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.