Make your personal care products as microbiome-friendly as possible

How does my product respect the balance, diversity and vitality of my skin microbiome?

We live in very health-conscious times and switched-on skin care consumers no longer see bacteria as something that must be removed at all costs. Instead, in the quest for wellbeing and beautiful looking skin, they are looking for ways to maintain the natural balance of their microbiota.

Our skin hosts some 1 million micro-organisms and they have an essential role to play, protecting and promoting skin health and beauty. Among most common are the bacteria Cutibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus hominis, Streptococcus mitis, Streptococcus oralis, and Micrococcus luteus; and the fungi Malassezia globosa and Malassezia restrica.

A growing body of scientific evidence points to a link between certain common skin concerns and imbalances (dysbiosis) in the skin’s microbiota, for example:

  • Atopic Dermatitis flare-ups and reduced microbial diversity and Staphylococcus aureus colonization;
  • Rosacea and increased demodex mites and Corynebacterium kroppensteditii;
  • Scalp skin affected by dandruff and an imbalance between Staphylococcus epidermidis and Cutibacterium acnes;
  • Acne and specific Cutibacterium acnes strains.

To avoid imbalances that could lead to skin concerns, it’s important to keep interventions in the skin microbiome to a minimum. So, we should strive to make personal care products as microbiome-friendly as we can. Then, we need to reassure consumers that the personal care products they choose will respect the balance, diversity, and vitality of their skin microbiome.

A new benchmark for microbiome friendly personal care products

Every person’s skin microbiome is unique to them, but there are some key microbial organisms typically found on certain skin areas. The "MyMicrobiome Standard" is an independent benchmark for evaluating the influence of cosmetic and personal care products on these key organisms in a standardized way

To be certified as microbiome friendly under the standard, a product is tested in three areas:

Diversity – is the diversity of the skin microbiome preserved in the presence of the product?

Vitality   – are the key organisms specific to the skin area where the product will be used able to grow unharmed?

Balance – on healthy skin, does the product disturb skin balance by suppressing protective bacteria and fostering harmful bacteria?

Products that pass these tests can be classified as microbiome-friendly and receive a "Microbiome-friendly" seal of approval.

To increase trust and transparency for you and your consumers, DSM has started to test personal care ingredients of their portfolio with this standard and four of our ingredients already carry the “Microbiome Friendly label”: ALPAFLOR® ALP-SEBUM CB, TILAMAR® PDO with NØØVISTA™, HYA-ACT™, TILAMAR® BOOST 150.

And to find out more about the world’s first independent standard for microbiome-friendly products, visit My Microbiome here.

From ingredients to formulations: the next step in consumer confidence

We know that consumers seek products that respect and maintain the integrity and balance of the skin microbiota. How can we assure them that the product they’re buying is microbiome-friendly?

According to Mintel, 50% of consumers of soap/bath/shower products aged 18+ in the US are interested in trying products that protect the microbiome. As an example, increased handwashing/sanitizing during the pandemic has boosted consumer desire for skin care solutions that maintain the skin microbiota’s natural functions and benefits. This demand will reach across many segments. Common skin conditions such as eczema and acne will also drive formulations to target the microbiome.

Ultimately, consumers want to feel confident that they’re making the right choice when buying a skin care product. Using standards such as MyMicrobiome makes it easy for them to choose products.

After securing the microbiome-friendly label for some of our key ingredients, we then developed a ready-to-use formulation in close cooperation with MyMicrobiome that also carries their seal. By combining microbiome-friendly skin care ingredients with our application expertise, we can offer customers an identical 1:1 composition without any re-testing.

Related Formulations

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  • ALPAFLOR® -ALP-SEBUM CB

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    NEW DATA ALPAFLOR® -ALP-SEBUM CB is an organic bioactive rich in flavanoids and oenothein B - key compounds that show sebum-regulating and anti-inflammatory activities. It is COSMOS and NATRUE organic certified and Fair for Life fair trade certified.

  • TILAMAR® PDO with NØØVISTA™

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    The multifunctional microbiome-friendly ingredient TILAMAR® PDO with NØØVISTA is the first made-in-Europe cosmetic 1,3-propanediol, 100% bio-sourced and originated from non-GMO and palm oil-free feedstocks.

  • Hyaluronic Acid HYA ACT

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    NEW This skin microbiome friendly new ingredient line, HYA-ACT™ includes highly efficient hyaluronic acid grades featuring different molecular weights that deliver the efficacy and beauty benefits customers want.

  • TILAMAR® Boost 150

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