The first study enrolled 495 normal healthy men and women ranging in age from 9 to 78. The researchers combined their talents in cosmetic and microbiome science and discovered two Corynebacteria species - one associated with younger people and the other with older people. The 'old skin' Corynebacteria species tended to displace the other during middle age (ages 40-49). Interestingly, the two bacteria were found to be co-exclusive meaning they did not exist simultaneously at the same skin site.
The researchers then conducted a follow-up study in 154 healthy men and women to see if they could repeat the results of the first study. The second study yielded the same results and confirmed the original observations. Furthermore, in addition to being associated with chronological age, the 'old skin' Cornyebacterium was found to be associated with skin redness, wrinkles and age spots suggesting it could be a target for treatment intervention.
The two companies are working together to better understand the importance of this novel finding. These new insights not only contribute to the scientific community's general understanding of the microbiome, but will also have implications for consumer products that benefit human health and wellness.
"We are following up on this new, exciting insight into skin aging and the microbiome. While much more work needs to be done, there may be an opportunity to help improve skin appearance in otherwise normal, healthy people based on skin microbiome science" said Dr. Greg Hillebrand, senior principal scientist at Amway Corporation.
Malcolm Kendall, CEO and co-founder, Microbiome Insights, Inc. said, "Our partnership with Amway has been a perfect example of what a true partnership should be. Together, we are leveraging our deep experience in the microbiome to deliver new innovations more quickly and efficiently in skin and cosmetic science. Our team is committed to working with Amway to unravel the role of the microbiome in skin-aging and applying the findings to developing consumer products that benefit human health and wellness."
Full data from Amway's Microbiome Initiative research are expected to be published in 2018.