For a better, Microbiome-friendly world!

MyMicrobiome Standard 21.10 – Vaginal Microbiome

The vaginal tract is a finicky part of the body: the vaginal microbiome is extremely specialized and allows only a few bacterial species to live there. Even though the microbial diversity in this region is very low compared to other parts of the body, it is nevertheless a wholly unique ecosystem. Its job is to keep the pH value in proper range and to fight off pathogens. The most common bacterium belongs to the species Lactobacillus. Most women possess one of four distinct microbial communities, each of which dominated by a species of Lactobacillus (L. crispatus, L. iners, L. jensenii, or L. gasseri). By releasing lactic acid and chemical substances (H2O2 and bacteriocins), Lactobacillus prevents the colonization of harmful organisms such as yeasts or pathogenic bacteria.

vaginal microbiome

MyMicrobiome Standard 21.10 defines three key bacteria for the vaginal tract, the presence of which must not be impaired by a care product:

icon Lactobacillus crispatus

Lactobacillus crispatus

icon feuchtes areal

Lactobacillus gasseri

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Lactobacillus jensenii

The test criteria for Standard 21.10 vaginal microbiome

A product wishing to acquire the "Microbiome-friendly" quality seal must successfully pass four tests:
1. Quality test

This step ensures that the product is not contaminated by microbes. A screening examines the occurrence of mesophilic and aerobic microorganisms, i.e. bacteria, yeasts or molds (TAMC and TYMC). Since products for the intimate areas can come into contact with mucous membranes, the limit value is ≤ 1 x 10 2 cfu /g or ml a .

2. Balance test

Here, co-cultures are created with the two most common vaginal microbes, L. crispatus and the pathogenic bacteria G. vaginalis and are brought into contact with the vaginal product to be tested. After a certain period of time, the ratio of the two microbes is compared to an untreated control group. The product must not affect the natural balance of the microbiome dominated by lactobacilli.

3. Diversity test

For this test, we culture the microbes typically found in the vaginal tract, namely L. crispatus , L. gasseri and L. jensenii .

These cultures are exposed to the product to be tested for a certain period of time and the change in growth is compared with an untreated control group. Growth behavior must be maintained for a result that shows an ‘intact’ vaginal microbiome.

4. Vitality test

A Microbiome-friendly vaginal care product must preserve microbe diversity and it must not inhibit the growth of microbes. The Vitality test is carried out on a skin contact model, i.e. the key microbes are brought into direct contact with the product and, in a second step, the key microbes are covered with an agar layer. The agar layer simulates the protective top layer of skin, so it accommodates the product somewhat by providing an extra barrier for the product to diffuse. The growth of the microbes from the two batches is compared to the untreated control group. The product being tested must not significantly inhibit microbial growth.

Dr. Lisa Bäumer - Laboratory management


"The 21.10 Standard for the vaginal microbiome ensures that the microbial balance of the intimate region is not impaired. This avoids infectious diseases and other imbalances that can be triggered by using certain products."

Dr. Lisa Bäumer, Laboratory management

A selection of our customers / awards

Numerous brands in the cosmetics industry, with over 600 tested products, place their trust in our seal:

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