A pioneer of the microbiome-friendly skincare wave, the brand Gallinée has become a reference. Launched on the British and French markets six years ago, it is now significantly growing: its turnover doubles every year and it is present in over 30 countries. “Gallinée is fast developing. We stand out from other brands on the market in that they are mostly focused on skincare, while we develop different product categories at the request of our customers. For example, we are the first to offer ‘microbiome-friendly’ oral care products. It should be known that the mouth microbiome is protective. 95% of these bacteria are good, while 5% are possibly deleterious, and yet, twice a day, we try to kill them with antibacterial products,” explains the brand’s founder, Marie Drago.
Indeed, the brand has developed toothpaste with prebiotics whose microbiome-friendly action was confirmed by an independent laboratory, just like for all the brand’s products, and a solid mouthwash with pre- and probiotics to nourish the mouth microbiome – the brand’s current bestseller. The hair care line focused on scalp issues is also successful, and, more recently, Gallinée launched the first face oil with prebiotics on the market.
“There has been fast-growing interest in these products due to the Covid pandemic. People really tried to understand how prebiotics and probiotics could protect the skin. On Google, searches with the ‘microbiome skincare’ keywords rose by 5,000% in 12 months. Major brands like Sanex also took the plunge. There is real growing interest, with congresses getting organized and articles published. To me, in the future, the impact on the microbiome will be essential to launch a cosmetic product,” she adds.
Getting to know your microbiome
American brand Dr Elsa Jungman’s experience confirms this growing interest. With its minimalist, holistic approach to skincare, the Dr Elsa Jungman range is composed of a gentle cleanser and moisturizing serums with a maximum of five ingredients.
“Our philosophy is based on the ‘less is more’ concept for the benefit of the skin microbiome. We organize a lot of masterclasses and online events with our community to educate and help consumers reconnect with their skins. Adding a product cannot solve a skin problem,” explains Elsa Jungman, founder of the brand, the first to be “microbiome-friendly”-certified in the US.
Faced with an increasing number of customers asking for more knowledge about their own skin flora, the scientist developed Meet My Microbiome, a chargeable kit to analyze your skin microbiome, in partnership with a laboratory.
“Last spring, we tested a pilot for 50 USD. Despite the price, the experience was much successful and I realized what people actually wanted in the first place was discover their own microbiome. It confirms the market is much more mature in the US. A year ago, I would never have thought I could launch this product,” she explains.
The participants received a report which described the diversity of their microbiome, the number of bacteria and fungi species detected, and the corresponding definitions. “We did the scientific literature search needed to find out what was the potential impact of each of the species detected, and we defined a score indicating their positive or negative impacts on the skin,” adds Elsa Jungman.
In addition to the report, there are recommendations regarding rituals or product profiles. “But no brands, not even ours. Consumers should remain free to make their own choices”.
The final version of Meet My Microbiome has been available since last October on the brand’s website, as well as at clean beauty distributor Credo Beauty for 149 USD.
Fermented actives as the new anti-ageing strategy
Given the increasing demand for products that preserve the skin’s bacterial flora, manufacturers have started developing ranges with clearer claims, like MS Beautilab, who highlight the postbiotic concept with their new anti-ageing natural line, Fermented Line, the first of the laboratory claimed to be microbiome friendly.
“We use probiotic ferments like a plant that produces synthetic ingredients in order to collect metabolites derived from their work. Then, these metabolites become postbiotics: our active. Here, we used an active developed by Silab, Lactobiotyl,” explains Frédéric Boucly, R&D Manager – MS Advanced Skincare Solutions of MS Beautilab.
This active acts on cell renewal and skin radiance. It is a postbiotic designed to target radiance and the skin barrier’s integrity. It is used in all the emulsions in the range.
“We also used fermented camellia oil with a better affinity with the skin and squalane derived from sugar cane fermentation,” adds Frédéric Boucly.
With this new anti-ageing line, MS Beautilab associated naturalness with actives derived from fermentation, as they viewed their natural properties as an additional advantage. “The notion of fermentation is very common throughout Asia. Consumers are familiar with these claims, since they are related to naturalness and provide an added value in that they offer a skin benefit,” concludes the scientist.
After prebiotics and probiotics, postbiotics derived from fermentation could represent a new phase in microbiome-focused cosmetics.