Start-up launches skincare regime kit focused on gut-skin axis

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By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Start-up launches skincare regime kit focused on gut-skin axis

Related tags gut-skin axis Beauty from within Probiotics Prebiotics Gut health Skin Inflammation microbiome

You’re Looking Well, a new skincare start-up, is linking skin and gut health by providing an all-in-one kit that combines topical and ingestible products.

Launched in November 2023 by research analysts Joe Bloomfield and Anthony Plom, the company saw a niche for a comprehensive skincare regime and focused research on the gut-skin axis.

Bloomfield and Plum employed a team of scientists to develop a range of products, focused on beauty-from-within and topical skincare. The result was a kit that comprises a Day Cream, Day Pill, Night Cream and Night Pill, designed to "work in harmony to create a glow that comes from the inside out."

As Sophie Medlin, chief scientific officer for the company explained in this new NutraIngredients podcast, the supplements have been created to optimize the gut microbiome and work in synergy with the creams.

The Day Pill contains Vitamin D3, Zinc and B vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12) and a probiotic blend of Lactobacillus paracasei​ (Lpc-37), Bifidobacterium lactis ​(BI-04) and Bifidobacterium lactis​ (HN019), formulated to counteract stress and lack of sleep while supporting the skin's microbiome. 

Its delayed-release capsule is designed to protect the probiotics from stomach acid, allowing them to reach the colon and have their intended effect.

The Night Pill is designed to support the skin's natural renewal processes, containing copper and selenium to counteract oxidative stress, and grape seed extract to protect against premature skin aging. It also includes magnesium and L-theanine to promote quality sleep.

Surprising formulation

There could be some surprises in the formulation decisions, Medlin explained, but scientific backing was the driver of the process.

“People might be surprised that we use prebiotics in the topicals rather than in the capsule,” she noted. “This is because you need a really big dose of prebiotic for it to make any difference at all to your gut health.”

Instead, it made sense to include it in the moisturizer as it can also support the skin microbiome, she explained. Similarly, vitamin C was used in the topical product rather than the supplement, as research suggested it would be more efficacious. 

“We could have put it in the capsules, and there is some evidence for that,” Medlin considered. “But there's much more evidence for topical vitamin C and antioxidant application.”

The aim of the game

Formulating capsules can be challenging as it forces "the need for conservatism" due to limited space, Medlin noted, as some brands might include minimal amounts of nutrients solely to meet health claim requirements.

She noted that not only is it a question of morals, but it makes good business sense to design a product that offers tangible benefits to consumers.

"There's no point in bringing a product to the market that doesn't do anything or work for people—it's going to end up being more of a gimmick than something that you gain loyal customers from, which is the aim of the game with any supplement," she said.

The gut-skin axis ​ 

As Medlin explained, the connection between the gut and skin is primarily related to inflammation caused by the gut microbiome, which can contribute to various skin conditions and premature aging.

While research and understanding of the gut-skin axis remains in the early stages, she believes there will be an increasing number of products entering the market catering to this area. 

"We've seen a huge rise in the gut health market in general and people's understanding of gut health and the importance of it, and I think that will only continue to expand as we move into other areas of research and understand more about how that impacts them,” she said.

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