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Cosmetic Ingredients Report By ACTIVON Lab Vol. 04

Skin Microbiome

Microbiome studies are actively being carried out also in the functional cosmetics industry giving birth to a neologism ‘Skinbiome’. When the skin is in a humid environment, it is estimated that the number of microbes is 107 per unit area(cm2), and there are about 1,000 kinds of microbes. As recent studies found that the balance of skin microbiome is associated with skin health (skin barrier function), its importance has begun to draw attention also in the personal care market including cosmetics.

Although the effect of microbiome on functional cosmetics is still in its infancy, the results of comparative analysis of healthy and unhealthy skin showed that a balance of microbiome is imperative for healthy skin and that microbiome is also related to anti-aging, atopy and acne.

For example, specific microbe exist more on the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis, and the reduction in intestinal microbiota diversity also can be observed. Research findings also showed that microbiome become increasingly diverse as new types of bacteria added with age, and that the balance of skin microbiome helps strengthen skin barrier. Furthermore, with the fact that skin health and gut microbiota are organically connected and interact, studies on microbiome are expected to be consistently carried out in the functional cosmetics industry.

In company with it, the research may lead to applications in anti-pollution and personalized cosmetics as well. Based on the research findings which indicate that UV rays and fine dust pollution may cause microbiome imbalance and a reduction of the number of cutibacterium, skin microbiome could be utilized for development of new materials which protect skin from external environment by forming ‘skin barrier’ through rebalanced skin microbiome. Currently microbiome is mainly used to develop skin and hair care products, and new businesses focusing on microbiome-based products are emerging in personal care and cosmetics industry.

The current state of development

The flowing are the list of microbiome-related cosmetics from major companies.


- Launched Illiyoon Probiotics Skin Barrier line which is combined with Lacto Skin complex (lactic acid bacteria fermented ingredients, strengthening skin barrier) of ildong pharmaceutical.

- Launched soon+ ‘5.5 balancing’ line using probiotics water(plant-derived lactobacillus fermented lysate, the skin barrier strengthening and moisturizing effect).

- Conducting a joint research on skin microbiome with Givaudan which specializes in functional ingredients and fragrances.

- Launched Innisfree 'Green tea probiotics cream'.


- Conducting research using Strain CX (anti-aging microbiome, skin flora usually found on the skin of young women).

- Developed 4 types of sun protection products containing Solarbiome™ using Bacillus sp. and Deinococcus sp. (Microbe that can survive under the UV rays, radiation and high temperature of 100) in collaboration with Dr. Jart+.

Dr. Jart+

- Launched 'vital hydra solution biome' line combining biome combination, probiotics (booster) and hyaluronic acid (moisturizing). Maintain Ideal skin condition and moisture circulation by activating beneficial bacteria on skin.

New Origin

- Launched 'Inner flora feminine powder wash' using Lactobalance (lactic acid bacteria complex which has vaginal and intestinal health improvement effects, a combination of bifida, lactobacillus and lactococcus forms a protective barrier for vulvar skin).


- Established a subsidiary (AtoGen) Registered patents on Lactobacillus reuteri ATG-F4 (preventive and curative effect for muscular diseases) developing medicines.


- Launced Lancôme ‘New Advanced Génifique’ line which protects skin barrier combining lactobacillus, yeast and bifidobacteria.

- Published more than 50 microbiome-related papers since 2006 with the foundation of ‘Active Cosmetic Division’.

- Developing new products based on skin bacterial ecosystem studies with uBiome, a biotechnology company that has developed technology to sequence the human microbiome.


- Conducting research with Gallinée which has the microbiome technology related to acne and eczema.

- Launched Zendium toothpaste that improves oral health by balancing the oral microbiome.


- Developed Mish(Microbial Index of Skin Health) which which can be used for diagnosis of eczema and atopic dermatitis through joint research with Chinese Academy of Science.

- Carrying out ‘Michigan Microbiome Project’ with University of Michigan.


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