No actual microbes – just the broth they leave behind
These products use the “broth” from a microbial fermentation. The microbes are grown on a substrate (think of this as a watery solution of microbial nutrients) and then the probiotic microbes are filtered off so that they don’t interfere with the product’s preservatives. The “broth” is the remaining solution (which has the metabolites of the microbes in it.) This is used as an ingredient in a final cosmetic product. Good skin care results can sometimes be obtained using this technique, but Esse does not refer to this technology as “probiotic”, or include it in its BIOME+ claims.
The ‘juice’ from inside probiotic microbes
These probiotic extracts are called lysates because the probiotic cells are ruptured (lysed). In this technique, the probiotics are again cultured in a nutrient-rich substrate but instead of filtering them off, the cells are broken so that their cell contents leak out before the mixture is filtered. This method results in an “extract” that contains the cytoplasm (cell contents) of probiotic microbes. Esse uses this technology in the majority of its BIOME+ products.
Whole, dead probiotic microbes
In this technique, the microbes are kept whole but they are inactivated at low temperature. This process is called tyndallisation. Traditionally the culture of probiotics is heated to 60˚C and cooled again over three days. This kills the probiotic cells, so the cfu per ml would still be 0. Esse has developed a process that allows us to inactivate the microbes at a lower temperature so that the proteins on the surface remain unchanged. These probiotics can then still dock onto skin cells but obviously can’t grow and divide to significantly alter the skin’s microbiome. Esse uses this technology in the majority of leave-on products in the range at a rate of 1 million microbes per ml.
These three levels of probiotic supplementation are relatively easy to use in cosmetics. The ingredient is simply added to the formulation at the end of the manufacturing process with no real change in the preservative system or in the rest of the product.
This is the real thing … live microbes that can grow and form colonies. Esse has developed an encapsulation and manufacture technique that allows us to include live probiotics in the Probiotic Serum and Sensitive Serum at a rate of 1 billion cfu per ml. The probiotics are kept dormant by immobilising them in oil. Once they are exposed to water on the surface of the skin, they start to multiply.
Where you see the BIOME+ logo it indicates a combination of live probiotics or probiotic extracts with prebiotics in a low pH format. Esse uses Inulin and Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharides in the BIOME+ products to provide a food source that favours the growth of beneficial microbes over opportunistic microbes.