Beauty's Biggest Microbiome Misconception


The skin microbiome and the scientific advances surrounding it have opened the door to exciting applications in personal care, but these concepts are still relatively new. Read: the opportunity for miscommunication on "biome-friendly" beauty is at its highest.

Jennifer Cookson, director of Research and Product Development, Mother Dirt, will lead a discussion on all things skin microbiome at upcoming Beauty Accelerate, to be held Oct. 15, 2019, at Metropolitan West in New York. There, marketing and R&D attendees in her "Microbiome Innovation" roundtable will discuss how best to approach skin microbiome product creation, from choosing raw materials and preservation strategies to rethinking approaches to microbiome beauty.

Read on for an exclusive preview of Cookson's roundtable.

What is a common misconception about microbiome beauty between product developers and marketers?

Jennifer Cookson (JC): A common misconception is the generalization that synthetic ingredients are bad for the skin microbiome and plant-derived ingredients are good for the skin microbiome. While many synthetic raw materials may disrupt the skin microbiome, the same can be true for many plant-derived ingredients, and vice versa.

We are just beginning to understand the role of the skin microbiome in overall health and the impact of preservatives and other cosmetic ingredients. Synthetic raw materials often get a bad rap without the supporting evidence that they cause harm to health and/or the environment.

As a product developer, I first try to use plant-based ingredients but understand the many advances in green chemistry that have been able to produce synthetic analogs to plant-derived products that are more environmentally sustainable in addition to being safe.

What can Beauty Accelerate attendees expect when they attend your roundtable?

JC: At the roundtable, I hope to have a discussion with attendees about all the various aspects of formulating "biome-friendly" products, from the selection of raw materials, to their combined affects, hurdle technology and self-preservation.

More in Event Coverage