Microbiome Skincare: Formulate A Probiotic Beauty Serum

Microbiome Skincare: Formulate A Probiotic Beauty Serum

The beauty industry is hot on microbiome skincare. Skin-friendly, microbiome prosbiotics are a popular topic even though the science behind it is still in its infancy. We’ve prepared a microbiome serum formula that you can try and see the results. What exactly is the skin microbiome? And why is the cosmetics industry so eager to create it? We first examine the concept of microbiome, and then we highlight the grey areas. This is even though the cosmetics industry already embraces it.


The human microbiome is a collection of all the microbes that live in and around the body. These microbes create ecological communities known as microbiota. The human microbiota contains hundreds of species, including mites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Although there is much still to learn about this topic, scientists and formulators are increasingly interested in skin microbiota. Each square centimetre of skin contains approximately 1 million microorganisms. This means that they have a significant impact on our overall health and skin health.


Skin is the largest organ in the body and is different from other parts of the body. There are oily areas – the face and scalp, dry sites – hands and forearms, and moist spots – feet and armpits. Microbes are found throughout our bodies based on skin properties. More often than not, these skin conditions are very specific to the site.

Every person has a unique skin microbiota. However, if we understand how these microbes interact with skin, we can improve our methods for creating products that cater to more specific ecological communities.


The skin microbiome prefers an acidic environment around pH 5.0. This helps to inhibit the growth of pathogens. The microbiota can be affected by pH variations, sebum content and barrier function. These changes can also occur due to lifestyle, climate, gender or age. Dysbiosis is a condition where there are an imbalance of microbes. This can cause problems in the microbiota.

As a natural process that occurs throughout life, it is not clear if a shift in microbiome can be problematic. It also depends on many external factors. Dysbiosis can lead to skin conditions like eczema and dandruff as well as acne, dermatitis, and even dermatitis. We believe it is in the skin’s best interests to maintain or restore a healthy microbial environment.


Although there is still much to be learned about the microbiome, we know that it is important to provide a favorable physical and chemical environment for microbe growth and maintenance. This is where skin care products are useful. It is an exciting area of cosmetic science research.

We can improve skin health by creating a skincare product that is beneficial. This will help maintain healthy skin and support the natural microbiome. Some preservatives can disrupt the microbial balance, according to speculation. The formulation’s components, regardless of the preservative system, should have the greatest impact on skin health and the skin microbiome.


Two strategies are used to formulate microbiome skincare products: one is using ‘biotics’, the other is using ingredients that are gentle and respectful of the microbiome.

Prebiotics are nutrients, such as sugars that promote certain beneficial microorganisms to grow in the microbiome. Probiotic skincare is a form of probiotics, which are living microorganisms used to balance and optimise the microbiome.

Probiotic skincare using live bacteria isn’t a common approach in cosmetics, and only a few companies have attempted and succeeded in this area. Probiotic lysates are what we usually refer to when talking about probiotic skincare. These bacteria have been destroyed and then processed to make ingredients that can be easily incorporated into skincare products. They are believed to have the same effect as living bacteria.

The other approach is to create ‘microbiome-friendly’ formulations which are gentle, balanced and provide moisturising and epidermal barrier strengthening benefits.


Although there has been some speculation about preservatives and their link to dysbiosis, a formulation can address this issue by providing effective and restorative ingredients. This formulation was designed with a ‘microbiome-friendly’ mind-set and so choosing a preservation system proved challenging. To preserve our formulation, we combined Leucidal(r), SF MAX with AMTicide(r), VAF at the suggested levels by our supplier.

It is important to remember that this preservation system’s effectiveness is not guaranteed. Microbial challenge testing is required in order to make sure that the product is safe for consumers, and to establish a shelf life.

We know that ingredient availability can vary across the globe. This is why you can easily replace ingredients in this formula. We recommend that you source the following ingredients:

Biolin by GobioticsBiolin is a mixture of gluco-oligosaccharide and Inulin obtained from chicory root via an original enzymatic synthesis process using a glycosyltransferase. Biolin is a prebiotic food supplement for the skin microbiota. It stimulates the growth of beneficial resident flora, while foreign and sometimes harmful organisms can’t digest it. Its bioselectivity allows it to limit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and protect the skin ecosystem, which in turn helps it recover quicker and restore the balance.

Probacillus Relive by Formulator Sample shop
Probacillus Revive is a probiotic that can be used to repair and rejuvenate skin. It is made by fermenting Lactobacillus Bulgaricus cells in a unique media containing chicory-derived prebiotic ingredients. These conditions encourage the production of synergistically-active compounds which have shown the ability to enhance cellular renewal, promote collagen synthesis and deeply moisturise the skin.

2021-05 How to fomulate a probiotic microbiome serum


We have created a simple formulation but which still manages to incorporates both strategies mentioned above with the aim to encourage symbiosis within the skin microbiota. This means creating a mutualistic relationship between all the microbes living on our skin, based on our current understanding of this complex, skin-bound ecosystem.

Probiotic Microbiome Serum Formula
Makes: 50 grams
Time taken: 30 minutes

Phase Ingredients INCI Weight
A1 Water Aqua 17.95
A2 Rose floral water Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate 5.00
A3 Sodium Gluconate Sodium Gluconate 2.50
A4 D-Panthenol Aqua, Panthenol 1.00
B1 Leucidal® SF Max Lactobacillus Ferment 2.00
B2 AMTicide® VAF Bacillus Ferment & Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate 0.50
C1 Biolin Inulin Alpha-glucan oligosaccharide 1.25
C2 Probacillus Revive Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate 2.50
D1 Xanthan Gum Xanthan Gum 0.30
D2 Vegetable Glycerine Glycerin 2.00
D3 Aloe vera juice Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate 15.00

Method of Manufacture

  1. Measure Phase A Measure out all the phase A ingredients in a beaker, heat between 35-40°C.
  2.  Measure Phase B and mix A-B Measure out phase B in a separate beaker, mix together then add to phase A.
  3. Add Phase C Ensure the temperature of AB is below 45 degrees. Into the beaker containing phase AB, measure out C1 and mix using a spatula, then measure C2 and mix using a spatula.
  4. Phase D Mix D1 and D2 together to make a paste, add D3, scrape the edged down and combine using a spatula then using a hand whisk combine phase until a smooth gel is formed.
  5. Combining Phases Slowly pour the solution of ABC into phase D a little at a time, mixing the liquid in fully with a spatula before adding more. Repeat this until all the liquid has been transferred into the gel.
  6. Checking pH Check the pH of the product is around pH 4.8-5.0, It should not need further adjusting. If it does, make up a 10% solution of A3 – Sodium Gluconate and adjust the pH.
  7. Bottle Transfer into your chosen bottle and label for your records.


Does the skin have a microbiome?

Our skin plays host to myriad microbes which form ecological communities called microbiota. Collectively, they are called the skin’s microbiome and include hundreds of species of bacteria, fungi, mites and viruses. The sheer volume of microbiota means that scientists have far more to research about their role in both our skin’s and overall health. Cosmetic chemists and formulators are particularly keen to discover more about how our the skin’s microbiota so they can formulate products that work in harmony with rather than to the detriment of our skin microbiome.

How do I balance my skin microbiome?

While there is far more research needed on just how our skin microbiome functions, there are microbiome skincare products on the market using pre- and probiotic formulations that are said to help maintain a healthy, balanced skin microbiome. Prebiotics are usually natural sugar-derived nutrients used to promote the growth of certain beneficial microorganisms while probiotic formulations use live microorganisms to optmise and balance our skin biome. Both are very new fields in cosmetic science. Look for formulations that are skin-friendly and gentle and that won’t strip the skin of its natural, beneficial microbiota.

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