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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
BASF says it is devoting more resources to studying the role that microflora play in a healthy skin barrier.
BASF (Paris, France) is devoting its time to studying the role microflora play in skin health. The company announced it recently launched a new ingredient that helps balance the skin’s microbial ecosystem, which in turn helps reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier and correct skin conditions such as dryness.
The company explains that the top layer of skin (the epidermis) comprises “cornified envelopes embedded in lipid bilayers that form the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the epidermis.” Those envelops together form a barrier that not only protects the skin but also provides a place for the skin’s microbiota to grow. In ideal growing conditions, the skin’s microbiota exist in a balanced state; however, if this balance is disturbed-for instance, if the microbial balance is thrown off in favor of pro-inflammatory bacteria instead of beneficial bacteria-it can result in impaired barrier function and lead to conditions such as skin dryness. Likewise, a damaged barrier also allows water to evaporate from the skin. “Dry skin in turn reinforces microbiota dysbiosis,” the company explains. “The skin gets into a vicious cycle of dehydration.”
The company’s new ingredient, Relipidium, aims to balance the skin’s microbial balance in order to restore the skin barrier and correct conditions such as dryness. According to BASF, in vivo studies have shown that within two weeks, the ingredient can increase skin hydration by 12% and increase the beneficial bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis twofold. “Dry skin dysbiosis was rebalanced, [and] the ratio of Staphylococcus epidermidis versus the pathogenic germ Staphylococcus auereus was increased by a factor of 2.3,” the firm says.
BASF claims that Relipidium is the first active ingredient in the personal care market that can rebalance the skin’s ecosystem. “It stimulates the synthesis of lipids in the epidermis, thus speeding up barrier recovery and strengthening the skin’s defense,” the firm says. “Relipidium rebalances the skin without negatively affecting skin microflora.” The ingredient is produced via bacterial fermentation and does not possess antibiotic or prebiotic capabilities, BASF says.
BASF says it is devoting more resources to studying the role that microflora play in a healthy skin barrier. The company says it has created an “interdisciplinary innovation platform” for this purpose and is currently forging partnerships with experts to study this relationship. “We want to better understand the role of each microorganism in skin beauty and build new skin models to study the effect of active ingredients,” said David Herault, head of global research and development for bioactives, BASF, in a press release.
For instance, the company reports that, in partnership with the International Center for Infectiology Research, BASF’s research team has created new skin models “embedded with bacteria” so that researchers can study the impact of active ingredients on skin microflora.
“Over the coming years, BASF intends to launch several active ingredients for cosmetic products that harness the innovation platform’s findings on skin microbiota,” the firm says.
Nutritional Outlook magazine