Skin Care Microbiome Movement

Our skin is a barrier against daily external agressions
and consumers are more and more conscious about the role of its microbiome to maintain it healthy.

* KuRunData/Mintel, December 2021; Base : China: 3,000 internet users aged 18-59
This rise of interest for the skin microbiome is a real opportunity for brands to pair microbiome claims with specific ingredients, to drive consumers towards purchase. A good example is about anti-ageing ingredients, which are one of the key interests among consumers.
A fast-growing trend...

As for the gut microbiome, the skin microbiome has been in a continuous rise in consumers and researchers' mind in the last years, showing that the maintenance of a healthy microbiome is becoming a critical consideration in the Beauty market. 

"In the last three years, the average number of articles has highlighted a gradual increase of attention to skin microecology as a research topic"

David Suissa , CEO of BioFilm Control

Experts Talk

Anne-Laurie Rodrigues, Global Marketing Director at IMCD Beauty & Personal Care, and David Suissa, CEO of BioFilm Control, discussed about the dynamics of the skin microbiome trend in the cosmetic industry and shared some figures about its rapid growth.

... That requests some clarity around claims
When developing microbiome skincare products, the primary consideration revolves around the strategic selection of ingredients and the microbiome-related claims they involve. This initial decision sets the foundation for formulating products that not only cater to skin needs but also align with the complexity of the skin's microbiological ecosystem. There are two approaches ton consider at this step:

- The first one is to design a microbiome-friendly product, meaning prioritizing ingredients gentle to the skin and ensuring minimal disruption to its delicate microbial balance.
- Then, incorporation of ingredients enhancing the skin microbiome (meaning that they will have an impact on it), such as prebiotics, probiotics, parabiotics, and postbiotics, can be considered.

"It's important to develop a common language to identify skin microbiome-related ingredients for future beauty products developments"

Monica Di Leonardo, Global Regulatory Affairs Coordinator at IMCD Beauty & Personal Care

Brands must bring transparency and clarity to consumers regarding these two methods of promoting a healty microbiome. Below are some definitions of the four categories of ingredients interacting with the skin microbiome:

Substrates (e.g. carbohydrates or other nutrients as Plant or Algae derived ingredients) to be utilized by the host microbiome, with an intended cosmetic benefit to the host.


Viable microorganisms (e.g. Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophillus, Nitrosomonas eutropha, etc.) with an intended cosmetic benefit to the host.


Inanimate ingredients of microbial origin that can either be cells or cell fraction, a filtrate of a fermentation, a metabolite of a microorganism (e.g. Bifida ferment lysate, Bacillus coagulans ferment, etc.)


Ingredients derived from inactivated probiotic microorganisms. Paraprobiotics can either be inactivated microbial cells or components of cellular structures. They are a subgroup of postbiotics.

Experts Talk

Monica Di Leonardo, Global Regulatory Affairs Coordinator at IMCD Beauty & Personal Care, interviewed Kristin Neumann, CEO of MyMicrobiome, and Géraldine Louvet, R&D Application Manager at Roquette, who shared their expertise about the interplay between skin's natural ecosystem and cosmetic formulations to better understand the “microbiome-friendly” claim.  

What kind of opportunities for the future ?

Ongoing research about skin microbiome suggests that we are merely scratching the surface of the intricate relationship between the skin and its microbial ecosystem. As this science evolves, the beauty industry is poised to embrace a holistic and microbiome-centric approach, revolutionizing how we care for and nurture our skin. 

"In the future, the ideal case would be that one could test his microbiome everyday and have the data within hours or minutes, to see directly what is missing and personalize cosmetics accordingly"

Kristin Neumann, CEO of MyMicrobiome

The imminent breakthroughs in this realm promise to pave the way for customized beauty products tailored to an individual's unique skin microbiome composition. This shift towards personalization not only enhances product efficacy but also represents a significant departure from the one-size-fits-all approach that has characterized the beauty industry for decades. Moreover, microbiome science is today focused on skin care but is anticipated to extend into diverse market segments such as scalp care, deodorants, toiletries, intimate care, and even baby care. 

IMCD solution for a healthy microbiome


The caring hand cream

An extra smooth cream preserving and boosting the skin's microbiota, with a soothing and anti-inflammatory activity.

Developed by our team of technical experts in our Skin Care Center of Excellence located in Paris, this hand cream was formulated featuring 3 key active ingredients taking care of the skin microbiome:

A microbiome-friendly agent from native corn starch that soothes the skin and scalp. It reduces redness while preserving the diversity of the skin microbiota.

A natural powerful antioxidant postbiotic obtained by biofermentation. It boosts the skin radiance and supporting its role to defend against UV and blue light.

A phytoactive ingredient activated by the skin microbiome. It smoothes the skin, reduces spots, inflammation, redness and hyperpigmentation.

Interested to learn more?

Contact your IMCD representative for...