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How to balance skin microbiota-inspired cosmetics with the EU legislation


S&C consulting, Belgium


The skin microbiota is not a trend anymore. It reached the status of a game changing discovery. Claims as probiotic, postbiotic and prebiotic are increasingly enriching labels of freshly launched products. But what about the legislation? Are these approaches still within the cosmetic legislation EC 1223/2009 and the criteria for justifying claims EU655/2013. This review proposes a concrete strategy to commercialize microbiota derived cosmetics within the EU legislation, now and in the future.


Just a few years ago microorganisms were still considered as a threat to the skin and to cosmetic products.  Antimicrobial, disinfectant and sterile were the buzz words in a not so distant past. Today the microorganisms are the absolute heroes of the beauty industry. They seem to have the magic key to our beauty.

The information on the skin microbiota is evolving rapidly, while our human brain seems to be too limited to understand the microbial world. The skin microorganisms keep hiding their secret in plain sight. To understand the microbial universe, the reality is often simplified. With this unknowledge, solutions are already created for undiscovered problems. We shower the skin microbiota with probiotics, postbiotics and prebiotics. But does the skin microbiota need this help? Are these products not just bringing rain to the ocean? When a product truly influences the skin microbiota, does this effect still fall under the cosmetic legislation? To find concrete answers we need to go back to the very basics of the legislation.


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