L’Oréal is focusing on skin bacteria with a new scientific partnership. The beauty giant’s Technology Incubator has teamed up with the Silicon Valley-based leader in microbial genomics uBiome to continue its longtime research into the skin microbiome.
Through the collaboration, L’Oréal and uBiome will carry out new research on the skin’s bacterial ecosystem, with the aim of increasing their knowledge of the impact that bacterial diversity has on skin health, and informing future product development at L’Oréal.
"L’Oréal is an ideal partner for uBiome as it has had a strong focus in scientific innovation in this space for years," said Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome, in a statement. "Their expertise, combined with uBiome’s advanced understanding of the skin microbiome will allow us to pave the way for the future of personalized skin care."
The microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of microbes consisting of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that live in and on the human body - and the subject has been the focus of more than a decade of L’Oréal research. When it comes to the skin, the microbiome can have beneficial effects on both the health and appearance of the organ, but any issues can potentially contribute to problems such as acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and body odour.
"A major finding from our research shows that skin disorders, much like gut ones, are often linked to a problem of microbial imbalance," explained Luc Aguilar, a research director in L’Oréal’s Research and Innovation division. "Good proportions of each microorganism are key to ensuring skin health."
UBiome, which has the world’s largest database of human microbiomes, and has developed commercial products including SmartGut, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies gut microbes relating to chronic conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Bacterial balance has become an increasingly popular element of skincare recently, thanks in part to a growing consumer awareness of the potential benefits of topical products containing prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics.