DALLAS, TX (July 7, 2022) – Mary Kay Inc., one of the world’s leading skincare research companies, has announced a new partnership with Dr. Jack Gilbert, professor of pediatrics at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and professor of microbial oceanography at UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Through the partnership, scientists at Mary Kay will work in conjunction with Dr. Gilbert to study one of the most important—but least understood—areas of aging and skin health: the skin Microbiome.
“Understanding how our normal aging process influences microbiota of the skin may provide startling new discoveries that shape the future in designing cosmetic products. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Dr. Gilbert to better understand the impact of the microbiome in overall skin health.”Dr. Lucy Gildea, Chief Innovation Officer, Product and Science at Mary Kay Inc.
In 2022, Dr. Gilbert became co-director of the Microbiome and Metagenomics Center at UC San Diego, part of the National Institutes of Health’s $175 million Nutrition for Precision Health program. Combined with Dr. Gilbert’s expertise, scientists at Mary Kay hope to explore how different skin attributes are associated with microbial shifts in women. “There’s a knowledge gap here,” Dr. Gildea added. “We hope to bridge it.”
Previous research has concluded that human skin has its own complex ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms that serve as its healthy foundation. Much like what has been found in the gut, human skin—the body’s largest organ—needs these bacteria for optimal function. These bacterial communities also maintain a unique signature based on location, age, gender, and interaction with the environment. There is very limited knowledge of exactly what factors contribute to the highly variable bacterial communities on the skin and their impact on the aging process. The partnership with Dr. Gilbert is just the latest effort by Mary Kay to reinforce the brand’s long-standing commitment to advancing skin health research and development. Mary Kay holds more than 1,600 patents for products, technologies, and packaging designs in its global portfolio.