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Personal Care & Cosmetics

The Beauty of Understanding the Science

There is a science to developing effective personal care and cosmetic products. From vitamin-enriched moisturizers and collagen lipsticks to tooth-whitening products and antiperspirants, metabolomics holds the key to validating that your products are safe and effective and that your claims are true.

As of 2019, the global beauty industry was worth $532 billion.1 Let our metabolomics solutions for personal care offerings and cosmetics help you develop better quality products and make your unique selling proposition more competitive.

Developing Tailored Personal Care and Cosmetic Products

With advancing technology playing a role in developing new products, revolutionary research approaches are essential to guarantee the safety and efficacy of personal care products and cosmetics. Beauty products applied to the body interact with our skin, hair, mouth, and eyes. Moreover, like the gut, the skin is an immunological barrier where conditions ranging from acne to psoriasis can result from either unchecked microbial infection or inappropriate immune system activation. While better and safer personal care products and cosmetics are always desired, little is known about how the skin, mouth, and eye microbiomes influence how individuals react to certain cosmetics and how certain products can lead to molecular changes in our hair, skin, teeth, and eyes. Metabolomic profiling will enable researchers in their goal of developing better and safer personal care products and cosmetics.

Providing a Comprehensive Survey of Human Biology

The Metabolon Global Discovery Panel can provide deep insight into an array of biological processes surrounding skin, hair, oral, and ocular health. It can provide a high-fidelity and reproducible analysis of a biological sample’s metabolomic profile.

At Metabolon, we believe metabolomics produces critical insights into what a healthy skin microbiome is doing and how balance can be restored to unhealthy skin. In the past, studying the skin metabolome required invasive techniques such as a punch biopsy. Metabolon’s technology can provide a comprehensive survey of the skin metabolome from a range of non-invasive skin sampling options, such as skin tapes combined with a proprietary sample preparation process.

Furthermore, with Metabolon’s unbiased metabolomic profiling, saliva can be leveraged as a clinical tool because of its potential to mirror oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease.

In addition to the Metabolon Global Discovery Panel, we can quantitatively measure hundreds of lipid analytes on our pre-existing skin lipid panels. Combined, lipidomics and metabolomics can capture biomarkers of wound repair, UV exposure, hydration, environmental exposures, oral health, and more.

Supporting Each Step of your Development Process

Metabolomics and lipidomics have the capability to answer fundamental questions to help deliver safe and effective beauty products. Metabolon’s global metabolomics technology can detect and identify 5,400+ metabolites from skin, saliva, hair, and tear samples. Metabolon’s technology has already helped researchers understand conditions as diverse as dandruff, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, periodontal disease, and aging.

To accelerate personal care and cosmetics research, the challenge now is to combine these new metabolomic and lipidomic data streams with host genetics and microbial metagenomics across diverse populations. This knowledge will transform our ability to correct a particular skin, hair, or oral conditions. It will also set a scientific standard to deliver more personalized personal care and cosmetic products.

At Metabolon, we realize the importance of metabolomics in understanding skin biology and have invested a tremendous effort in developing methods and tools for skin research. The tools we use for skin analysis will not only promote a better understanding of the basic principles governing skin biology but will also become a frontline approach for understanding the complex interaction between the host and microbiota that govern skin health.

See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights

Metabolomics Panels for Cosmetics Applications

Sebum Targeted Panel

Sebum is a complex mixture of lipids secreted by mature sebocytes onto the surface of skin. Sebum may have antimicrobial, photoprotection and vitamin delivery functions, and changes in the concentration and composition of sebum are related to acne and other skin disorders. Sebum is comprised of an unusual mix of lipid classes that is remarkably different in quantity and quality from lipids found in other organs. Major components are triglycerides, wax esters, squalene and free fatty acids. The fatty acid composition of the complex lipids and the free fatty acid fraction is unique to human skin. Large amounts of the unusual sapienic acid (16:1n10) as well as a variety of odd and branched chain fatty acids are present.
Sebum Targeted Panel
Stratum Corneum Targeted Panel

Stratum Corneum Targeted Panel

The stratum corneum possesses a diverse biochemical composition, including a variety of lipids which contribute to its important role in the barrier and water holding functions of the skin. When these functions are disrupted, it can lead to a variety of skin disorders such as psoriasis, dandruff and eczema. Utilizing metabolomics to measure the biochemical changes in the stratum corneum enables a deeper understanding of these and other skin conditions and offers improved monitoring of response to therapeutic interventions.

Tryptophan/Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel

The kynurenine pathway is a metabolic pathway leading to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) from the enzymatic conversion of tryptophan. Immune activation leads to the formation of kynurenine with corresponding loss of tryptophan. The kynurenine/tryptophan ratio has been used to reflect the activity of the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in cellular inflammatory response related to symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and other neurological diseases.

Tryptophan Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel

Metabolon in Action

The Link Between Circadian Rhythm and Metabolic Disease

The relationship between coordination of peripheral clocks and pathology remains mostly unknown, but the circadian atlas, metabolic connections that regulate changes over time that are mediated by organ systems, demonstrates how global metabolomics is beginning to fill this information gap. Insightful works into the circadian rhythm have been fueled by metabolomics, revealing numerous findings to support health and disease management.

Read the case study

Pollution Exposure and Skin Diseases

The metabolomic signatures identified by Metabolon revealed macromolecular alterations by pollution that could develop into clinical signs of early skin pigmentation and/or other imperfections.

Read the case study

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes Biomarkers

Diabetes increases the risk for periodontitis, and the severity of periodontitis has been shown to have a negative effect on glycemic control. The study provides a catalog of salivary metabolites that reflect diabetic changes and provide insight into the underlying link between periodontitis and diabetes. 

Read the case study

Interested in Further Studies?

Why Metabolon?

Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.

Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities



Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities



Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time



Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations



Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand

Partner with Metabolon to access:


A library of 5,400+ known metabolites, 2,000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways

  • That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor

Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results

  • 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
  • 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
  • Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry

Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.

Contact Us

Talk with an expert

Request a quote for our services, get more information on sample types and handling procedures, request a letter of support, or submit a question about how metabolomics can advance your research.

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617 Davis Drive, Suite 100
Morrisville, NC 27560

+1 (919) 572-1721


1. Forbes. 6 Trends Shaping the Future of the $532B Beauty Business. 2019.