A growing area of scientific research in skin health is the skin’s microbiome. For the most part, the beauty industry has been able to easily define new technologies in their personal care products and how they benefit skin at a cosmetic level.

However, the skin’s microbiome is a bit more complex, and this ecosystem is still being studied. The findings are proving to be more interesting and intriguing than how cosmetic technologies have been discovered and introduced in the past.

To understand the skin’s microbiome, visualize this: The surface space on skin functions as a heavily populated community. There are several hundreds of various microorganism types, bacteria, yeasts and fungi (healthy ones and disruptive ones) that are significant and live together in their own environment, with different fatty acids, moisture levels, expressed genes and temperature levels that vary according to the body area.

If these "micros" or environmental species live harmoniously with one another and cooperate well with our skin functions, then skin is in a healthy state.

Skin in a healthy state has a good autoimmune defense, with acceptable reparative, healing and protective processes in place. The texture is smooth, hydration levels are just right, and reproductive properties are functioning properly.

The scientific discoveries of the skin’s microbiome are revealing that once there is "too much" of an organism, or invasion by a bad bacterium, climate change, geographical change or similar imbalance, the microbiome is disrupted and things, for the most part, go haywire.

Possible results of a disrupted skin ecosystem are acne, dry skin or hypersensitivity. It’s not just the environment that affects the microbiome: aging, hormonal change, and diet shift this community, too.

The most interesting discovery is that just like individual fingerprints or DNA, no two individual skin microbiomes are the same. We start to develop them at birth. Further findings reveal that how you enter the world, whether vaginally or by C-section, sets up your microbiome for life both internally and externally.

To further confirm individuality of microbiomes, studies show that individuals may share a similar skin disease like acne, but when delving into the nitty-gritty cosmos of individuals that suffer from the same skin disorder, the levels of bacteria and other functions and markers never exactly match.

What this means is that there is opportunity for customized skin-care products and an approach from a beauty-care perspective to create products that contain nourishment to bring a healthy environment to skin.

What we know now is that it may be possible to affect the skin’s microbiome by introducing technologies to influence skin health and keep that microbiome balanced. As the industry continues to introduce digital tools to evaluate the skin, these diagnostic tools have a space to be developed to evaluate an individual’s microbiome and offer a customized product response.

According to Dr. Denis Wahler, global manager technology partnerships at Givaudan, "Givaudan sees open space available in the beauty industry to create products that balance and enhance the microbiome, protect and care for the microbiome, and trigger microbiomes’ intrinsic capabilities to active performances. One of our most recent launches is our Protect-to-Care technology that we hope to be seeing in skincare products soon."

Look for a continued consumer interest and new products highlighting care of skin’s microbiome particularly in personal care and hair care products.