Like how gut health depends on gastrointestinal microbiota, the beauty of the skin relies on a good symbiotic relationship.
A first line of defence, the cutaneous microbiota refers to microbial bacteria, yeast, viruses and archaea found on the surface, of which are thought to number into millions per square centimetre of skin.
"Skin isn't just a simple envelope, but is instead an ecosystem we must respect and support. It's necessary for the skin and the microbiota to evolve together, mutually interacting with each other, creating reciprocal benefits for the skin and body," explained Frédéric Bonté, Guerlain's director of science.
Understanding the role of the skin microbiota, the French brand has formulated hydrating Super Aqua emulsions. "Good hydration and skin barrier functionality is key to skin's beauty and wellbeing. By ensuring biodiversity and equilibrium of the different species present on the skin surface, we can help guarantee the vitality, quality and normal skin function," said Bonté.
The skin feeds the microbiota with micronutrients, and in turn the microorganisms contribute to a healthy skin barrier and other functions.
"Like security guards for the epidermis, bacteria plays a defensive role against exterior aggressors, while ensuring the communication cells use between themselves to adjust hydration levels and meet their needs. When jam-packed with water, they're better at synthesising hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin," he said.
While Guerlain's researchers took a close look at the microbiota's role on influencing the skin's ability to retain water; vice versa, scientific research has shown that good hydration levels can bolster the microbiota diversity.
Like how the food industry uses probiotics and prebiotics to promote a healthy digestive system, the same approach can be used to nourish and balance the skin's microflora.
Probiotics refer to beneficial microorganisms, and prebiotics are nutrients that promote their growth and/or activities.
Available in three textures, the new Super Aqua-Emulsions feature AquaBiotic system with prebiotics and probiotic derivatives, to stimulate good bacteria on the skin surface; and Aquacomplex Advanced technology, which supports the skin's natural hydration mechanisms.
The light, universal and rich emulsions are respectively composed of 97%, 94% and 95% of naturally-derived ingredients.