The Re-Connecting Nature™ microbial extract found in our products, which we at Moi Forest like to call forest dust®, has its origins in the ADELE research project of Finnish universities. In the studies of the ADELE project, it has been found that frequent exposure to nature's biodiversity lowers the amount of cytokines that promote inflammation and thus reduces the risk of developing immune-mediated diseases. Microbial extract has previously been studied, among other things, with cell experiments (human immune cells) and voluntary adult test subjects at the universities of Tampere and Helsinki. The exceptional forest dust® ingredient used by us is still involved in university research and new results are still being obtained.
Since a diverse microbial exposure is necessary to exercise the immune system and maintain a connection with nature, the Re-Connecting Nature™ microbial extract mimics the diverse microbial communities found in Finland's unique natural habitats.
The University of Tampere is currently conducting a long-term study on babies in which the efficacy of microbial extract in the prevention of allergies is being studied. The research*, which has been going on for three years, will soon have results.
Uute Scientific Oy, which manufactures the microbe extract, also recently conducted a study on the microbe extract, in which its effects were studied on artificial skin.
The experiment was carried out with an artificial skin model, on which were three different bacteria belonging to the normal microbiome of the skin (S. epidermis, C. striatum and C. acnes). Although the skin normally has significantly more microbes, the purpose of this model was to describe the situation of normal skin. In another model, the opportunistic pathogenic S.aureus bacterium was also added to the artificial skin, which modelled the situation in, for example, atopic dermatitis.
In the experiment, the effect of the Re-Connecting Nature microbial extract on the microbiome of the skin model, proteins important for the protective layer (4 pcs.) and cytokines (9 pcs.) was investigated. Cytokines are e.g. proteins produced by immune system cells and epithelial cells such as skin keratinocytes that regulate immune responses.
According to the research, the extract could be a solution to a wide variety of skin problems.
"Especially in a situation simulating Atopic Dermatitis, the extract statistically significantly decreased the amount of seven cytokines that promote inflammation," commented Johanna Kalmari, who was the project leader.
Uute Scientific Oy explains the results like this:
In a situation simulating normal skin, the microbial extract in the cream decreased the amount of five pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-12p70, IL-13, TNFα, IFNγ) compared to the control cream.
In a situation simulating atopic dermatitis, the extract decreased the amount of seven pro-inflammatory cytokines (in addition to those mentioned above, IL-1β, IL-2). In several studies, the weakening of the skin's protective layer has been linked to high levels of IL-4, IL-13, TNFα, IFNγ cytokines. The decrease in the amounts of these cytokines supports the function of the skin's protective layer.
The function of the protective layer and the renewal of the skin starts to weaken with age, so-called low-grade inflammation. Even in young skin, the function of the skin's protective layer is disrupted if the microbial balance of the skin is upset for one reason or another and this increases the number of unfavourable cytokines. It has also been established that a high amount of TNFα cytokine prevents collagen production and a high amount of IFNγ cytokine prevents skin renewal and repair. Reducing the amounts of these cytokines therefore supports the skin's normal functions, such as the functioning of the protective layer, regeneration and collagen production.
Maintaining and supporting the microbial balance of the skin and body has been the main goal of Moi Forest's products from the beginning. Along with the microbial extract, we also choose our other ingredients with this thought in mind. For example, the preservatives used in our creams and their concentrations have been carefully considered. In addition, the pH of our products also helps to support the skin's normal microbial balance and the functioning of the protective layer.
*) Yle's article about the study.