Applied microbiomics

Skin’s giant magnifying glass

Metagenomics takes its name from ‘meta’, meaning ‘beyond’ and ‘genomics’, which is the science of gene analysis. This is a breakthrough domain for cosmetics and an extremely exciting field.

We now know that on the surface of our skin, we all have native microbes that are essential for skin health – similar to the essential flora and microbes in our gut. Experts at Givaudan are rapidly gaining new insights about the microbes on the skin surface, understanding this healthy population of bacteria, or ‘microflora’ and how it functions. 

Metagenomics essentially provides us with an ‘ID card’ of our skin: it is like a giant magnifying glass as to the true nature of our skin health. By mapping this microflora, we are achieving groundbreaking work that is leading us to brand-new insights into conditions such as acne, and its causes, and also to how and why our skin is dry or irritated. As we build on the fundamental knowledge about our skin health, we can create new generations of cosmetic ingredients for all consumers.

Our scientific teams are using this information to develop new molecules that can correct a variety of skin problems; these molecules are inactive when in a cream, gel, serum or whatever carrier is used, but are instantly activated when they come into contact with the skin’s microflora, working to normalise and soothe the problem condition.