Feed your face with bacteria

Feed your face with bacteria

Prebiotics, probiotics, even postbiotics – all familiar terms in food, drink and supplements but less well known in beauty and personal care. That’s changing however, and probiotics in particular are emerging as a key skincare ingredient.


The rise of postbiotics has been fueled by two complementary trends. The first is the re-positioning of beauty as a lifestyle issue, treating the skin as a visible expression of internal as well as external health. Formulators are increasingly looking for ways to keep the microbiome in balance and turning to probiotics, or “good bacteria” as the best option. So, while many consumers may not understand the ins and outs of the microbiome, they are familiar with the term “good bacteria” from brands such as Yakult and trending ingredients such as kombucha and kefir.


The second trend is the seemingly unstoppable spread of Korean beauty and cuisine. The westward expansion of brands such as Laneige, Missha and Nature Republic and the popularity of Korean chicken and kimchi have brought fermented ingredients to consumers’ attention. Many of the ferments used in Korean beauty products stem from lactobacillus, which brings us back to probiotics.


Skincare accounts for 80% of beauty and personal care products containing lactobacillus, but colour cosmetics and hair-care are categories to watch in the future. Overall, the number of launches is still relatively low, but the potential is high. After all, 87% of UK women who use facial skincare say feeling comfortable is better than looking perfect. Given that 41% of UK female skincare users choose their products based on specific ingredients, probiotics are an obvious candidate if their link with skin health is clearly explained.


We’ve already seen indie brands such as Aurelia, Mother Dirt and Gallinée win plaudits for their probiotic skincare and it’s not surprising that the multinationals want a piece of the action. L Catterton has invested in Tula, a probiotic skincare brand, while  Mother Dirt owner AO Biome has attracted investment from iCarbon X. Expect to see more such deals in the coming year.


For more information about beauty biotics, please contact Mintel at bpc@mintel.com and come and see our presentation at the Formulation Summit on 25 October. Book to attend today: http://summit.in-cosmetics.com/register2017 

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