The skin microbiome brainstorm: Tech, claims and trend-driven NPD

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Skin Microbiome 2021 Cosmetics Design trends webinar with Beiersdorf, Labskin, Sequential Skin and Hint Futurology

Related tags skin microbiome microbiome Skin health Skin care beauty tech cosmetic claims Beiersdorf Labskin Sequential Skin trends

Skin microbiome science and innovation is fast-evolving, with a plethora of tools, ingredients and research efforts spotlighting key areas of opportunity. But where exactly is the sector headed? And what might next-generation NPD look like?

The global CosmeticsDesign team has brought together an esteemed panel of key global thought-leaders to brainstorm how far the beauty and personal care industry has come in skin microbiome research and development, and what more it can do. Our 60-minute Skin Microbiome: Next-Gen Innovation and Science​ webinar will happen later this month, on September 28th​ at 4pm CET / 9am CT. Register now for free here​.

Skin microbiome 2021 – diagnostics, product claims and research gaining ground

A recent article published in Experimental Dermatology ​said emerging tech would drive ‘new levels’ of host-microbiota interaction research in the coming months and years – knowledge that would prove critical in advancing active ingredient development, claims substantiation and consumer engagement.

The article introduced a dedicated journal issue compiling research articles, viewpoint essays and critical reviews on the host-microbiota interaction spectrum and the authors said it was clear industry understanding of the skin microbial ecosystem had “expanded drastically”​ in the last 20 years. Taking this knowledge forward, they said, would be propelled by exciting advances in emerging technologies like single-cell research and in vivo​ imaging techniques providing a better understanding on skin microbiome interactions with its host.

Big brand NPD – Beiersdorf Microbiome Accelerator chief

And scientists and companies worldwide were already dedicating staff, funding and time to advancing science in all of these areas. International skin care major Beiersdorf, our big-brand panellist, was just one business doing so.

As part of our webinar, Jörn Hendrik Reuter PhD, head of the Microbiome Accelerator at Beiersdorf​, would outline his team’s scientific research advances and product development work, spotlighting some of the key opportunities and challenges Beiersdorf sees moving forward. Reuter was also set to talk through how to translate microbiome research approaches into consumer benefits at a brand level.

Earlier this year, Beiersdorf outlined plans to build a €60m multidisciplinary tech centre​ – one-third of which would be ‘collaboration space’ – to sharpen competitive edge by merging research, development and production. The company said one key focus would be on developing formulas that targeted the skin microbiome.

3D human skin models – Labskin R&D head

Once skin care majors, like Beiersdorf and others, developed these formulations, testing efficacy was key. And whilst this was sometimes conducted in-house, very often independent companies were used like Labskin. The Dublin-headquartered company’s 3D lab-grown human skin model mimicked the skin microbiome and provided a unique testing platform for products designed to interact with human microbiota.

David Caballero-Lima B.Sc, PhD, head of R&D at Labskin for Deepverge,​ would be on our panel to provide an overview on the types of testing offered by Labskin’s model and the level of opportunity animal-free analysis had moving forward. Caballero-Lima was also set to talk through some of the biggest challenges in the testing space, and discuss how emerging technologies would help shape and evolve future capabilities.

Back in October 2019, Deepverge (Integumen at the time) unveiled its AI psoriasis skin model​ enabling very specialised testing on a virtual model of psoriasis. Company CEO Gerard Brandon said at the time that models like this facilitated product development with proven efficacy and opened up great promise for cosmetics companies. Brandon said AI skin model technologies would ultimately be able to be used for predictive work as well.

Genetics and the microbiome – Sequential Skin CEO

This desire for a real-time, personalised approach to skin care was already being looked at by a raft of beauty brands and tech companies. Sequential Skin, for example, was a diagnostic company looking closely at how genetics and the skin microbiome interacted in a host.

Using gene sequencing technology, its patent-pending skin analysis patch test offered consumers insight into their genetic predisposition to certain traits and how their skin microbiome and present environment influenced that. What this enabled was a clear idea on the current state of someone’s skin, with predictions over time that could be matched to recommended ingredients and products.

Also sitting on our upcoming panel, Oliver Worsley, CEO of Sequential Skin​, would discuss the importance of personalised skin diagnostics and the level of opportunity this presented for product development targeting the skin microbiome. Worsley would also talk through how the company’s technology could be used on the industry side to assist beauty and personal care brands validate and substantiate claims.

Back in August 2020, Sequential Skin said it had strong hopes in taking its offering global​, starting in the APAC market.

Smart beauty future – Hint Futurology founder

So, as skin diagnostic tools advanced, fuelling more personalised beauty offerings designed to target individual skin microbiomes, there were many wider trends to consider when launching a final product. Environmental and ethical concerns, ease-of-use and cost, privacy and data sharing as well as overall wellbeing were just a few important and rising beauty movements this year.

And creative trend forecasting agency Hint Futurology had its eye on some more specific trends to watch in beauty, including important cross overs from other industries like food and beverage.

Helga Hertsig-Lavocah, senior futurologist and founder of Hint Futurology​, would be sharing her predictions for some of the most important beauty movements to consider when developing skin microbiome-targeted products. Hertsig-Lavocah would also detail how these trend predictions could be integrated into the beauty innovation process from idea to concept, and why they should be.

Back in July 2020, Hertsig-Lavocah joined our Clean & Ethical Beauty video series​ to brainstorm the future of the category with CosmeticsDesign-Asia editor Amanda Lim. At the time, she highlighted reductionism as a key consideration to watch.

Interested in next-gen skin microbiome innovation and science? Register now for free!

This event is sure to provide a wide-ranging but deep look at skin microbiome innovation – past, present and future – and will be relevant to all beauty professionals working or interested in the field. Register now for free​ and be sure to log on to ask our expert panel any questions you feel you want answered!

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