Dekio I.
Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo

Although many pre/probiotic products to promote healthier skin have come to the market worldwide, there has been no attempt to develop probiotic skincare product containing species that reside on the human skin. As lactic acid bacteria species are usually not detected on the skin, it seems even more reasonable to develop products containing such natural inhabitants. We focused on Staphylococcus epidermidis as the candidate microorganism. S. epidermidis is an abundant Gram-positive bacteria on the facial skin, with up to 2 x 105 cells/cm2 density or 2 x 108 cells/face. Its symbiosis with humans is unique, producing not only glycerin and related substances that moisturize the skin surface, but also an active antimicrobial peptide against harmful Staphylococcus aureus attaching from the outer environment to induce dermatitis. Moreover, the species rarely causes infectious disease in clinical settings although it is widely and densely populated. Therefore we assumed that this bacteria can be a candidate for such skincare products.

We developed the powdery product containing 1.2 x 109 freeze-dried cells of S. epidermidis per vial with dried soy broth to be suspended in liquid or cream before application. Our preliminary experiment showed >90% of the bacteria quickly revive when added to vehicle liquid/cream widely distributed in Japan for skincare purpose. We recruited 21 healthy females (aged 22–57 years) who wanted to improve the skin condition enrolled the study. The comparison experiment was designed as two-group crossover and subjects were randomized in a double-blind manner. Group I applied the powder containing S. epidermidis with vehicle liquid, twice a week for eight weeks, followed by placebo soy broth powder with the same liquid. On the other hand, Group II applied the placebo first, then the bacteria. The skin water content, water evaporation, pH, redness, and melanin were measured by using Cutometer MPA580 (Courage+Khazaka, Germany).

At the end of the first 8-week term, Group I showed significant increase (+39%) in water content and decrease (-24%) in water evaporation compared with Group II, together with 14-times increase in S. epidermidis cell number. No significant change was observed in pH, redness, and melanin. During the second term, the water content gradually increased and the water evaporation gradually decreased significantly in Group II, as in the first term of Group I. On the other hand, the second term in Group II showed the former decreased and the latter increased. No adverse effect is observed in both groups.

Our study showed the strong skincare effect of S. epidermidis¬-containing probiotic skin product for the first time. After this study, the product passed the Japanese regulation and brought into the market in 2013. However, there are still significant regulation hurdles to distribute the product worldwide.

Keywords: Skin, Probiotics, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Skincare product, Clinical trial, Powder

Dekio I. (2016). Clinical effect of novel probiotic product for the skin containing Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from customers.
Conference Proceedings of IPC2016. Paper presented at the International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics, Budapest (p. 21.). IPC2016

To download abstract click here