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Probiotics – promising cosmetic ingredient or marketing tool?


Euromonitor International


Fermented beauty products rich in nutrients and other ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial enzymes, although trendy, are not new. However, what makes probiotic breaking news in cosmetics is the way that the microorganisms are now being added to formulations which has a direct impact on product positioning in the market.

The long-established Crème de la Mer owned by Estée Lauder has been using fermented sea kelp in its formulations for decades, and premium brands such as Murad and SK-II from Procter & Gamble, Sulwashoo from the South Korean cosmetics giant AmorePacific and SU:M37 from LG Household & Healthcare, have been marketing products containing fermented and probiotic ingredients for some years. Brands such as Oskias in the UK and Tula in the US also market products containing fermented probiotic ingredients.


Many cosmetic companies are now adding probiotics to anti-aging creams and products specially designed for sensitive skin. While the term 'probiotic' is well established in food, where probiotics are considered as live microorganisms able to grow and form a colony that can have a beneficial effect, in cosmetics (a self-regulated industry) there is no standardised definition of probiotics. This makes it virtually impossible for consumers to understand what to expect from a product carrying the probiotic label.
There are technical barriers to incorporate live probiotics into conventional sk ...

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