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Micro-organisms living on a hand

Trillions of micro-organisms and their impact on our bodies

We’re using our scientific insights to help consumers restore and maintain a balanced microbiome, contributing to better overall health and wellbeing.

The human body is home to trillions of micro-organisms. Advanced research is revealing how the activity of these micro-organisms intimately influences various aspects of our health. This community of micro-organisms is called the ‘microbiome’.

For over 20 years, our scientific experts have been researching the microbiome and have discovered maintaining a balanced and healthy microbiome is increasingly seen as relevant for a whole range of health and wellbeing needs.

Demystifying the microbiome

Our individual microbiomes change throughout our lifetime. Our normal or ‘balanced’ microbiome contributes to our health and wellbeing by supporting skin condition and healthy gums and by helping to discourage pathogens (germs) that can make us ill. This balance can be affected by our lifestyles, diet, environment and the products we use.

Restoring microbiome health

When a skin, scalp or oral microbiome is out of balance, conditions such as eczema, acne and dandruff arise. In order to restore balance to these microbiomes, we are exploring multi-pronged technology approaches that selectively target ‘bad’ micro-organisms while harnessing the power of ‘good’ bacteria. These work in tandem with the body’s innate immunity mechanisms to help maintain a balance.

Partnering for better balance

We are conducting ground-breaking new research alongside several strategic partners, including the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Universities of York and Pennsylvania, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences in India. Each partner brings to the table world-class expertise, tools and knowledge to unlock our understanding of microbiome management.

Our collective investments in microbiome capability and research have already led to over 25 microbiome-related product launches, supported by more than 100 patents in the last ten years.

Some of the personal care innovations you may already be familiar with are:

More to come

Even after 20 years, this is only the beginning of our journey. Watch this space for more on our exciting research and work as we continue to unlock innovation that helps consumers restore and maintain a microbiome balance.

We’ve also teamed up with the British scientific journal, Nature to explain more about the work we’re doing on the skin microbiome.