Personalisation and skin microbiome: S. Korea’s Cosmax to develop AI-powered platform

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmax is set to develop an AI-powered platform for personalised information about the skin microbiome. [Getty Images]
Cosmax is set to develop an AI-powered platform for personalised information about the skin microbiome. [Getty Images]

Related tags microbiome AI Korea Personalisation

South Korean ODM giant Cosmax is set to develop an AI-powered platform that will help both its customers and end-consumers get personalised information about the skin microbiome.

CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ has learnt that the commercial platform would map out its specialised technology by factors such as efficacy to aid developers in producing skin microbiome products.

To build up the system, the company has collected skin microbiome information from over 1,000 people to date and analysed the statistical significance between them.

Furthermore, the company is planning to develop a consumer-based personal skin microbiome platform as well to provide “high-quality value”​ to consumers.

Customised cosmetics developments are expected to further diversify and expand the K-beauty industry. In anticipation of this, lawmakers implemented the world's first legislation on custom cosmetics in March 2020.

At present, Cosmax said it has discovered over 20 types of probiotics for skin care and has applied 72 patents.

Most recently, the company announced that it had made a breakthrough by discovering the correlation between skin ageing and the skin microbiome.

The research began in 2015 when researchers found that the number of microorganisms that live on the skin tend to decrease with age and hypothesised that it was linked to skin ageing.

The newly discovered microorganism was dubbed Strain-COSMAX.

In collaboration with the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), the company conducted a genome analysis that could trace the role of entire genomes to uncover the microorganism's anti-aging functions.

The firm found that the Streptococcus​ species improved the skin structure and barrier function.

One of the main discoveries was that Streptococcus​-secreted spermidine created during the metabolic process directly impacts skin ageing and can improve skin moisture, elasticity, and anti-ageing by increasing collagen products and lipid secretion.

These findings were published in Nature Communications Biology in February.

The company managed to commercialise and develop anti-ageing cosmetic products with Strain-COSMAX in 2019.

Aside from cosmetics, the company said that in the future, it plans to expand its business by applying microbiome technology to dietary supplements.

Future plans in skin microbiome

Moving forward, Cosmax said it would continue to build its capabilities around the skin microbiome under three main pillars.

Firstly, it is working to build up its aforementioned global skin microbiome data bank.

The company will also continue its research to decode the mechanism between the microbiome and skin tissues. Lastly, it intends to dive into research on skin microbiome biomarkers.

By 2023, Cosmax intends to integrate these three divisions into one.

The company is placing emphasis on research and development into the skin microbiome as it is expecting it

“At this moment, skin microbiome is fashionable in APAC,” ​said Dong-Geol Lee, a researcher on COSMAX’s, microbiome genome research team.

Lee added that the increasing awareness and knowledge about the microbiome and its relation to the skin has yet to “boom”​ in the region. Instead, it has made a “soft landing”.

However, he believes the APAC region will eventually drive the growth of microbiome beauty. “A global jump in the skin microbiome market is expected within three years, led by the APAC region.”

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