Summary of Cosmetics

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Chemical & Engineering News senior correspondent Marc S. Reich discusses the pros and cons of the next big development in skin care – putting probiotics on your face. He shares findings from the Human Microbiome Project and balances the views of the cosmetics skeptics against those of the companies who stand to make money from a new beauty trend. Reich offers great insight into how the health and beauty industry constantly evolves.

About the Author

Marc S. Reich is a senior correspondent for Chemical & Engineering News, covering corporate activity, plastics, fibers, capital spending, and paints and coatings.



Human skin is alive with bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses, which make up its “microbiome.” Some organisms are harmful, but many are beneficial. No one knows what a model microbiome for healthy skin looks like because it is highly individual and varies according to life stage and external factors. Much of what scientists know about the microbiome came from the National Institutes of Health’s five-year Human Microbiome Project, which started in 2008. It found that 10,000 different species of microbe reside in and on the body. As yet, researchers have not identified the action of...

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