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Brief Published: 24 Aug 2016

Using Bacteria to Cure Acne


The human microbiome (the unique blend of microorganisms and bacteria that naturally live inside the body and on the skin) is a new target for the beauty industry. Nerd skincare leverages bacteria in its acne-fighting range.

“Our science uses your own biology to help your skin think differently, act differently and take care of itself,” says the US skincare brand on its website.

Traditional acne-fighting formulas work to kill most bacteria on the skin. However, Nerd’s product makes a distinction between the ‘good’, healthy bacteria that naturally thrive on the skin, and the ‘bad’ bacteria, which accumulate there from the environment.

Carbon-based molecules encourage these good bacteria, epidermidis, to produce short-chain fatty acids that supress the growth of bad bacteria, which can cause redness, inflammation and acne. By balancing their ‘facial flora’, consumers will receive more natural, less aggressive treatment that caters to their exact skin needs.

While acne is typically seen in teenagers, adult acne is on the rise. According to Dr Stefanie Williams, medical director of Eudelo (European Dermatology London), 92 private dermatology clinics last year found a 200% rise in the number of adults seeking specialist acne treatments (Telegraph, 2016).

Brands providing more nuanced treatments like Nerd’s are likely to prove popular with this growing target group.

For more on how bacteria is infiltrating beauty, see Bacteria Beauty: Dirty is the New Clean