Skin, Hygiene, and Microbiome Drive Beauty and Personal Care Product Development


A sure-fire sign that the beauty industry is determined to overcome the pandemic, members of the New York chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) attended the chapter’s first event since March 2020. The one-man conference entitled ‘Skin, Hygiene and the Microbiome’ drew a large audience live at the Charthouse in Weehawken, New Jersey, as well as many online viewers who tune in virtually to watch the proceedings and participate in a question and answer session. – responses that followed each presentation.

The seminar was hosted by NYSCC President Susanna Fernandes of Tri-K Industries, as well as Sarah de Szalay, Director of Research and Development at Femtec and Aysel Calkap, Head of Personal Care Business Development at DSM. It offered skin care researchers the opportunity to hear informative lectures about the skin microbiome in person and virtually.

Speakers included Dr. Riccardo Sfriso, Senior Skin Microbiome Scientist at Scientific Affairs Skin Care; Dr. Jason Harcup, global vice president of skin care and research and development at Unilever; Dr Rainer Simmering, senior scientist at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA; Peter Larson, doctoral student at the University of Connecticut of the Doctoral Research Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine; and Irina Agro, Global Account Manager at Ashland Global.

Sfriso spoke about the modulation of the skin microbiota (or microorganisms) and the prebiotic effects of an extract of Epilobium fleischeri. In detailing the biology of the skin, Sfrisco compared it to an ecosystem with capacities of interface, defense and renewal. He traced his microbial colonization back to birth.

Specific bacterial populations, he noted, are associated with moist, dry, and sebaceous skin sites. The resident flora is made up of a few types of bacteria, he said, which multiply freely and recover after disruption. Transient flora, a wide array of microorganisms, he added, originate from the environment and persist from hours to days.

When the skin balance is disturbed, the scientific term for which is dysbiosis, the resulting skin conditions can include rosacea, atopic dermatitis (eczema), dandruff, aging, and acne vulgaris.

The relative abundance of Cutibacterium acnes, or a slow-growing, aerotolerant anaerobic bacterium associated with acne, ranges from 90% on the forehead, the oily part of the face, to 75% on the lateral cheek, the lower part of the face. less oily on the face. site, Sfriso said. Various ecological factors affect the composition of the skin microbiota in different parts of the body, from dryness to temperature, oil content, pH, and the body’s personalized immune response.

Epilobium fleischeri extract, also known as Alpine fireweed, contains a blend of polyphenols. According to Sfriso, it has enough skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits to dramatically reduce sebum production.

Environmental stressors such as air pollutants impact microbes in the face and body and can trigger certain skin conditions, according to Unilever’s Harcup, who discussed innovation progress in the skin microbiome. One intervention strategy is a hydrating four-in-one prebiotic multi-cleanser from Murad that helps repair damage.

Another treatment, Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment, is a dandruff treatment. Paraben Free and Color Safe Scalp Treatment provides instant hydration and long lasting relief from dry scalp flaking, itchiness and irritation. Its vitamin B3-based microbiome balancing complex realigns the scalp’s natural ecosystem for long-lasting relief.

Harcup also recommended the Extremely Dry Skin Rescue of Vaseline, which is formulated with a unique barrier repair complex to strengthen the skin barrier and is believed to heal dry skin in five days.

Simmering of Henkel discussed what is known and unknown about the skin microbiome, including the impact of cosmetics on the skin microbiome.

“I think it makes more sense to study the functionality of the skin microbiota,” he said. “For that, we have to improve the technology. “

He also cautioned against the credibility of some product labels that claim to make positive changes to the skin microbiome.

“There are several products on the market that claim some kind of impact on the skin microbiome, which have no or very, very little evidence of an effect,” he noted.

Irina Agro, Senior Account Manager at Ashland, focused her talk on understanding the possible long-term effects cosmetic preservatives could have on the healthy skin microbiome. Agro created a unique body lotion inoculation test that used a cocktail of bacteria and a cocktail of yeasts and molds. Using the forearms of 23 subjects of all ages as a test area (a fairly stable environment on the skin), the lotion was applied twice a day for 28 days. The study concluded that there was an insignificant difference between the baseline and the three-week swab, and that the preservative blend, which included a blend of phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin, protected the product without altering the skin microbiome.

A balanced microbiome, added by Agro, contributes to skin health. She added that more research needs to be done to determine if the microbiome is responsible for better skin health or if skin health is responsible for a healthier microbiome.

“We are seeing a correlation between a disrupted microbiome and a disrupted skin barrier,” she noted.

Peter Larson, a doctoral student at the Doctoral Research Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine at the University of Connecticut, discussed the engineering of the aging skin microbiome in relation to gut health. Gut diversity, he said, increases with age and frailty and is linked to a weaker immune system.

“The skin microbiome in the elderly appears to be a major reservoir of pathogens and antimicrobial resistant factors, particularly in the elderly living in healthcare settings,” said Larson. “In unstable states of the microbiome, you are more likely to be colonized by pathogens, but it might be more susceptible to colonization by probiotics.”


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