Postbiotics, just a trend or more than that?


CLR Berlin, Germany


The use of postbiotics in the skincare industry is, currently, a trend. As is normal with trends, they come and go, but postbiotics have been in use in the skincare industry for more than 4 decades. They were never talked about, though, or part of the story telling around the products they were part of. They were in the formulation to perform a job as an active ingredient. A ‘silent partner’, so to say. As a matter of fact, postbiotic active ingredients might even be considered to be a success story among the hundreds of active ingredients which have been introduced to the cosmetic industry in the last 40-50 years.

This article attempts to give a short overview of both the “postbiotic” marketing trend and scientific evidence behind “postbiotics” for the cosmetic benefit of skin. Different definitions of what a “postbiotic” is, will also be gone into. Altogether, are postbiotics “worth it?”


The use of and marketing communication about “postbiotics” looks to be a trend in the cosmetic industry. A Mintel GNPD search ( shines some light on this:

  • The GNPD database includes 21.755 products containing ingredient which can be considered to be postbiotics. More than 13.000 of these products have been launched since beginning of 2020. On the definition of “postbiotics”, see below.
  • 387 products with the word “postbiotic” in the product description, of which 156 have been launched in 2022 and 124 in 2023, to date.
  • 52 products with “Bifid*” (“Bifidus”, “Bifid”, “Bifida”) in the product name. 21 with “Lactobacillus”.


Indeed, it looks like “postbiotics” are a trend in the cosmetics industry, especially the skincare i ...