Since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, the relationship of humans with their environment has changed dramatically with a large part of the population moving to the cities, away from their ancestral constant interaction with nature. This fact triggered a growing prevalence of inflammatory skin disorders such as allergies and eczemas, which led us to deduce that the reduced exposure to nature contributes to increasing the risk of inflammatory skin conditions.

But, how has modern life really changed our skin? To answer this question, let’s travel back in time to 2008, when a Venezuelan army helicopter flying over the Amazon rainforest came across a small unknown village not registered on the map. A few months later, a scientific medical mission reached this area to discover a group of Yanomami Indians, who had lived without any contact with the outside world. They live by hunting and collecting fruits as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. It represented a unique opportunity to study their bacterial universe and compare it with that of individuals living in modern urban environments to see if there was any link between the microbiota and the risk of current inflammatory diseases.

Looking at the Yanomami’s skin, a bacterial diversity never seen before was discovered, rich in organic acids, amino acids, vitamins and methane bacterial pathways. In comparison, the skin of an individual living in a modern urban environment, with higher antimicrobial practices such as the use of antibiotics, cleaning products and birth by caesarean section, shows a much more reduced microbiota diversity. In fact, the Yanomami’s bacterial diversity was found to be twice that of the people living in the Western world.

The cutaneous microbiota can provide vital functions to the skin, such as host protection against pathogens, barrier function improvement, modulation of the skin immune system and skin nutrition. The microbiota-skin communication helps obtain a microbial balance that is linked to a more protected healthy skin.

Inspired by the Yanomamis’ story, Lipotec has developed FENSEBIOME™ peptide, a new heptapeptide that assists in strengthening the skin of people exposed to urban environment by promoting microbiota balance and diversity as well as an increase in beneficial bacteria, all being characteristics of a healthier skin staying in higher contact with nature. The new ingredient also helps reinforce the double cutaneous barrier function and prevent dehydration, one of the main problems of sensitive skin.

The ability of the peptide to modulate the skin microbiome was assessed on volunteers. Urban female volunteers applied a cream containing 1% peptide solution on the cubital fossa of one arm and a placebo cream on the other, twice a day for 7 days. An increase in the bacterial diversity was observed on the treated skin, as well as a better balance of the microbiota. FENSEBIOME™ peptide also helped reduce the TEWL levels, when applied before inducing irritation and evaluated 48 hours after damage, with a decrease of 27.8%.

Lipotec’s ingredient assisted in boosting the skin’s own defense system by favoring the presence of beneficial bacteria and by improving the skin immune response and the physical barrier integrity as showed in vitro.
FENSEBIOME™ peptide can be incorporated into formulations aiming to strengthen the double cutaneous barrier function and to prevent dehydration as well as in prebiotic and probiotic-inspired skin care products intended to reinforce urban and sensitive skin.

Now we can have a healthier skin, similar to that of our ancestors who lived in closer contact with nature.