The microbiome: hot topic in the personal care and health industry

Perceptions and attitudes have changed. Traditionally, we aimed at eradicating all bacteria, fungi, and viruses that we perceived as threats to our health and wellbeing. At Symrise, we are passionately welcoming beneficial microorganisms into our lives.

The understanding has been growing that consumers can achieve a positive effect by adding and nurturing beneficial microorganisms on their bodies. The probiotic food industry has led the path and inspired this approach.

With the extremely complex science of the microbiome, researchers still have a lot to learn. Now, the time has come to challenge traditional unilateral views and join the new generation of microbiome research. At Symrise, we call this research SymProBiome™.

Microbiome: the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share the human body space.Lederberg and McCray, 2001
With the SymProBiome™ platform, we are taking another significant step forward to support manufacturers. It promotes enhanced understanding of the delicate ecosystems that define us as human beings. Modern consumers long for products that resonate with their bodies, by harmonizing with their natural microbiomes, and help them to look and feel better.
SymProBiome™ – Empowering the Invisible

Our mission

To gain an in-depth understanding of interactions between the human microbiome and body‘s cells.

To learn the language of the microbiome and communicate with the body in a holistic way.

To gain profound expertise in developing revolutionary product solutions that resonate with the human microbiome-cell ecosystem.

The invisible wonders defining health, beauty and wellbeing

The invisible wonders defining health, beauty and wellbeing

Like the earth, a human being travels through life with a huge number of passengers that form their human microbiome. The human body consists of 67.85 % water and approximately 3·1013 (30,000,000,000,000!) cells. Remarkably bacteria, fungi and viruses that share this habitat, outnumber them by large.

Whether resident or just passing through, these microscopic passengers are constantly competing and colluding with each other as they work to keep us healthy. A body with a healthy microbiome lives in harmonious symbiosis with the many resident microorganisms that adapt perfectly to their surroundings.

The human body provides these microorganisms with the different ecological niches and nutrients they need. In turn, the human microbiome strengthens the body’s immunity, digests complex food, and provides essential vitamins.

Naturally, disturbances in these delicate ecosystems can lead to a sudden imbalance. The body can suffer ailments ranging from body odor and tooth decay to diarrhea and more serious conditions.

The SymProBiome™ platform helps to identify which microorganisms reside in and on the human body and their contribution to the processes that maintain and affect the microbiome.

This crucial knowledge enables Symrise to develop ingredients that work in harmony with the human microbiome, and help its natural processes to function in perfect synergy.


of the body is composed of water


cells in the human body

Microorganisms can benefit us

Microorganisms can benefit us!

Now, how do we influence our microbiomes? Do our lifestyles, our habits and the use of personal care products matter?

We have built our research on the fundamental concept that the microorganisms in our microbiomes influence us and we simultaneously influence them. This understanding allows us to speak the language of the microbiome.

To best visualize this, we compare the human body to planet earth with its many different ecosystems. Every of these unique ecosystems requires specialized care to maintain its balance and harmony – or its health and wellbeing.

Join us on a journey through the human ecosystems – discover how we can care for them and help our bodies to work in harmony.

Microorganism ecosystems

Targeting the areas that matter

SymProBiome™ focuses on more advanced understanding of the most critical areas of the human body and of the protection of skincare products.


The skin acts as the body’s first layer of defense and offers home to around a million microorganisms per cm2. With SymProBiome™ we are developing effective and inclusive ways to address conditions from redness and itching to body odor and dandruff, focusing on the skin’s three main ecological skin environments:

Dry skin of e. g. hand, shin or forearm

An impacted skin microbiome can result in redness, dryness, lesions or acne … SymProBiome™ is exploring new ways to care for the skin while minimizing impact on the healthy microbiome.

Sweat & moist skin

Deodorant consumer products mostly focus on anti-perspirants strategy. This may impact the microbiome negatively. SymProBiome™ offers alternative solutions to achieve odor inhibition in a microbiome friendly manner.


Scientists associate an excess of the fungus Malassezia with dandruff. This common disorder of the scalp typically is associated with high amounts of dead skin flakes often correlated with itching. SymProBiome™ creates innovative dandruff solutions by better understanding the interaction of the skin (barrier integrity, sebum production) with the development and activity of the bacteria and fungi that live in this ecosystem.

Product protection

Symrise is a leading supplier of preservatives and multifunctional ingredients. Our product protection solutions are designed to keep products safe from spoilage on the shelf and in consumer hands. But at the same time, they should keep the natural skin flora intact and healthy. SymProBiome™ also addresses crucial applications in the product protection.

Sun protection

It is hugely important to leave the beneficial symbiosis between the skin and its microbiome intact. Also, the demand for safe, eco-friendly & effective UV filters without negative impact on human health is rising. SymProbiome™ evaluates the influence of UV filters on their capacity to affect the skin microbiome.

Oral cavity

The mouth harbors an extremely complex ecosystem including the soft palate and hard teeth. These are coated in saliva, itself richly diverse with up to 1,000,000,000 bacteria per ml. The SymProBiome™ oral model simulates this complex oral environment and enables Symrise to assess the efficacy of ingredients, whether minimizing detrimental biofilm or eliminating bad breath.

Gut health

Our gut microbiota, also known as intestinal flora, is made up of 30,000 to 50,000 billion microorganisms. This is 3 to 10 times more than the number of cells that form our body. In most cases, we live in perfect harmony with these friendly bacteria in an intimate relationship that is mutually beneficial to our organism and to these invisible companions (we speak of symbiosis). Indeed, bacteria that inhabit our intestine will, for example, help us digest certain foods that we are not able to digest, such as fibers, but will also protect us from certain external enemy bacteria, or even act as real trainer of our immune system. So many actions that are beneficial to us without us noticing it! SymProBiome™ is also applying revolutionary research into the discovery of future prebiotics and probiotics.

SymProBiome™ – Empowering the Invisible

Our solutions

At Symrise, we study the complex and delicate interactions of the human microbiome and develop solutions to work in harmony with the individual ecosystems of all parts of the human body.

We follow two different approaches:

  • Microbiome management: the ingredients support the modulation of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome-friendly: the ingredients help to maintain the healthy microbiome in its original status.

Dry skin

SymReboot® L19

SymReboot® L19, True Biotic restoring skin & scalp instinctive defenses, consists of mildly heat-treated Lactobacilli.

In our in vivo studies on skin and scalp, it has shown to help maintain a healthy microbiome. Thanks to True Biotic technology developed by Symrise, it maintains the bacterial structure of the microorganisms. The skin cells recognize the cell wall or metabolites of the processed microorganisms and activates the skin’s natural defense mechanisms. This soothes the skin and strengthens its barrier.

Learn more about our SymReboot® L19

Sweat &
moist skin

SymDeo® B125

This modern non-organohalogen deodorant technology & microbiome-friendly protection supports long lasting odor protection without significantly impacting the underarm microbiome.

16S microbiome analysis – part of our underarm sweat model – revealed both treated and untreated sweat to come with comparable compositions. At the same time, in vivo studies prove SymDeo® B125 (2-Methyl 5-cyclohexylpentanol) to perform excellently in reducing body odor.

Learn more about our SymDeo® B125

Frescolat® ML

This refreshing ingredient perfectly suits deodorant applications with microbiome management very selective against body odor.

Our ex vivo model on the underarm microbiome shows that Frescolat® ML helps to reduce anaerobic bacteria related to malodor and limits underarm odor for up to 48h.

Learn more about our Frescolat® ML


SymReboot® L19

SymReboot® L19, True Biotic restoring skin & scalp instinctive defenses, consists of mildly heat-treated Lactobacilli.

It offers a microbiotic solution for sensitive and dry scalp based on heat-treated probiotics behaving like probiotics. Due to the nearly intact bacterial structure, while no longer viable, it transports and delivers the totum of the bacterium components. Our in vivo study shows that SymReboot® L19 visibly improves dry scalp condition and reduces dry dandruff* after only 2 weeks of treatment with shampoo.

*SymReboot® L19: not listed as an active ingredient in U.S. FDA‘s OTC drug monograph

Learn more about our SymReboot® L19

Crinipan® PMC green

Crinipan® PMC green (INCI: propanediol caprylate) offers a new ester-based anti-dandruff technology.

Its smart action mode targets the dandruff-causing yeast Malassezia by an auto-regulation mechanism. Our in vivo studies include a 16S microbiome analysis, which shows the new molecule also supports a healthier scalp with a favorable shift in the bacterial equilibrium of Cutibacterium/Staphylococcus.

Learn more about our Crinipan® PMC green

Product protection

SymSave® H and the Hydrolite® range / Hydrolex™ E / SymSave® 5E

SymSave® H and 1,2-Alkanediols such as Hydrolite® 5 green, Hydrolite® 7 green, Hydrolite® 6 and Hydrolite® CG or in combination with Hydrolex™ E or SymSave® 5E represent ingredients that bring many benefits such as moisturization or antioxidant properties to formulations and create a perfect system to support product protection while maintaining the natural flora of the skin. 

Symrise is a leading supplier of preservatives and multifunctional ingredients. Using a patented smart combination of multifunctionals can help to protect a variety of formulations such as emulsions, wet wipes and rinse-off products.

We studied the impact of such formulations on the skin microbiome in vivo using the lower legs of healthy volunteers. The emulsion containing a combination with two ingredients (SymSave® H plus a Hydrolite® product or Hydrolex™ E or SymSave® 5E) was applied to the skin twice a day for 28 days. We then sequenced the 16s rRNA genome of the skin surface before and after use. The results clearly show that the application of the combination of two multifunctional ingredients leaves the pre-study microbiome composition intact.

Learn more about our multifunctionals Range

Oral cavity

SymGuard® CD

SymGuard® CD forms a modern eco-friendly hygiene ingredient for cosmetic applications.

Our experiments on the oral microbiome in ex-vivo human saliva reveal notable performance in oral hygiene. Results show that SymGuard® CD (phenylpropanol, o-cymen-5-ol, decylene glycol) can significantly reduce oral biofilm activity and thus support a reduction of dental plaque.

Learn more about our SymGuard® CD

SymReboot® OC / Optabiotics® 24

The oral care active ingredient SymReboot® OC / Optabiotics® 24 promotes a healthy oral microbiome and protects the oral cavity from harmful bacteria.

This ingredient consists of mildly heat-treated Lactobacilli with an intact bacterial structure. We have developed using our True Biotic technology. The oral cavity cells recognize the cell wall or metabolites of the Lactobacilli, which allows the oral cavity’s instinctive defenses to continue working. Our in vitro and ex vivo studies also show that SymReboot® OC strengthens the oral mucosa barrier and soothes the gums.

Learn more about our SymReboot® OC

Optafresh® D

Optafresh® D, the first microbiome-modulating oral care ingredient.

Symrise has developed it by using an ex vivo oral biofilm model that allowed to investigate the complex development of an oral microbiome. The patented activity of Optafresh® D selectively fights bacteria accountable for bad breath while working with a wide variety of oral care formulations, including toothpaste, mouthwash and on the go formats such as tablets. It also opens opportunities for „Clean labelling“ as formulators can combine it with flavor for existing and new formulations.

Gut health

Gut health

We funded a 5-year research program (Industrial Research Chair and a Collaborative Research & Development program) with Laval University (Quebec, Canada) exploring the prebiotic effect of polyphenols and the possibility to develop new synbiotic by combining polyphenols and probiotics. This program is combining different in vitro innovative models (e.g. gut microbiome in vitro systems, intestinal organoids, metabolomics) to use the cutting edge of health and nutritional science. We are also collaborating with other academic team on innovative preclinical and clinical approach to demonstrate the effect of our natural solution on gut microbiota and on different health benefits.

Check back soon for more informations about our Gut health approach