A story 15 years in the making
You’re probably more connected to the origins of Skin Trust Club than you might think. You likely use skincare products to look after your skin. All the skincare products you use must be extensively tested before being sold to consumers – cosmetics, soaps, moisturisers and shampoos. Skin Trust Club is powered by Labskin, our company that helps the world’s largest companies with ethical non-animal testing of these products.
We thought that if we can offer services that help corporations understand the skin microbiome (check out our microbiome 101 blog post) and how their products interact with skin, why couldn’t we offer these services to everyone? Why not give everyone a way of understanding their skin microbiome so that they can track their skin health, make informed decisions on how to treat and nourish their skin and make informed choices on the products they use on their skin. Especially now with the health and beauty industry making so many big claims about how their products benefit the skin microbiome.
Skin Trust Club is the democratisation of skin microbiome services that we’ve been offering to companies for the past 15 years, now being made available to everyone.
Science of the skin
We grow human skin from real human cells in our labs, replicating the human skin microbiome to test products, compounds, formulations, ingredients and therapeutics. Then we analyse the results. Did the cream irritate the skin? Did the ingredient penetrate the skin (and would therefore enter the blood flow if used on a real person)? Did the results show that the product was fixing a problem or causing problems for the skin? Or is often the case, did it fix the problem it was formulated to fix but was causing problems in other parts of the skin microbiome?
Genome sequencing data is used to answer these questions. Genome sequencing breaks the skin microbiome down to its smallest parts – down to a molecular level – and, using artificial intelligence, we see patterns and trends – both good and bad – as the skin microbiome reacts to what’s being tested.
Data informs decisions
Over the last 15 years Labskin has generated millions, if not hundreds of millions, of pieces of data on the skin microbiome: on every type of skin known to woman or man or child; healthy skin; skin with ailments and disease; skin that’s dry or oily; skin that’s wrinkled. How and why the skin is reacting to what’s being tested is also gleaned from this data. For example, what’s happening to collagen creation and why wrinkles are manifesting? If the skin is producing too much sebum to make it oily? What’s happening to inflame acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and the hundreds of other ailments that affect the skin of millions of people around the world?
As mentioned, information is used to inform skin microbiome friendly product formulations for leading shampoos, hand washes and sanitisers, female hygiene products, baby products, cosmetics and skincare products… to name but a few. It’s also used to add to the knowledge about skin ailments so that better products and better therapeutics can be created to relieve these conditions.
Delivered via the Skin Trust Club App
Skin Trust Club is a manifestation of the services we’ve been offering for 15 years. It’s based on deep science and now we’re offering access to this science via the Skin Trust Club app and simple, at-home skin microbiome testing.
Skin Trust Club is designed to help people know the skin they’re in. When you rub your face with the special cotton bud that’s part of the Skin Trust Club Microbiome Kit, you’re taking a sample of your skin microbiome. You’re also giving us additional information about your skin health. By answering the questions on the Skin Trust Club app you’re telling us about your skincare routine and the products and formulations you’re using on your skin. The app also gives us information on the pollution in your area and the UV count – both critical environmental factors that affect your skin. This baseline information is what allows us to help you track your skin health.
When we get this information back, we do the same thing that we do for our business customers. We’ll go straight to genome sequencing your skin microbiome sample. This turns it into data. This sequencing data along with the information from the app – your routine, the pollution and UV indices – is sent to a database where it is automatically analysed. The database contains all of our knowledge about the skin microbiome. We’ve been building it for 15 years and our scientists add to its knowledge every day. This knowledge has allowed us to train artificial intelligence to understand and make sense of the data it’s being given.
Knowledge is power
When your data is seen by the AI, it breaks it down to create a map of your skin microbiome. This map includes a breakdown of the amounts of the different types of bacteria and microflora that makes up your skin microbiome. It automatically categorises your skin type and creates a microbiome balance score for you that’s delivered in a report via the Skin Trust Club app. This report outlines the current state of your skin, the health of your skin microbiome and the balance of the microbiome that nourishes your skin.
Because we’ve tested thousands of skin products on our lab-grown skin, we know the ingredients and formulations that are good for each skin type. You’ll get recommendations about the types of products with suitable ingredients you can use as part of your skincare routine along with some examples that we’ve tested and that we can verify as microbiome friendly.
While we have many different pricing plans when you sign up for Skin Trust Club. We want you to do a minimum of two tests so that you can see the changes in your skin over several months. You might change your skincare routine, you might change your diet, start exercising more, spend more time outdoors as the weather changes. All these affect your skin, and with the second test, you’ll know if the change is for the better or worse.
Cloning is here
At the high end of Skin Trust Club is Skin Trust Club Plus. This is the ultimate in personalised skincare and skin health tracking. For members who choose this service, we will grow skin in our labs and clone their skin microbiome onto it. Together with the customer, we will test products on this skin clone in the lab and continuously evaluate how the customer’s transplanted skin microbiome is reacting. This allows us to create a skincare routine and product formulations that have been completely designed and customised to suit the member’s unique skin microbiome.
The health and beauty industry is big, really big and worth billions of Dollars. It also makes many big claims about the myriad of products and solutions it has for the skin microbiome. By joining the Skin Trust Club you will get the information and tools to manage and track your skin health and be able to make informed decisions about the products you decide to use.