Unilever and Eagle Genomics: Unlocking a new generation of microbiome-friendly products to support skin health

Unilever, global household brand and one of our long-standing partners, recently published new research findings unlocking the secret to help dry skin heal ‘from within’. These ground-breaking scientific discoveries, which are helping drive forward a new generation of personal care products, have been enabled by Eagle Genomics’ AI-augmented knowledge discovery platform, e[datascientist]™ – applying the latest in network science and causal inference to derive novel insights and hypotheses. 

Unilever scientists explored new ways of increasing natural ceramide production in the skin. Ceramides are oils naturally found in our skin, which help to maintain a strong skin barrier. By incorporating ceramide precursors into its skincare products, Unilever demonstrated improved skin quality and hydration. 

Using e[datascientist]™, R&D teams at Unilever assessed the effects of these new ceramide-boosting products on the skin microbiome. Use of the product demonstrated a positive impact on the skin microbiome by resulting in a significant increase of Staphylococcus epidermidis – a bacteria associated with good skin health. 

Dr. Barry Murphy, Senior Microbiome Research Manager at Unilever R&D, commented that “the ability of product application to improve the skin microbiome was a very exciting discovery. Over the past number of years, we have built a strategic partnership with Eagle Genomics. Using its AI-augmented platform to analyse complex biological data and study how our skin and its microbiome interact, has been central to this research.” 

Enabling the conversation between microbiome data and scientists is going to be increasingly important in the future of product development. Eagle Genomics’ knowledge discovery platform will play a pivotal role in accelerating the understanding of the microbiome and its impact in beauty and personal care.  

According to Michael Hoptroff, Senior Microbiome Research Manager at Unilever R&D, “this is an amazing time to be a microbiologist; advances in technology, bioinformatics, and increasingly, in AI, are unlocking new knowledge about the human microbiome every day. This research has the potential to transform the future of beauty and wellbeing and allow us to create a new generation of products underpinned by the best data and scientific knowledge in the world.”  

Eagle Genomics will continue to work with Unilever to advance knowledge of the skin microbiome and human biology, and to explore the potential to harness microbial science in product development using the e[datascientist]™ platform.