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Unilever partners with UK university for microbiome wellbeing research

Unilever has joined forces with the University of Liverpool to explore the impact of the skin microbiome on wellbeing.

The duo will combine the latest advances in microbiome science with new psychological methods, creating the scientific capability to link changes in the skin microbiome to wellbeing over time.

This in turn could pave the way for new product approaches and technology targets.

“It’s often true that a good hair day can make us smile, while an acne breakout can leave us feeling lacklustre. But getting a scientifically proven measure of how our complexion can affect our confidence or mood has always been a challenge,” said Unilever.

“That’s because analysing how wellbeing and the skin microbiome interconnect is impossible without collecting longitudinal data – a scientific study that tracks the same data points over extended periods of time. For example, a tough Tuesday could affect the microbiome a day or two later, resulting in a skin reaction by the weekend,” it added.

“Conversely, a skin breakout could still impact your wellbeing even once the breakout has cleared. And that’s where our new research comes in.”

The project between Unilever and the university’s Microbiome Innovation Centre and Brain & Behaviour Laboratory is being funded by a UK Research and Innovation grant.

“As scientists, we talk about the skin–brain axis – the connection between how our skin feels and how we feel overall,” said Mike Hoptroff, microbiologist at Unilever’s Port Sunlight lab.

“Skin is an organ of emotional expression. If you’re stressed, it manifests on skin and the other way round. If your skin doesn’t feel good, it has an impact on how you feel in terms of wellbeing,” he added.

"The opportunity of this research will be finding out if we can develop products that could help to lessen the impact of stress to skin before it upsets the balance of the microbiome. It’s about prevention rather than cure. Making the skin microbiome more resilient.”

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Upcoming Events

PCHi China 2023

The China Import and Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou
15-17 February 2023

SCSS - Conference & Laboratory Workshop

Republic Polytechnic - Woodlands Ave 9, Singapore 738964
Thur 16th & Fri 17th March 2023

in-cosmetics Global 2023 - Barcelona

Fira Barcelona Gran Via
28 - 30 March 2023

NYSCC Suppliers' Day 2023

Javits Center, New York
2 - 3 May 2023

CITE Japan 2023

Pacifico Yokohama, Japan
17 - 19 May 2023

in-cosmetics Korea 2023

Hall C, Coex, Seoul, South Korea
12 - 14 July 2023

Access the latest issue of Personal Care Magazine on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Personal Care Magazine app from your device's App store

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