As chatter around the microbiome crescendos, Dr. Elsa Jungman is piloting a one-on-one approach with her consumers.
The skin pharmacologist and founder of her eponymous skin care line, launched the pilot phase of a skin microbiome swab test earlier this week. Consumers will swab their skin over the course of one week, then send in the results and receive a full report on their skin, as well as product recommendations based on the breakdown of microorganisms on their skin. The test will launch more widely for consumers in 2022.
Jungman has studied the microbiome throughout her career. “My theory is that we use too many products that interfere with our skin biome, and we need to prove that less is more, or using much more gentle products is better for your skin health in the long term,” she said.
That theory informed the development of her line, which launched in 2018 and were some of the first to be certified microbiome-friendly in the U.S. market. The line consists of two cleansers and three serums, priced $40 to $70 on dr-ej.com. “When I started my company, I thought the most urgent thing was to launch products that are very gentle. Investors didn’t get why I didn’t put in more actives,” she said. “It’s not about being natural or not, it’s about how it interacts with your skin as an organ.”
The swab tests will fuel research. “It’s good to know that our products are microbiome-friendly in the lab, but with women who suffer from reactive skin, what would their skin look like with our products?” Dr. Jungman said.
“The test is a really useful tool to understand that your skin is an organ, and you need to really be mindful about what you do with your skin. It’s to collect data on the microbiome for research, for example, if reactive skin has a specific profile,” Jungman continued. “For the consumer, on their side, they get reports with all of their microorganisms so they can see if minimal products are benefitting them long-term. We will be sending them recommendations as well.”
Jungman is also interested in how other factors impact the microbiome and more largely, overall skin health. “Your skin is also impacted by your environment. Women have hormonal changes, if you’re pregnant or going through menopause. Also, what you eat can also affect your skin. We want to collate all that information with the microbiome to make the best products and the best recommendations,” she said.
For more from WWD.com, see:
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