Irene Zaldivar, Business Strategy Developer at Zurko Research,   is focusing on developing new business opportunities in the field of innovative studies (In vitro and In vivo studies) for cosmetic area and medical devices.

In this occasion, COSSMA Magazine contacted us to make an interview about the technical seminar that Irene will teach at In Cosmetics Global Amsterdam:

C. What is the microbiome?

IZ. The microbiome is the collection of the wide range of microorganisms (eukaryotes, archaea, bacteria and viruses) that live in association with the human body. It is not only the microorganisms but also the genetic material encoded in them, which are 1.000 more genes than in the human genome.
The current understanding is that most of these skin microbes are harmless or beneficial organism, and they play some essential roles in inhibiting the pathogenic microbes or modulating innate and adaptive immune systems.

C. What have been the latest findings concerning the microbiome and skin care.

IZ. Human skin is a complex barrier organ that provides an ecological niche for a wide range of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, yeast and viruses). The skin is continuously exposed to external and internal factors (pollution, ultraviolet radiation, cosmetic product, etc.) which can alter the balanced relationship between the skin and our microbiota, and the consequences could be chronic inflammatory skin diseases (acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.), infections, or some skin alterations (pruritic, sensitive and irritated skin).

C. Do skin care and the protection of the microbiome go together? Examples why yes or why not?

IZ. Current publications reveal the relationship between skin microbiota and the maintenance of the barrier function, which mechanisms are necessary to consider aiding in this preservation. For an instance, the moisturizers cosmetic products – they improve the level of hydration and the epidermal barrier function. Additionally, the moisturizers products modify the water activity on the skin that involve changes relating to the growth of a wide range of bacteria which can compete with potentially pathogenic microorganisms.
On the other hand, some formulations have potential prebiotic activity since they may provide substrates to the skin microbiota.
In summary, classical moisturizes can protect the skin but new formulations have been developed trying to restore the skin barrier and to preserve the skin microbiota diversity.

C. In what way can new findings about the microbiome have an impact on skin care products in the future?

IZ. Currently, international standardization methodology of microbiome determination and standard sampling method has not been yet established. The current technology which is genomic characterization of bacterial diversity by amplification of 16S ribosomal RNA, falls in differentiation between dead and living bacteria, and between inducible and conserved genes (taxonomic genes). For these reasons, it is important to continue the researches trying to improve the molecular methodology.

On the other hand, there is some relevant findings related to the importance of the new generation formulations of cosmetic product focusing on the maintenance and restoration of the skin microbiomes.

In summary, I believe in the future, we will see new very effective skin products that intended to maintain the ecological balance in each skin niche.