Happy World Microbiome Day!

Happy World Microbiome Day!

The bacteria that live in and on our skin – known as our skin microbiome – are immensely important for our skin health. Our skin benefits from a healthy balance of our skin microbiota, and the microbiome of our skin thrives when our skin is healthy. However, there is still so much we don’t know about the exact mechanisms of the complex interactions between our skin and its microbes, and there is still so much to learn.

Beauty and personal care consumers have also begun to understand that the skin microbiome plays a vital role in the appearance and feel of their skin, and we are seeing more products claiming to contain prebiotic, probiotic, or postbiotic ingredients, or being labeled as microbiome-friendly. But what exactly do these claims mean?

According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host,” whereas a prebiotic is a “substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit,” and a postbiotic is a “preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host.”

But how can brands, formulators, and consumers be sure whether an active ingredient is pro-, pre-, or postbiotic? And does “microbiome-friendly” just mean a product is not harmful to the skin microbiome? If you would like to know more about the skin microbiome, biotics, and possible claims, we recommend these articles by CLR’s Director Product Design & Development Harald van der Hoeven:

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