‘Quick innovation’: Finnish firm with microbiome-restoring active targets South Korea as APAC springboard

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Re-Connecting Nature is an ingredient inspired by the relationship Finns have with the forest. [Getty Images]
Re-Connecting Nature is an ingredient inspired by the relationship Finns have with the forest. [Getty Images]

Related tags: microbiome, Skin care, Skin health, skin immunity, COVID-19, Cosmetics

A Helsinki-based firm that has developed a microbiome-restoring extract is eyeing opportunities in the South Korean beauty market, which it believes will serve as a springboard to the wider Asia Pacific region.

Uute Scientific is a Finnish company that has launched an extract that claims restore the microbiome. The ingredient, Re-Connecting Nature, is a microbial extract derived from humus – decomposed organic matter.

The company was at in-cosmetics Asia this year to showcase its ingredient and learn more about the APAC cosmetics market.

Co-founder Rita Nordin told CosmeticDesign-Asia ​that the APAC region was an important market for the firm, highlighting that its novel ingredient was China-compliant.

The chief marketing officer said the company was excited to share its movement with the world and has identified South Korea as a springboard into the region.

“We know that you should start the business from South Korea. We are talking to people from other countries like India and the Philippines, but the focus is South Korea. I think it’s a good idea to start from there because they are really quick in innovation,” ​said Nordin.

The company can tap into accelerated interest in skin health and immunity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It hopes to establish a new category of cosmetics it has dubbed 'immunocosmetics'.

Bringing the Finnish forests to you

Re-Connecting Nature is an ingredient inspired by the relationship Finns have with the forest and the biodiversity hypothesis.

The biodiversity hypothesis posits that contact with natural environments enriches the human microbiome, promotes a balanced immunity, and protects from allergy and inflammatory disorders.

In a nutshell, Uute Scientific believes biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth and the loss of it will have a negative impact on overall health.

“In Finland, it’s quite typical that we love to be in the forest – we love to hike, and pick berries and mushrooms. For decades, the cosmetics industry for decades has been teaching us to avoid all bacteria and now we are adding bacteria to people’s skin,” ​said Nordin.

The company hopes that Re-Connecting Nature can help contemporary urban dwellers enhance the skin’s natural microbial diversity by bringing the richness of the Finnish forest to the world.

“Everybody is talking about the microbiome, but we see the microbiome in a different way. Our researchers have found that the immune system needs constant training, constant support and constant stimulation,” ​said Nordin.

By restoring and rebalancing the microbiome, the firm claims the ingredient can help to enhance barrier function, promote faster regeneration and repair, reduce redness and irritation, and increase collagen levels.

The ingredient is a powder that can be applied in various beauty and personal care products, including skin oils and even solid shampoo bars.

Its versatility extends to its function as well. Nordin told us that the firm is currently conducting in-vivo studies to evaluate its effect on atopic skin and also envisions a future in the health supplements space.

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