Microbiome, a disruptive innovation by all means: Redefining skin health, skincare strategies and the cosmetic narrative


Alice Communications Inc., USA


Taking the cosmetic industry by storm, the Microbiome is a new field of science that generates as much angst as it does enthusiasm. This is not surprising as it is by every definition of the term a disruptive discovery. 
Adressing it will take a lot more than business as usual. It will redefine skin health, skincare strategies and the cosmetic narrative. 
In order to understand the magnitude of the disruption and the opportunities it carries, we need to look at it with an open mind and be willing to question our current practices.

In the mid 2000’s , the Microbiome came to be. 

We knew about commensals long before then, but the coming of age of metagenomics, on the heels of genomics combined with the massive increase in computers processing and memory capacity, finally allowed for the sequencing of equally massive amounts of genomic information, which is exactly what the Microbiome represents:

Initially, 100 bacterial genes for each human gene, now more like 360 bacterial genes for each human gene (1). Three hundred times the functional capacity of our own genome.

Not only was this groundbreaking technology giving birth to groundbreaking science, but the emergence of Microbiome science was nothing short of a revolution.

To some, it is actually as much of an earth-shattering event for biology as was quantum physics to the world of Newtonian physics when they were first described.

Understandably so, it took the Microbiome a long while to make its way to the consumer. Funnily enough, the cosmetics and skincare industry was slower to catch on than the general press. All major magazine covers f ...