Microbiome profiling tech spells personalised skin care promise

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

i-MAPS can create a microbiome profile in seven hours
i-MAPS can create a microbiome profile in seven hours

Related tags: Givaudan, personalised beauty, microbiome, Dna, Skin care, Technology

Givaudan Active Beauty has developed an instant microbiome profiling system, opening up possibilities for hyper-personalised beauty product development in the future, it says.

The patent-pending technology runs DNA, extracted from a skin swab, through a sequencing program and determines a full microbiome profile or ‘map’ of microorganisms present on the skin in seven hours using bioinformatics.  

Each profile can then be correlated into skin type, such as oily, dry, sensitive or ageing – adding to Givaudan’s proprietary database of more than 2,000 human microbiomes from diverse skin types.

Microbiota ‘major indicator’ of real skin condition

Catherine Zanchetta, next generation sequencing senior specialist at Givaudan Active Beauty, said i-MAPS presented significant opportunity for cosmetic brands to develop highly-personalised skin care products.

“Some skin types have a specific microbiota signature – dry or sensitive skin, for example – and we believe that the microbiota is a major indicator of the real shape of the skin. While some skin parameters like hydration, elasticity and redness can change in a few hours, the microbiome can be stable for months,”​ Zanchetta told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Using the microbiome profiles to develop personalised beauty products will require collaboration
Using the microbiome profiles to develop personalised beauty products will require collaboration

Developing products from these microbiome profiles, she said, required a collaborative approach between Givaudan Active Beauty and cosmetic brands and would enable industry to respond to market demand.

According to Givaudan’s Global Consumer Study on the Skin Microbiome, conducted last year, 73% of respondents said they would be willing to try cosmetic products with a skin microflora concept.

“Everyone dreams of having a personalised diagnosis, enabling them to obtain a beauty routine that meets all the needs of their skin and therefore their microbiome,”​ Zanchetta said.

Asked if the technology would eventually be able to assist in targeting disease-related or environmental skin conditions, she said: “As soon as we are able to define a microbiome signature of a specific skin condition, yes. And with time, we’ll find new skin type categories, more specific than the ones we have today.”

Microbiome-targeted beauty future

Zanchetta said as microbiota analysis technology continued to advance and became cheaper, and more active ingredients came to market, the possibilities in the field would only increase.

Ultimately, she said the future could involve consumers walking into a store for a microbiome profiling test and leaving the store 15 minutes later with a dedicated cream to maintain or balance their specific microbiome.

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