In 2003 the Human Genome Project declared that the sequencing of the human genome was complete after 13 years of intense research. It cost $2,7 billion. Now you can have your genome sequenced in a few days for less than $1000.

These new gene sequencing tools allow scientists to see the human body through a new lens. The Human Microbiome Project got going in 2008 to use these techniques to find out more about the microbes that we have living in and on us. The results have changed both health care and skin care forever.

It didn’t seem to matter where in the body researchers looked, they always found huge numbers of resident microbes in healthy subjects. The role of microbes in the intestine has been the first target of public attention, but there are vibrant microbiomes associated with the skin, the lungs, and the mouth… just to mention a few.

There has been intense scientific interest in microbiome research. The number of scientific references to “skin microbiome” in 2010 was 854 … by 2015 that number had increased to 5070.

It is now abundantly clear that we need our microbes and that without them, we cannot function optimally. Skin disorders (and many other human diseases) are now seen as disturbances in the microbial ecosystem and the old philosophy of “kill the bad microbes” is being revised, with overuse of disinfectants and antibiotics coming under renewed fire.

A new philosophy that is replacing the war on germs is the use of probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes that have a beneficial effect on humans and they are being used to prevent or control outbreaks of pathogenic microbes and also as a boost for healthy individuals.

In skin, topically applied probiotics have been shown to be effective in treating many skin disorders from eczema to third degree burns but it is only in the last year that an innovative skincare company from South Africa started to use this technology to target anti-aging results. Esse Skincare has launched a probiotic serum that contains 1 billion live probiotic microbes per ml and the product is making waves in an industry that is overdue for disruption.

The serum caused some consternation with regulators in the EU. Import standards are clear in that they will not allow the import of products that contain more than 10 microbes per ml to protect consumers from poorly preserved creams and lotions. Esse was actively advertising the presence of billions of microbes and it took almost a year to clear the product as safe and effective. Esse eventually engaged with the food regulators to get clearance.

Testing in Germany has shown that the new serum from Esse is safe and also has the ability to improve skin firmness by an average of 16% in 28 days, with 100% of the 20 test subjects showing an improvement.

The product is winning awards and making sales around the world and has established Esse as a leader in global probiotic skin care.