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A Guide To The Skin Microbiome, By Lancôme’s Lead Skin Scientists

Two of Lancôme’s lead researchers share key facts about the skin microbiome, including the potential beauty benefits of probiotic-enriched skincare.

How to improve skin microbiome?

Dr. Gabriel Ahmad Khodr and Dr. Magali Moreau are the leading scientists behind Lancôme's research into the skin microbiome and its potential applications in anti-aging skincare. Their work and insights have been crucial in developing the pre- and probiotic fractions-enriched formula for bestselling Advanced Génifique anti-aging serum, which helps reduce multiple signs of aging. Recently, we sat down with both Dr. Moreau and Dr. Khodr to talk about their research and find out more about the crucial role the microbiome plays in keeping your glowing skin looking healthy.

First things first: what is the microbiome?

Dr Moreau: The skin microbiome is an exciting new field of scientific research that’s redefining everything we know about being human. Scientists once believed we were only made up of human cells and organs. Now they’ve discovered a whole new system that’s vital to our very existence, called our microbiome—a beneficial ecosystem of microorganisms, living in and on our bodies, essential for our health. Like fingerprints, the skin microbiome is unique. It is composed mainly of bacteria, which influence everything from gut to our immunity and even our skin’s health and appearance. We inherit our specific skin microbiome from our mothers. Over time, our skin microbiomes change, according to our lifestyle, age and the environment we live in.

How does our microbiome affect our skin?

Dr Khodr: As we mentioned, the skin microbiome is an invisible ecosystem of living microorganisms, which form an integral part of our skin surface. Incredibly, there are more than 500 species within this ecosystem that ‘communicate' with our cells. Our skin microbiome's balance is essential to the skin’s health and appearance. We have recently discovered that a balanced microbiome supports our skin’s ability to defend and recover. Basically, it’s one of the skin’s first lines of defense from the world around us.

What implications do you think microbiome science might have for skincare?

Dr Moreau: We believe research into the skin microbiome will disrupt the future of skin care products. Over 10 years ago, we began to pioneer groundbreaking studies that explored the link between the microbiome and the skin’s health and appearance. L’Oréal scientists worked together with other leading experts from around the world, and published several high-impact scientific papers. More recently, we have discovered new, information about how the microbiome influences skin. For example, we now have evidence that the microbiome evolves with age, and have discovered that women living in a polluted environment and showing premature signs of aging present a similar skin microbiome profile to aged women.

How does Advanced Génifique benefit the skin’s microbiome?

Dr Khodr: Lancôme Lab has enriched the formula of the Advanced Génifique anti-aging serum with a unique complex of seven pre- and probiotic fractions. Its formula is designed to promote skin that’s both noticeably stronger and younger-looking. Advanced Génifique anti-aging serum is not just pioneering in -the field of microbiome science—it’s helping usher in the future of skincare.

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