In recent years, the popularity of the concept of "micro ecological skincare" has continued to rise in China, and major brands have entered to boost the rapid development of this niche market, which is forecast to reach 10.54 billion yuan by 2025.
On March 31, 2023, China Anti-aging Promotion Association issued Efficacy Assessment for Skin microecology/Microbiome-modulating Cosmetics (T/ZGKSL 002-2023), which is the first group standard of cosmetic microecology in China, filling the gap in the testing standards and evaluation system for skin and scalp microecology research.
The ecosystem consists of bacteria, fungi, viruses, mites, etc. living on the skin and their living microenvironment (skin, skin appendages, and external environment).
Cosmetics that can maintain or regulate the state of skin microbiota and ultimately promote skin health.
Human skin microecology assessment:
Research technologies: amplicon sequencing (including 16srRNA amplicon sequencing (bacterial group), ITS amplicon sequencing (fungi group)), and Metagenome sequencing technology.
Assessment index: Compare the diversity and species composition of microbial communities at sampling sites; Metagenome data can further explore gene and functional attributes. The assessment indexes for sequencing results data are shown in the table below.
Diversity of skin microbiota
Shannon's Diversity Index; Number of species
Skin resident microbiota (relative abundance)
Corynebacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, Propionibacterium granulosum, Staphylococcus Capitis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, multiple Malassezia
Skin condition pathogenic bacteria (relative abundance)
Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis
Before and after using the test sample:
a) There is a significant change in the diversity of skin microbiota (p<0.05);
b) There is a significant change in the relative abundance of skin resident microbiota (p<0.05);
c) There is a significant change in the relative abundance of skin condition pathogenic bacteria (p<0.05);
If any of the above results are met, along with the improvement of the skin condition, it can be claimed as a microecology-modulating cosmetic.
The efficacy evaluation related to skin condition improvement is detailed in the following table (part):
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