) germs such as Vitreoscilla filiformis or Aquaphilus dolomiae have been formulated into creams as a basis for influencing the cutaneous microbiome (1). However, there is only limited applicability for probiotics in cosmetics so far because no decent shelf life has been achieved yet with these formulations, meaning there is no way of guaranteeing consistent quality of the final product over its life span before it is sold and while it is in use.


We all know that live bacteria in yoghurt have positive effects on our digestive system. Similarly, researchers have discovered that anti-inflammatory molecules from bacteria, for example, can positively affect the skin. Since this discovery, scientists shifted their attention to focus not only on the negative aspects but equally on the beneficial properties that bacteria can have for us.

 

 

Facts

  • 90% of all diseases can be traced back to a poor state of the microbiome.
  • ~ 10.000 different species colonize the human body.
  • Only 10% of the cells that make up a person are in fact human.
  • We each carry 2 kg of microorganisms around with us.
  • 80-90% of people differ by their microbiome.


Source: draxe.com/microbiome/


 

How can we use the microbiome cosmetically?


The cosmetics industry has a growing interest in the latest scientific findings on the skin microbiome and is developing the first products to address it. Some include active ingredients that support the activity and reproduction of beneficial bacteria while others include ingredients designed to be activated by the bacteria on the skin. 

 

A predominant bacterial species worth considering is Propionibacterium acnes, whose normal action of metabolizing skin lipids protects us against harmful microorganisms (2). If P. acnes bacteria grow uncontrolled, however, they can trigger skin diseases. Yet, we can regulate their growth using lactic acid (lactate) or even molecules of bacterial origin, and thereby renormalize the skin’s condition (3).

 

Of the microbiome-related products released in Europe since 2014, almost half (82 out of 165) are aimed at treating pores, acne and sebum. 

 

We see further products bearing claims of anti-aging, plumping, collagen formation (23%), whitening (17%) and other functions (such as exfoliation, skin disease treatment etc.)  (Mintel analysis, as of 09/2017).

 

With our suppliers, we offer you active ingredients that allow you to develop products that can positively influence the skin microbiome and thus restore a healthy skin condition. Furthermore, we offer products that can be activated by the bacteria on the skin and thereby help to maintain the skin’s beauty.

 

Glossary 

  • Microbiome: The entirety of microorganisms colonizing a human.
  • Microorganism: All microscopic organisms including viruses, bacteria, yeast and fungi.
  • Probiotics: Products that contain live bacteria.
  • Prebiotics: Substances that positively influence the activity and/or growth of microorganisms.
  • Propionibacterium: Bacterial species that lives in sebum-rich skin regions and metabolizes fats for our protection.


Literature:

  1. Neue Erkenntnisse zum Mikrobiom der Haut – Konsequenzen für die Therapie der atopischen Dermatitis Prof. A. Wollenberg, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
  2. http://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/4/2/14/html
  3. http://cen.acs.org/articles/95/i19/Cosmetics-next-microbiome-frontier.html
     

Alexander Stubenvoll

Product & Sales Manager

Dear blog reader,

I am Alexander Stubenvoll and I am a Product & Sales Manager at IMPAG in Germany since April 2017. I am father of a wonderful daughter and together with my wife we spend our spare time outside.
 

Interacting with my customers, but also working and presenting of trend topics like the microbiome or Epigenetics is an important aspect of my work. I am looking forward to interesting blog posts, feedback and comments from you.

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