A key driver in the evolution of skin care is the “microbiome”, or the micro-organisms that naturally occur on human skin. As consumers increasingly turn to products that improve long-term health, interest in skin care products that contain prebiotics, probiotics or postbiotics, or are “biome friendly” are exploding in popularity, particularly in Asia Pacific. However, innovation in this space is not without its challenges, and not all products are seeing the same level of success.
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Consumers of skin care products are very aware of the potential damage that external factors (antibacterial agents, pollution, etc) can have on the long-term health of their skin, and are turning more and more to products that not only address cosmetic concerns like fine line reduction or moisturisation, but that also improve future skin health.
Lack of a standard definition of “probiotic skin care”, coupled with lenient regulations for probiotic skin care products, means that it is very easy for smaller companies to compete for market space with long-established beauty heavyweights like Elizabeth Arden, though a high price point has kept products from entering mainstream skin care.
Several big pharmaceutical companies (Johnson & Johnson key among them) are moving toward incorporating probiotics and/or biome-friendly components in their skin care products. Investment by “big pharma” in developing products to respond to consumer demand means that new brands are likely to be introduced in the coming years, and that the market for these products will become more competitive.
Probiotics and the microbiome in skin care are the biggest driver in the growth of science-based skin care products, and it is likely that this growth will persist in the coming years. Important challenges remain, though, and may result in some slowing of growth if they are not addressed concurrently with product expansion and innovation.