Bio-Hacking: Going Deeper into Cells or the Skin Microbiome – Innovation and IP Trends in Beauty and Skin Care – Part 3

A Four-Part Series by Jeff Lindsay, Senior Advisor, ipCapital

ipCG is pleased to welcome Jeff Lindsay as a Senior Advisor. Jeff’s career has focused on innovation, invention, and IP protection with experience in academia, large corporations in both the US and Asia, a rapidly growing startup, and a service provider. Jeff seeks to overcome the many potential gaps between inventors and their employers as well as the gaps between corporate knowledge and the emerging possibilities in their field. Every year since 2015, Jeff has been named as “one of the world’s leading IP strategists” in the IAM Strategy 300. Previous organizations where Jeff worked include Lume Deodorant, Asia Pulp and Paper, Innovationedge, Kimberly-Clark, and the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, now known as the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta). With a PhD in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University, Jeff is well-versed in both technology and IP.

This article is the second in a four-part series focused on innovation and IP within the personal care and beauty space.

Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals in the COVID Era, or “DIY in Need of Science” Read Part 1 here.

Innovation in Natural and Non-Toxic Products Read Part 2 here.

Innovation Opportunities: Unmet Needs in Personal Care, Health and Beauty – Read Part 4 here

Part 3. Bio-Hacking: Going Deeper into Cells or the Skin Microbiome

An important trend in the health and beauty space is the marketing of products that promote beauty at the level of individual cells, claiming to regulate cellular activity to give positive results in appearance or health. While the science may be lacking for some of these claims,1 interest in the market is high and lasting advantage may be found by those who find scientifically valid advances. One product example is Lubrizol’s Dawnenergy™ peptide, which is said to enter cells and activate the JARID1a protein in skin cells that “awakens” and “energizes” the cells to quickly reach a more attractive state in early morning hours.2 A host of other peptides are marketed with various claims regarding improving cellular functions.

The skin microbiome itself is one of the hottest topics for research and product development in the cosmetics space. Extensive research is seeking to better grasp the complex microbial communities that can healthy or harmful, depending on how they are managed.3 There is an increasing recognition that skin health and human health in general are related to the complex community of microbes that live on and in us.4 Some products seek to promote skin health and beauty by favoring healthy bacteria or creating environments that help restore natural flora and hinder unwanted microbes. For human body odor, acne control, and general skin and hair health, attention to the skin microbiome can be vital.

Related to the microbiome is the emerging issue of biofilms that can live on human skin or on surfaces we interact with, even in clothing, and even in the machines we use to wash our clothing. Understanding the unseen microbial world around us and your customers can help guide new product and innovation opportunities. Success in this field sometimes requires attention not so much to the fundamental science itself, but to the ecosystem of knowledge and innovation that is emerging. Pursuing innovation across your supply chain with an eye to ecosystems and healthy partnerships can be far more productive that just investing in the best equipment and top experts alone, especially when the threat or opportunity of disruptive innovation is at play.  Extensive innovation opportunities exist in these areas that may intersect multiple disciplines and product categories. ipCapital excels in helping clients bridge categories and find innovation in areas they had not considered. Give us a call and let’s talk about how we can help you create more value through innovation and IP strategy.

  1. See, for example, Jordan V. Wang et al., “Platelet-rich Plasma, Collagen Peptides, and Stem Cells for Cutaneous Rejuvenation,” Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology 13/1 (Jan. 2020): 44–49,
  2. See the video at “Dawnenergy™ Peptide,” (a division of Lubrizol),
  3. Allyson L. Byrd, Yasmine Belkaid adn Julia A. Segre, “The Human Skin Microbiome,” Nature Reviews  Microbiology 16 (2018): 143–155, and
  4. Samantha R. Ellis et al., “The Skin and Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Common Dermatologic Conditions,” Microorganisms, 7/11 (Nov. 2019): 550, doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7110550 and