The inaugural Skin Microbiome Congress attracted more than 250 attendees, representing over 150 different companies. Pioneering brand leaders like Marie Drago of Gallinée, Jasmina Aganovic of Mother Dirt, and Roshini Raj of TULA all spoke at the event. There were presentations from market researcher Mintel, from the FDA, and from experts at multinationals including Givaudan, Henkel, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson.
And Cecile Clavaud, project leader of the L’Oreal Research and Innovation Skin Microbiome Unit, spoke on the topic of Dandruff & The Scalp Microbiome.
7 years of research
The work Clavaud is overseeing at L’Oréal is a global effort. The company’s research and innovation team has partnered with entities such as Netherlands-based food and health research company NIZO, Brazilian University Universidade Federal do ABC, the non-profit research foundation Institut Pasteur in Paris, as well as with experts at L’Oréal’s own Vichy brand.
7 years ago when the team initiated research on dandruff and the scalp microbiome they “began with the knowledge that malassezia degrades sebum,” explained Clavaud. They’ve since learned that “malassezia interacts with sebum and with barrier function directly.”
Clavaud showed data indicating that, in fact, “68 proteins are modulated in the dandruff scalp microbiome,” which is also characterized by hyper-proliferation of corneocytes. And she said that malassezia restricta exists at levels almost 10x more on a dandruff scalp than a non-dandruff scalp.
“Biodiversity in not always synonymous with a healthy ecosystem,” she emphasized, noting that “scalp microbiome diversity is higher in [people with] dandruff.” She went on to explain that the Skin Microbiome Unit at L’Oréal is expanding their research on the diversity and taxonomy of the scalp microbiome. The team is now working with different human populations geographically and looking at meta-genomic data too, said Clavaud.
L’Oréal is, according to Clavaud, “working on new ingredients” for eventual use in scalp care product formulations.
More microbiome events
All things microbiome, probiotic, prebiotic, postbiotic, etc. have become very pertinent in the personal care and beauty space lately. “Skin Microbiome today is exploding with companies all over the world, now we're at a point that the awareness is so great that we're a tidal wave of interest in microbiome,” affirmed an attendee from Solabia USA in comments to the organizers of last month’s event in Boston.
So it happens that events dedicated to the topic are cropping up all over the country and around the world. In early June, the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists held a symposium on the skin microbiome at the L’Oréal facility in Clark, New Jersey.
Kisaco Research is hosting a 2nd Skin Microbiome Congress in San Francisco, California, this September 12 and 13 that promises to “[translate] microbiome research into revolutionary product portfolios in beauty and personal care." More on that event here.
And this publication, Cosmetics Design, is preparing to host a two-day Skin Microbiome Innovation event in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in June 2019. To learn more or to discuss speaking opportunities, contact Cosmetics Design Europe editor Lucy Whitehouse at firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship and commercial opportunities at the 2019 Skin Microbiome Innovation event contact commercial director of global brands, Americas, Brian O'Rourke at email@example.com.
This article was updated 19-June-2018 to correctly indicate the focus of the upcoming Kisaco event.
The previous version of this article listed the focus of the May event.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.