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Gut instinct: Inside-out beauty is a ‘really exciting space’ for the skin microbiome

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Are skin microbiome-targeted beauty supplements the next big space to watch? (Getty Images)
Are skin microbiome-targeted beauty supplements the next big space to watch? (Getty Images)

Related tags beauty from within inside-out beauty supplements skin microbiome beauty supplements probiotics gut-skin axis

Caring for the skin microbiome from the inside-out with supplements that target the gut-skin axis is a nascent but exciting approach that makes a lot of sense for beauty brands, experts say.

Beauty supplements* have becoming increasingly popular in recent years, with a huge range of ingestibles targeting issues like hair growth and the aesthetics of ageing – think collagen supplements and vitamin blend gummies, among others.

But in recent months, some beauty brands have started to look at supplements targeting the gut-skin axis to promote a healthier skin microbiome. 

Beauty supplements not cosmetics

*Beauty supplements and ingestibles are not considered a cosmetic and therefore not governed by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009​. Instead, supplements or ingestible products making beauty claims are regulated as foods under the European Commission Directive 2002/46/EC​ on Food Supplements. All new substances and product claims are assessed and evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)​.

The gut-skin axis a ‘big trend in the year to come’ 

Marie Drago, founder of skin microbiome beauty brand Gallinée, was just one of those brands doing so – Gallinée had just launched a supplement made with a blend of probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics that had been designed to reduce signs of skin inflammation and sensitivity by targeting the gut-skin axis. Why? Because Drago said there was so much opportunity to maintain a healthy skin microbiome from the inside-out.

Speaking in CosmeticsDesign's recent online Skin Microbiome webinar, she said: “This is going to be a big trend in the year to come. …I was always interested in the gut-skin axis because there are studies and good proof, so it made a lot of sense to do topical and inside-out [products].”

Audrey Gueniche, expert claim activator at L’Oréal Research & Innovation, agreed and said the science behind the gut-skin axis went back years – “we have published a lot in this field”.

“We now have more and more research really showing that any change on gut microbiome may change your skin microbiome. So, you have an inter-relation between your gut and skin – this is now completely assumed and should continue to be studied.”

Whilst Gueniche’s team at L’Oréal were no longer focused on ingestibles, she said any beauty supplement targeting the skin microbiome should be developed to maintain a healthy gut first and foremost. “It’s a really holistic view when you are treating and working with the skin microbiome.”

“…For me, it makes so much sense – the science is there. Inside-out beauty for the skin microbiome is only just starting and it’s just interesting for me because I think three years ago, at a congress, they said maybe the gut-skin axis exists, but the mechanisms are not really [understood]. And now we understand the gut mechanism, so it’s a really exciting space.”

A ‘new wave’ of consumer interest in the skin microbiome

And Ewa Hudson, director of insights at Lumina Intelligence, said it was an equally exciting product concept for consumers.

“There’s definitely this new wave of consumer interest in the whole area of the skin microbiome, based on the latest developments and what they need to help with their daily life,”​ Hudson said. And this interest spanned beauty supplements as well as topical cosmetics, she said.

She said interest in probiotic supplements and probiotic cosmetics was especially high and fast evolving in the skin microbiome category, with specific interest in how these products could target skin conditions like eczema and acne.

Miss our Skin Microbiome webinar?

You can catch up by watching on-demand. Register for free today​ to gain access and hear from all our speakers about the latest consumer and market trends, scientific advances, regulatory hurdles and future innovations in the skin microbiome.

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