ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0177.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: skin allergy epidemic; skin microbiome; skin microbiome diversity; effect of synthetic cosmetics on skin; biodiversity; synthetic ingredients in modern cosmetics; skin health; healthy skin bacteria; damaged skin bacteria
Online: 17 December 2018 (07:27:34 CET)
As described in previous work, the use of synthetic chemical ingredients in modern cosmetics is postulated to be a cause of damage to the skin microbiome. The discovery that biodiversity on the human skin is currently the only reliable indicator of skin health, meant that for the first time, a mechanism to test for healthy skin was possible. Using this mechanism and in collaboration with The Medical University of Graz, who carried out the independent study, this work aimed to help answer whether modern day synthetic cosmetics are a main cause of long term damage to the skin microbiome. Thirty-two human participants tested three different face washes for their effect on the skin’s microbial diversity, along with skin pH, moisture and TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss), washing twice a day for four weeks. The upper volar forearm of the volunteers was swabbed at the beginning, two weeks in and end (four weeks). 16S rRNA sequencing was used. One leading ‘natural’ brand full of synthetic ingredients, a leading synthetic brand and a 100% natural face wash were used. Results give the first indications of a link between synthetic ingredients in a cosmetics product, and its effect on skin microbiome biodiversity. It paves the way for future studies on the topic with a larger sample group, longer test period and standardised methodology to create a universal standard for testing the health of skin using benchmark diversity values. This can be used in the future to test the effectiveness of cosmetics or ingredients on skin health, leading to the banning of products proven to harm the skin’s natural environment.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0124.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: microbiome; skin microbiome; sports recovery; sports performance; cosmetics
Online: 10 October 2022 (11:13:00 CEST)
This short communication reports on the initial results of a much larger, ongoing project, the aim of which is to investigate the question: could the skin microbiome, just like the gut microbiome, play a role in sports recovery and performance – and if so, could this role be as significant a one as that played by the gut microbiome? 17 high performance college athletes addressed their skin microbiome by minimizing contact with synthetic chemicals and by using topical skin supplements, shown previously to significantly increase skin microbiome biodiversity, for two weeks after training. 76% said their skin softness improved, 35% said their muscle stiffness and recovery after sport improved, 12% said their sleep quality improved, and 100% said they would be likely to use skin supplements again. Future work will use hundreds of athletes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0105.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: topical probiotics; skin microbiome; probiotics; biodiversity; microbiome; skin allergy; cosmetics
Online: 9 October 2022 (03:34:01 CEST)
In this paper we aim to help topical probiotics research and development achieve its potential as an incredible future solution for skin problems by investigating whether the current products on the market satisfy criteria for safe and effective use on the skin microbiome. As previously defined, this includes whether they use microbes known to be part of a healthy skin microbiome and in healthy amounts. In addition, we evaluate whether they contain live microbes, and therefore can be classified as probiotics according to the WHO’s definition. Using recent market analysis at least 84% of products do not contain live microbes. Of the products that appeared to use live microbes, they contained those used in research and development of probiotics for the gut. Due to the varying composition of each person’s microbiome, there is not a one size fits all probiotic solution. Personalisation of probiotics products is essential to satisfy the criteria for safe and effective use, but none of the products on the market, understandably, offer this. Upsetting the delicate ecosystem balance of the skin microbiome could have damaging effects and regulation could help to stop a loss of trust between consumers and cosmetics industry. Future work will perform an in-depth evaluation of the topical probiotics on the market in the EU, USA, and Canada. We will also investigate how to move the topic closer to achieving its potential by updating the criteria, including by discussing how to measure the success of a probiotic solution.
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: skin microbiome; skin microbiome biodiversity; biodiversity; skin ecosystem; skin allergy epidemic; benchmark skin health values; skin bacteria; 21st century skin ailments; measure skin health; healthy skin ecosystem; healthy skin bacteria; damaged skin bacteria;
Online: 18 June 2020 (12:40:57 CEST)
A catastrophic loss of microbial biodiversity on the skin has led to alarming increase in the prevalence of allergies and long-term damage to the skin, which could also have damaging knock on effects to overall health. This study uses 50 human participants, to obtain an average (benchmark) value for the biodiversity of ‘healthy’ western skin, which is crucial in updating our 2017 skin health measuring mechanism to use standardised methodology. Previous work with a larger sample size was unsatisfactory for use as a benchmark due to its use of different and outdated diversity indices. We also investigated the effect of age and sex, two known skin microbiome affecting factors. Although no statistical significance is seen for age- and sex- related changes in diversity, there appear to be changes related to age which elaborates on previous work which used larger, more general age ranges. Our study indicates adults age 28-37 have highest diversity, and age 48-57 the lowest. Crucially, because of this study we are now able to update the skin health measuring mechanism from our 2017 work. This will aid diagnostic assessment of susceptibility to cutaneous conditions or diseases, and treatment. Testing any human subject will be rapidly improved by obtaining future benchmark diversity values for any age, sex, body site and area of residence, to which they can be compared. This improvement means we can also more accurately investigate the ultimate question: What factors in the western world are a main cause of the skin allergy epidemic? This could lead to future restriction of certain synthetic chemicals or products found to be particularly harmful to the skin.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0227.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: biodiversity; skin allergy; benchmark skin health values; effect of synthetic cosmetics on skin; 21st century skin ailments; measure skin health; healthy skin ecosystem; healthy skin bacteria; damaged skin bacteria; perfect skin
Online: 31 March 2017 (08:52:14 CEST)
There is a skin allergy epidemic in the western world, and the rate of deterioration has increased significantly in the past 5-10 years. It is probable that there are many environmental contributing factors, yet some studies have linked it primarily to the rise in the use of synthetic chemical ingredients in modern cosmetics. Our challenge, therefore, was to find a mechanism to determine the effect these substances have on skin health, and whether they really are a primary cause of long term damage to the skin. The first problem is the lack of any definitive way to measure skin health. Motivated by the overwhelming evidence for a link between deficient gut flora and ill health, we decided to look at whether our skin microbiota could similarly be used as an indicator of skin health. Our research illustrates how it is microbiota diversity alone that can predict whether skin is healthy or not, after we revealed a complete lack of conclusive findings linking the presence or abundance of particular species of microbe to skin problems. This phenomenon is replicated throughout nature, where high biodiversity always leads to healthy ecosystems. ‘Caveman’ skin, untouched by modern civilisation, was far different to ‘western’ skin and displayed unprecedented levels of bacterial diversity. The less exposed communities were to western practices, the higher the skin diversity, which is clear evidence of an environmental factor in the developed world damaging skin. For the first time we propose benchmark values of diversity against which we can measure skin to determine how healthy it is. This gives us the ability to be able to predict which people are more likely to be prone to skin ailments, and start to test whether cosmetic ingredients and products are a main cause of the skin allergy epidemic.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: topical steroid withdrawal; topical steroids; eczema; atopic dermatitis; skin microbiome; gut mi-crobiome; microbiome; biodiversity; skin allergy epidemic;
Online: 8 September 2021 (20:19:35 CEST)
We set up this preliminary study to evaluate one main question: could strengthening the microbiome have potential benefits for patients suffering with adverse effects after stopping long term topical steroid use? We aim to turn it into a much larger study if the results show promise. After commonly being prescribed for eczema, cessation of topical steroid use, especially after long periods of inappropriate use, can leave lasting adverse effects on the body and skin, known by some as topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). Furthermore, the subsequent withdrawal the body experiences when coming off the drug can leave lasting adverse effects on the body and skin, known by some as topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). This preliminary study involved seven human participants suffering with skin problems associated with TSW who approached Dr. Anja Gijsberts-Veens of their own volition because they were interested in more natural recovery methods. Five completed the study in full. Progress in skin condition was tracked by self-assessed symptom severity questionnaires filled out at the beginning and end of the study. The skin microbiome was addressed by using a 100% natural product shown in previous work to significantly increase skin microbiome biodiversity. Three participants implemented dietary changes and supplementation in response to guidance after fecal sample analysis to improve their gut health and biodiversity. The average improvement in skin symptoms for all participants was 40% and average symptom improvement ranged from 14% for Patient 5 to 92% for Patient 1. On average, the participants saw an improvement in 85% of their symptoms and a stagnation or regression in 11% and 4% respectively. We believe these results show enough promise to warrant expansion of this research to use a larger sample size, preferably 50+ participants, in future work. We also aim to swab the skin of participants to assess the effect on the skin microbiome from skin and gut treatments, as well as including more in-depth analysis of skin and gut microbiomes.