There are four key microbes found in a healthy and balanced scalp microbiome:
The test criteria for Standard 19.10 – Scalp Microbiome
The hair care product goes through four test runs as part of the "Microbiome-friendly" certification:
This step ensures the greatest possible microbiological purity of the scalp product. The product is analyzed for contamination by mesophiles and aerobic microorganisms i.e. bacteria, yeasts or molds (TAMC and TYMC). The limit is ≤ 1 x 103 cfu/g.
The balance between S. epidermidis (the most common skin bacterium) and the harmful effects of the S. aureus bacterium should not be disturbed by the product. A co-culture with both bacteria is mixed with the product for a certain duration and then the ratio of the two microbes is compared with the untreated control group. Under the influence of the care product, the balance must not tip in favor of S. aureus.
We begin by culturing microbes typical to the scalp region. For Standard 19.10 - Scalp these include M. globosa, M. furfur, C. acnes and S. epidermidis.
The co-cultures are exposed to the product to be tested for a specific duration and the change in diversity is compared with the untreated control group—this is done analogue to the balance test.
The diversity found in the the scalp microbiome must be preserved with regard to the most important key microbes.
A Microbiome-friendly scalp product should both preserve microbe diversity and pose no detriment to microbial growth. The test uses a model to simulate skin contact. Each key microbe is placed in direct contact with the product; in a further approach, the microbe is covered with an agar layer and the care product to be tested is applied to this layer. This simulates the product's potential penetration into deeper layers of the skin. The microbial growth of the two approaches is compared to the untreated control group: there should be no signs that microbial growth is significantly inhibited.
"A hair care product that meets the MyMicrobiome Standard 19.10 receives the "Microbiome-friendly" quality seal and is thus demonstrably not in conflict with a balanced scalp."
Dr. Lisa Bäumer, Laboratory management
A selection of our customers
Numerous brands from the cosmetics industry with more than 300 tested products trust our seal: