The Korea Herald


Kolmar Korea finds anti-aging microorganism

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Feb. 22, 2024 - 18:08

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(Kolmar Korea) (Kolmar Korea)

Kolmar Korea, a cosmetics original design manufacturer, said Thursday it has found a microbiome that can slow down skin aging induced by sun exposure for the first time, which could be a breakthrough innovation in the anti-aging skincare industry.

Photoaging refers to the characteristic changes to the skin caused by cumulative sun damage over a lifetime of exposure. Recent research has found that the skin microbiome could serve as a potential tool to prevent and treat skin photoaging.

Kolmar Korea said its research team has recently discovered photoaging is caused by the decrease of a certain microorganism in the human skin. They also found that the microorganism has anti-photoaging properties and named it Kolmar Biome 20, or KOLBM20.

“The research showed that more KOLBM20 was found in the skin of younger people, and the microorganisms decrease with age,” Kolmar Korea’s report said.

In its studies, which involved KOLBM20 collected from the skin of Korean women in their twenties, the researchers confirmed that KOLBM20 has properties that can inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) expression, which initiates the cleavage of collagen fibrils.

“The data suggests that KOLBM20 strain lysate may prevent ultraviolet B-induced MMP-1 expression,” the research said. “KOLBM20 strain lysate holds promise as a potential therapeutic agent for preventing and treating skin photoaging.”

Kolmar Korea said the research team will continue studies so that the company can apply the microbiome to skin care products. “The company plans to first try KOLBM20 with sun care products first,” an official from the company said.

Lip balm and face power products are also expected to be tested with the use of KOLBM20.

“The human-derived microorganisms can be applied to a wider range of products compared to other synthetic ingredients. Products using them will also have fewer side effects than the products that use chemical ingredients,” the official expected.

The company’s research, titled “Suppression of UVB-Induced MMP-1 Expression in Human Skin Fibroblasts Using Lysate of Lactobacillus iners Derived from Korean Women's Skin in Their Twenties,” has been published in Current Issues in Molecular Biology.

Kolmar Korea last year developed a microbiome-based ingredient that can be used in high-functional hair loss management products. The company has currently submitted patent applications in three countries.

In December last year, Kolmar Korea also achieved a patent involving a biomarker, through which patients can test and identify what is causing their hair loss, whether that be a hormonal issue, anemia, or other causes. This biomarker too has been developed based on the human scalp microbiome, the company explained.

While making successes in a series of microbiome research, Kolmar Korea also has partnered with beauty retailer CJ Olive Young to collaborate on microbiome skin care products.

Kolmar Korea said the company will establish a new research center within Kolmar Korea’s R&D Complex to develop microbiome-based skin care products for CJ Olive Young's brand Bioheal Boh.

Kolmar Korea will utilize its research capability of both Kolmar Korea and HK inno.N, its pharmaceutical subsidiary, the company said.

Meanwhile, Kolmar Korea started to accelerate microbiome research in 2020, when the company established a research center dedicated to microbiome research and the development of microbiome-based skin care products, medications and health supplements.