Making a new generation of beauty products from viruses and bacteria

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Image: uBiome

As scientists uncover more details about the skin microbiome, small startups and beauty giants alike are exploring how the trillions of microorganisms on and in our bodies could be used to treat a range of skin conditions, either by battling the bad bugs or bolstering the good ones. But as businesses launch new efforts to investigate that idea, they face an existential question: Are they a beauty company, a biotech company, or somewhere in between?

One [company,] Naked Biome, is using a specific strain of bacteria — plucked from the pore strips of people with healthy skin — to tamp down acne. That company is running clinical trials and, if all goes successfully, plans to apply for approval as a drug.

Related article:  Why recent measles outbreaks may represent a 'new normal'

Its neighbor, a company called Ellis Day, has created a cocktail of three phages — viruses that kill bacteria — that it says can help improve the appearance of “blemish-prone skin.” Ellis Day is going straight to consumers with its serum.

Whatever path companies take to market, scientists caution one thing is clear: There are still far more scientific questions about the skin microbiome than there are answers.

Read full, original post: Biotech, but make it beauty: Startups look to viruses and bacteria for the next generation of skin care

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