2021-10-25| Special

Shaping the Future of the Beauty Industry: Can Skin Microbiome Products Succeed Cosmetics?

by Ameya Paleja
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Even as we marvel at gut microbiome transplants as a major breakthrough in treating inflammatory bowel syndrome, there is a new arena for microbiome that is taking shape. Often called the largest organ of the human body, the human skin is host to more than 1,000 bacterial species. Apart from viruses, fungi, and archaea and there is a wide range of diseases that manifest here. Scientists at startups, as well as corporate houses, are now focusing their attention on developing microbiome-based treatments for the skin.

The skin is colonized by bacteria and other microbes since our birth and the hormonal changes that occur during puberty are responsible for acne, one of the commonest skin problems. Belgian company S-Biomedic is currently researching how to best use the skin microbiome to treat acne and is confident to release a consumer product in the next couple of years.

Besides acne, companies are also evaluating their skin microbiome products for body odor, atopic dermatitis, or psoriasis. Apart from biotech companies, cosmetic companies are also working on microbiome-based solutions with Loreal working to add anti-dandruff shampoo, anti-blemish, and probiotic enriched anti-aging sera to its product lines. At this pace, a day at the spa with microbiome-perfected products may not be very far.

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