In recent years, the skincare industry has witnessed a paradigm shift due to the emergence of microbiome-focused products following the growing scientific backing and understanding of the skin-gut axis. Studies show that the skin microbiome may play a crucial role in maintaining skin health by supporting its natural defences, regulating inflammation and preserving moisture balance.
Pharmacist and Founder of Gallinée Microbiome Skincare Dr Marie Drago explained that she discovered the power of the skin-gut axis after self-treating her own inflammatory skin condition through a biotic rich diet, which led to the founding of her start-up.
"We are a beauty company created all around the idea that caring for your bacteria is the solution to healthier, better-looking skin," she explained. "We see the body as a planet, so we have topical products for face, body, scalp, intimate hygiene and oral care, as well as a range of supplements tapping into the gut-skin axis."
Drago is set to present the latest advances in the gut-skin axis, the skin microbiome and the opportunities for pro-, pre- and postbiotics in the space at NutraIngredient’s Probiota event hosted next week from Feb 7 to 9 in Milan, Italy.
The brand provides a portfolio of biotic-based skin products including cleansers and creams, including its best-selling Universal Face Cream. Containing deactivated Lactobacillus species, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide and inulin prebiotics, the patented Triple Biotic Complex aims to repair the skin barrier and support the skin’s microbiome.
Further biotic ingredients featured in the range include green and brown algae prebiotics in its Face Vinegar product paired with marine polysaccharides, whilst its Youth & Microbiome supplement contains Lactobacillus plantarum, acacia fiber and vitamin C to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promote skin elasticity.
“We are lucky to work directly with a bacteria manufacturer, so we can pick the strains we want from their massive library,” Drago explained. “It allows us to use bacteria rarely used in supplements, such as one usually for silage. We pair it with novel probiotics, and that’s where I would love to see more ingredients coming on the market.”
Gallinée’s formulations emphasise guaranteeing optimal pH to match natural skin and microbiome acidic pH levels of around 5.5, mainly through the inclusion of the postbiotic lactic acid. Many marketed skin and hair care products often provide an alkaline pH level of around 9, which Drago asserted may alter the microbial composition of the skin.
She noted that although skin supplements are not a new concept, the science is young and fast developing.
"For the first time with probiotics we can understand the mechanisms and see a dose-dependent effect," she said. "But the science is still young, as proper clinical studies are hard to design and expensive."
Regarding key areas of opportunity for the future of biotics, she explained: "Of course, we see a lot of focus on studying the effect of certain proprietary strains of probiotics, but I am actually more interested in prebiotics outside of oligosaccharides and how they can work with the resident flora (or probiotics) to produce interesting results on skin.
"Postbiotics such as SCFA are also very interesting of course, and the sensory challenges that they pose might create interesting delivery system innovations."
She added that Gallinée has significant innovation plans for the coming months following its partnership with Shiseido research centre, which specialised in research and analysis of skin and body data to develop products and devices for the beauty and wellness industries.