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Cosmetic Chaos: Is Your Skincare Routine Disrupting Your Skin's Microbial Balance?

Skincare and Microbiome Imbalance

Many consumers use skincare products with the intention of achieving various aesthetic goals, without realising their potential impact on the skin's microbiome. Factors like ingredients and formulations can disrupt this balance, highlighting the importance of understanding how skin care choices affect skin health

What We Know:

  • Cosmetic skincare products can influence the composition and diversity of the skin's microbial community. Ingredients like carbohydrates, proteins and lipids can promote the growth of specific skin bacteria. For example, the lipid components found in moisturisers can serve as nutrients, fostering the growth of lipophilic bacteria like Staphylococcus epidermidis and Cutibacterium acnes (Skowron et al., 2021).

  • Furthermore, emulsifiers or preservatives, such as parabens, methylisothiazolinone have the potential to disturb microbial balance by suppressing the growth of beneficial bacteria like S. epidermidis, potentially leading to dysbiosis (Fournière et al., 2020).

  • The impact of preservatives on the skin microbiome has been debated due to their necessity to prevent contamination, but simultaneous potentially negative effects on microbiome diversity. However, more recent research established that their impact depends on factors like concentration, exposure duration and individual skin resilience (Murphy et al., 2021).

Industry Impact & Potential:

  • Research into skin microbiota and ingredients optimising skin microbiota is essential for cosmetic companies creating new cosmetic products. Initiatives and certifications to ensure that cosmetic products are free from contaminants, harmless to specific bacteria and non-disruptive to the skin's natural microbiome equilibrium are becoming more prominent in the skincare industry (Han & Kim, 2024).

  • Skincare brands have and continue to formulate products including microbiome beneficial ingredients, like pre- and postbiotics. These include Aveeno’s CALM+RESTORE® range (with oatmeal, which contains prebiotic carbohydrate beta-glucans), Lancome’s Genifique products (containing Bifida ferment lysate, Lactobacillus ferment, postbiotic yeast extract and prebiotic alpha glucan oligosaccharide) as well as Lactoclear’s postbiotic products (containing Enterococcus Faecalis ferment) among many others (Han & Kim, 2024).

Our Solution:

With an extensive database comprising over 20,000 microbiome samples and 4,000 ingredients, alongside a global network of more than 10,000 testing participants, Sequential delivers thorough services for assessing product impacts and formulations. Our customisable microbiome studies offer real-world testing scenarios, while our formulation support guarantees the preservation of biome integrity in products. Thus, we stand as the optimal partner to leverage our solutions for your product development and efficacy needs.

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