Probiotics research and manufacturing company Probiotical S.P.A has appointed Stauber Performance Ingredients, Inc., as the North American distributor of SkinBac, a clinically-tested skin postbiotic for inclusion in cosmetic and personal care formulations.
Probiotical SpA said that SkinBac – a family of multi-strain, skin-targeting postbiotics that retains a cell membrane structure – is the first quantifiable and shelf-stable postbiotic consortium.
Of the partnership, Stauber’s Vice President of Strategic Brand Sales & Marketing, Monica Mitchell, said: “We have worked closely with Probiotical to assess the utility and efficacy of SkinBac Beauty ingredients. They add a distinctive and innovative element to our portfolio and complement our non-biotic skin care ingredients portfolio. We believe the unique ability to be able to quantify the amount of SkinBac Beauty strains added to, and present within, a product over shelf life will impart a new level of confidence to our customers.”
“A novel and systematic approach to postbiotic innovation”
Many cosmetic products use lysates of microbes, produced through chemical, mechanical, enzymatic rupture, or lysis of the cell membranes. Or tyndallisation (intermittent sterilisation). But according to Probiotical S.P.A, these processes render the microbial ingredient virtually impossible to quantify beyond weight, before or after product formulation.
SkinBac said it uses a novel and systematic approach to postbiotic innovation. Using a gentle and proprietary inactivation method, the cell structure is retained, allowing for quantitation. With state-of-the-art flow cytometry measurements, a manufacturer can determine the exact amount of unlysed SkinBac present in a finished product and over the shelf life of the product.
“SkinBac powders are versatile and can be incorporated into various cosmetic forms,” shared Marco Momo, who works in business development for the cosmetic arena at Probiotical SpA. “We have developed several formulations ready to be proposed on the market, with demonstrated stability and validated cell counts.”
Direct benefits to skin health
According to Momo, these strains provide a direct and quick benefit to skin health. “Based upon independent clinical and in vitro studies they may restore skin homeostasis, including improvement or restoration of skin biophysical parameters like hydration levels and roughness, communicate with skin immune cells, mitigate UV radiation-induced oxidative stress damage, or even modulate quorum sensing (a molecular and genetic response to the density of cells) within the microbial communities on the skin, and foster a healthy skin microbiota by being selective in their activity,” he explained.
He continued: “In detail, in vitro studies demonstrate how Skinbac strains reduce pro-oxidant concentrations and they induce Aquaporin-3 expression (for regulation of water transport into and out of cells), decrease Staphylococcus aureus viability (Skinbac sb01 and Skinbac sb05), protect keratinocytes, and enhance the expression of tight junction proteins (which regulate skin barrier integrity) after UV damage, and modulate the release of cytokines that mediate inflammatory responses.”
Two years of research and development
Many probiotic ingredients continue to face challenges in transportation, manufacturing, and viable shelf stability. Regulatory agencies require such products to have a very low total microbial count, which mandates the use of antimicrobial preservative systems. The company said that SkinBac removes concern for maintaining a “live” state of microbes, and “protection” from the microbicidal effects of cosmetic preservatives.
According to Momo, all Skinbac® strains have shelf stability of two years at room temperature and five years when stored at temperatures of +5 ± 3°C”.
“The precision of the heat treatment method allows for quantitative measurement of the amount of cells added, even in cosmetic formulations, not attainable with lysates or most other ‘postbiotics’,” he said.
He revealed that the Probiotical S.P.A R&D department dedicated around two years to the Skinbac project before its launch at In-Cosmetics Global in Barcelona in April 2023. Much of this time was spent gathering data to substantiate safety and effectiveness, and to refine the heat treatment process.
The selection of microbial strains in SkinBac compositions emerged from a series of research investigations performed at Probiotical that compared a variety of bacteria. In vitro studies ranged from competitive inhibition of skin pathogens, antioxidant activity, UV photoprotection, and hydration/water transport proteins, to barrier integrity, and safety.
Two-strain consortium, SkinBac Beauty, was assessed for its efficacy in relation to skin hydration, elasticity, extensibility, and smoothness. No adverse reactions were noted in any of the studies.
Clinical studies have also explored the protective effects of SkinBac Care, a three-strain postbiotic consortium, on skin barrier function and integrity after the application of surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate.