Bianca: Hi everyone and welcome to decoding with Croda, our podcast that debates relevant topics for the personal care industry, such as trends, specialties, sustainability, new technologies and more.
My name is Bianca and I am a Marketing Assistant for Personal Care Latin America at Croda and today our topic is Microbiome.
And to talk about it, I am bringing you Adelino Nakano, head of research and development in Latin America. Hi, Adelino, how are you?
Adelino: Hi! Fine, and you?
Bianca: I’m great, thanks! So, a lot has been said about Microbiome and how investing in its research has become important to demonstrate that this ecosystem plays a relevant role in metabolic, immune and neurologic functions and that it is involved in great epidemic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and others. So, to begin, what exactly is microbiome?
Adelino: So whenever we talk about the human being, we usually think about the human being as just one being, but we are formed by a number of cells that form our tissues and obviously our body is a great ecosystem in which you can host different kinds of microorganisms. So there is a balance and synergy between the human body and this ecosystem formed by different microorganisms, which can help and support us in different metabolisms and also help our immune system. And the presence of these microorganisms on this environment is called microbiome.
Bianca: Ok, that is excellent. And understanding the gut ecosystem has been seen by researchers and scientists as the new revolution in terms of products and medications and it will impact everyone’s health and wellbeing. There have been so many discoveries that the gut is being considered as the Second Brain, right? So, there are plenty of nutraceuticals available in the market, but I believe that something else is generating doubt among both consumers and formulators, which is important to clarify: what is the difference between probiotic, prebiotic and postbiotic products?
Adelino: There is no formal definition by regulation, I would say. There is some consensus in the cosmetic industry, but most definitions that exist today come from the food industry. Probiotic is basically when you put living microorganisms in food for example, or it could be in a product to support our body. So this is the definition for probiotic. For the cosmetic industry, obviously, for many different reasons, for technical limitations, for regulatory, for stability, and so on, we cannot so far add living organisms in a product so what we do is an extraction of the living organisms and we use this liquid extraction material considering it to be probiotic. The prebiotic basically is what we call “before biotics”, so before living organisms, so whatever we have in terms of food, usually we are talking about vitamins, saccharides, sugars, whatever the ingredient which can promote the organisms growth could be considered as a prebiotic ingredient. When we talk about postbiotic, we are saying “after biotic”, usually we are talking about after death, so it is understood as the residue of a probiotic, so the residue of microorganisms, or even the byproducts that are produced by the metabolisms of these microorganisms.
Bianca: That is very interesting, and how can these kinds of products be applied efficiently in the development of new products for the cosmetic industry?
Adelino: So, there is a bunch of products that can be made using this kind of concept. So, for example, you can have an ingredient coming from fermentation, so you get an ingredient with very nutritious materials to have an effect on skin or even on scalp. You can as well have some other ingredients or materials that are going to bring a proper balance between some microorganisms to have a better growth or even reduce some of the, I would say, “bad” microorganisms, like, whenever we talk about scalp and dandruff, it is usually generated by a fungus. So you want to reduce the effect of this fungus but at the same time you want to promote the growth of other microorganisms that are beneficial for the scalp. At the same time, if you get some extraction of microbiotics, they can generate some oligosaccharides for example and have different kinds of effects in the skin and scalp. And one example would be: you can get an anti-ageing effect or antiwrinkle effect with the extraction of the metabolism made by the microorganisms.
Bianca: Wow. And well, from the consumer point of view, there is a growing understanding of how microbiome can influence their wellbeing and this knowledge, especially among millennials, generates a demand for products that can balance the natural bacterial presence in the organism.
How has the cosmetic industry been adapting to this market movement and offering ingredients and specialties to make new hair and skin care products?
Adelino: So usually the industry is looking for the different mechanisms existing in the products. As we discussed about prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic, so these are the main mechanisms that are being used. There are different kinds of studies with different ingredients, which can promote more nutrition to the skin or accelerate the renewal of skin cells or even to promote a better balance between the different organisms and then you can have a better skin health. So consequently, it leads to a kind of health beauty. So, these are the ways that the industry is strategizing to promote products.
Bianca: Right. And last but not the least, when it comes to hair and scalp treatment, what are the most recent research findings that you can tell us about?
Adelino: So, just for you to have an idea, in 2018 we had about 400 scientific papers talking about skin microbiome but in the last 5 years, we just had about 15 papers talking about the scalp microbiome. So, this means that there is a lot of information already being generated on skin applications, but not so much for scalp, scalp microbiome is still in the very beginning of the understanding. And one paper published in Microbiology Technology in 2017 was basically a transcription of an interview with different researchers and they found one enterobacteria, a bacteria coming from the gut, which was present in some people presenting some kind of hair and maybe this enterobacteria can play a role in changing the hair curliness to curly or straight hair. So they have preliminary results showing this effect, so maybe this opens a very interesting field of research because what we have of scientific information so far about the hair curliness might change dramatically on the future. Consequently, the new products that are going to be developed also are going to have a major change of focus. So, this is something very new and very interesting in terms of research, using microbiome to alter the hair fiber.
Bianca: Yes, and it shows many opportunities for formulators. Well, thank you Adelino for the clarifications and if you wish to know more on microbiome or wish to receive more information on how Croda can help you develop products for this market, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Croda Personal Care LinkedIn or Instagram or still on crodapersonalcare.com
Thanks for listening and stay tuned!
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