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Innovative microbiome research leading to new cosmetic ingredients and healthier skin

We may not notice it, but billions of micro-organisms known as ‘microbiota’ live on the surface of our skin. And just as each of us has our own set of genes in our DNA, our personal community of skin microbiota is unique too. This microbiome helps protect the health and well-being of our skin, and imbalances result in conditions such as eczema, allergies, dandruff or acne.

Understanding the skin microbiome

Understanding the microbiome is then essential for better health and skin: knowing that our microbiome is unique leads to exciting possibilities in developing personalised skincare.

Already a leader in the study of the microbiome – and the only fragrance company with in-house microbiome research capabilities – we progressed further in 2018 by installing state-of-the-art automation equipment at our Applied Microbiomics Centre of Excellence in Toulouse, France.

The new equipment will allow us to accelerate high throughput screening and advance our research into more disruptive solutions for customers.

    We are already at the forefront of the field: while many researchers have been working to identify which kinds of microbiota live in the microbiome, we have gone a step further. We want to know which ‘jobs’ the microbiota perform and how they can help us: this forward-thinking approach marks a major milestone in skincare and a key direction for the future.

    “The microbiome is much more than a trend – it is a key element of the future of skin care. Consumers already have a perfect understanding of the gut microbiome and how good bacteria can have positive effect on our health. Now they are ready to embrace the concept of the skin microbiome too.”

    Romain, R&D Director Active Beauty

    Our continued investments have resulted in a fully equipped centre ready to create innovative products based on our studies, our strong knowledge of consumers and the large internal database we have built up throughout this project, the most in-depth study on the subject by any fragrance house. We have mastered the entire research process for microbiomics – from swabbing to DNA extraction and sequencing until the bioinformatics data analysis. We gathered almost 1 trillion DNA data from volunteers’ microbiota allowing us to explore all the different bacteria that we can have on our skin.

    The research has already contributed to the development of several active ingredients, making this unique in our industry. Givaudan scientists were the first to discover the creation of ‘microbiome activated’ ingredients as well as ‘microbiome protecting’ agents, resulting in two award-winning active cosmetic ingredients: Brightenyl™, which is activated by the microbiota to trigger skin brightening and skin tone optimisation, and Revivyl™, which speeds up skin renewal while protecting the microbiota. Yogurtene Balance™ balances the composition of the microbiota.

    The new investments and our dedication to the field will help us continue to develop a revolutionary new range of ingredients delivering healthier, better protected, more radiant-looking skin – all backed by solid science.