The concern might be that the preservatives in the formulation designed to keep the product from spoiling might also damage the microbiome. Concerns might also be raised with cleansers that definitely disturb the microbiome with water rinsing enhanced by detergents. Nevertheless, the microbiome appears to be regulated by the immune system and, over time, will recover.
Another area of interest is adaptation of prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic gut concepts to the skin.
Prebiotics are substances that support the growth of bacteria, such as carbohydrates. Skincare products are adding sugars to the formulation, which can also be used to adjust viscosity, to support a prebiotic claim.
Probiotics are preparations containing bacteria that might have positive effects on the microbiome. Live bacteria in skincare products are problematic due to the need to include preservatives in most skincare formulations; however,
some probiotic labeled products contain bacterial lysates.
Finally, postbiotics are substances produced by bacteria, such as fermentation products, that have a positive effect on the microbiome. One example of such a fermentation product is lactic acid, already used in skincare formulations to
adjust pH and function as an exfoliant.
Whether skincare products have a lasting effect on the microbiome is dubious. It is also still under investigation as to whether they have an effect on the microbiome at all. Yet, the ability to improve skin health by modulating unseen organisms on the skin surface is intriguing.