Probiota 2022: Gut-skin axis in? Anti-ageing out?

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Kacey Culliney is joined by Marie Drago (L) and Margherita Patrucco (Centre) as they discuss next-generation skin microbiome science and innovation.
Kacey Culliney is joined by Marie Drago (L) and Margherita Patrucco (Centre) as they discuss next-generation skin microbiome science and innovation.

Related tags: Probiota, nutracosmetics, Beauty from within

Anti-ageing as a concept will cease to exist in the beauty industry as consumers look to products that hydrate the skin or specifically ingredients that address wrinkle formation.

That was the feeling amongst panellists in a discussion hosted at Probiota, where the topic of conversation included the gut-skin axis and its role in oral care, scalp care and beyond.

“I think it’s a good thing,”​ said Marie Drago, Founder of microbiome skincare firm Gallinée.

“What we’re seeing is the consumer is not that interested in ageing, they know that that time passes and that's life.

“What we’re also seeing from people that work with ingredients and the studies I come across, they are always on ageing because it's the biggest market,”​ she adds.

“I’d like to see a bit more on information on skin acne as I think is one of the biggest growing potential for organic products.

“So regarding ageing, okay, but like with what else? Ageing is nice to have, but it shouldn’t be your key selling point when you're presenting an ingredient.”

The panel’s thoughts echo that of Avon’s Director of global skin care and trend innovation, who in 2021 saidbeauty was approaching the end of ‘anti-ageing’​,​ instead transitioning to specific skin needs – some of which may be associated with ageing.

Anthony Gonzalez said products targeting wrinkles specifically, blotchy skin or oil control would instead be the focus in years to come, and he said the term ‘anti-ageing’ would disappear entirely from beauty in two to three years.

The panel, which also included Margherita Patrucco, Innovation and Product development at Probiotical, expanded on this suggestion, with Patrucco discussing the larger role played by neutraceutical firms in the cosmetic industry.

Advances in probiotic knowledge

“It is not unusual to see the nutraceutical industry entering with the cosmetic market,” ​she explains.

“Today, I think it is a natural consequence of improvements in probiotic knowledge and its use in food supplements that has increased demand for probiotics in cosmetics.

“We have seen an increasing trend in beauty from within particularly from millennials. That's because during the pandemic, the consumer started understanding how to take care of themselves.

So, the engagement of the consumers increased a lot to do with the pandemic and particularly for skin microbiome.

For example, for air health and skin care, there was a real understanding of the importance of taking care of the skin.

And we've seen some improvement or support for ‘immunocosmetics’ during the pandemic.

And now there is the emergence of the gut-brain-skin-axis. So, it is a more complicated approach that just the gut or the skin. How stress impacts the skin and targeting immunity and hormone levels has become far more important.”

In recent years, the gut-brain-skin-axis has become central to the cosmetic industry fortunes as its role in skin, hair and oral health represents relevance across the nutrition and pharma industries.  

Patrucco referred to this as she commented on the impact of stress has on the skin, the production of cortisol and its effect on skin conditions such as acne.

“We have in the cosmetic industry ‘anti stress’ ingredients that for the first time we see applied to the gut and the gut the skin axis,”​ she said.

“There are many interesting developments about how emotional stress is detrimental to the skin and as is chronological ageing and physical stress. So it is a really, really fascinating approach to skin health.”

Nutraceutical opportunities

Chaired by Kacey Culliney, Editor of CosmeticsDesign-Europe, the discussion then led onto opportunities for nutraceutical supplements and ingestibles.

The questions here focused on whether the opportunities lay in the beauty brand space or if there was enough engagement on the consumer side for them to seek out.

“I think as a beauty brand, I would say ingestibles are the future because it's a combination of a lot of things,”​ said Drago.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a big trend on minimalism in skincare, which means that people are reducing the number of products they use on their face, they want one product that does everything.

“I see the inside out solution as ideal as for example you have inflamed skin, you would use a topical product,” ​she added.

“Any issues ‘inside’ and you would use an ingestible product that also allows you to grow your brand in a very natural way that your consumer really likes.

“Three years ago, beauty brands were thinking about skincare exclusively for the foreseeable future. Now, we have five or six categories. Consumers are ok with that and shopping for everything.

“And I think it's also the next iteration of this trend due to the pandemic because people switch to E-commerce, where it is all in one place under a one brand umbrella.”

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