When I tell people about the powerful phage-based technology behind Wild Resilience™ Active Phage Serum and the overwhelmingly positive results that customers are reporting, some of the first questions I often get are, “Why hasn’t anyone done this sooner?! Were these phages just recently discovered?”
Surprisingly, the answers to these questions are ‘it’s complicated’ and ‘no.’ Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) phages were discovered over 50 years ago; and as early as the 1960s*, scientists and dermatologists became aware of phages’ potential for treating problem skin. However, knowing about something’s potential and having the tools and capabilities to effectively harness that potential are two very different things.
In particular, the development of DNA sequencing technology has enabled the detailed characterization of large numbers of C. acnes phages, broadening our understanding of these amazing microbes. Furthermore, the use of cutting-edge sequencing technologies combined with advanced computational analyses have uncovered the incredible richness and complexity of the skin microbiome and importantly, helped to identify specific bacterial strains associated with blemishes, breakouts, and inflammation. Together, these technologies highlight the important role that phages play in keeping harmful bacteria in check and maintaining the health of microbial communities.
However, there remained a number of significant hurdles to leveraging these exciting discoveries to develop truly effective phage-based skincare. Ellis Day Skin Science has overcome these challenges by 1) developing specialized phage cocktails that protect against bacterial resistance, 2) producing these phages at commercial scale, and 3) incorporating them into clean and gentle cosmetic formulations that are stable at room temperature. Our powerful yet natural Active Phage Serum targets and kills blemish-causing bacteria and restores the health of your skin microbiome. Importantly, unlike harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or broad-spectrum antibiotics, our proprietary phage blend, Cutiphage™️, doesn’t harm other members of the skin microbiome and therefore maintains the health and balance of this important microbial community.
Leading dermatologists are excited about Wild Resilience™ because they finally have a product that uses phage science to eliminate the bacteria that cause breakouts, blemishes and inflammation. It’s truly a game changer in the skincare world, and derms have been paying attention. In fact, when we shared our Active Phage Serum with several leading dermatologists, they were very excited to see our positive clinical data and complete lack of side effects. Many have begun using our product on their patients and have reported amazing results.
Listen to dermatologist Dr. Julie Harper talk about the science behind phage-based skincare and the results from our clinical trial
Beyond the 'skin microbiome balancing' benefits that come from daily use of Wild Resilience to maintain skin health, some dermatologists also envision the targeted use of this product to protect and treat the skin after procedures that can temporarily disrupt the skin barrier and/or cause an imbalance in the skin microbiome, including laser resurfacing or collagen injections. Because phages are a natural part of the skin microbiome, these tiny skincare super heroes can provide protection from harmful inflammation-causing bacteria when your skin is at its most vulnerable.
The future is bright for phage-based skincare, and Ellis Day Skin Science is beyond excited to be at the forefront of harnessing this exciting technology and bringing it directly to both leading dermatologists and you, our skin-savvy community.
- Barnard E, Shi B, Kang D, Craft N, Li H. The balance of metagenomic elements shapes the skin microbiome in acne and health. Sci Rep. 2016;6:39491.
- Brzin B. Studies on the Corynebacterium acnes. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand. 1964;60:599-608. doi:10.1111/apm.19220.127.116.119
- Farrar MD, Howson KM, Bojar RA, et al. Genome sequence and analysis of a Propionibacterium acnes bacteriophage. J Bacteriol. 2007;189(11):4161-4167.
- Jończyk-Matysiak E, Weber-Dąbrowska B, Żaczek M, et al. Prospects of Phage Application in the Treatment of Acne Caused by Propionibacterium acnes. Front Microbiol. 2017;8:164. Published 2017 Feb 8. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.00164
- Marinelli LJ, Fitz-Gibbon S, Hayes C, et al. Propionibacterium acnes bacteriophages display limited genetic diversity and broad killing activity against bacterial skin isolates. mBio. 2012;3(5):e00279-12.
- Quince C, Walker AW, Simpson JT, Loman NJ, Segata N. Shotgun metagenomics, from sampling to analysis. Nat Biotechnol. 2017;35(9):833-844.
- Scholz CFP, Kilian M. The natural history of cutaneous propionibacteria, and reclassification of selected species within the genus Propionibacterium to the proposed novel genera Acidipropionibacterium gen. nov., Cutibacterium gen. nov. and Pseudopropionibacterium gen. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2016;66(11):4422-4432.
- Zierdt CH. Properties of Corynebacterium acnes bacteriophage and description of an interference phenomenon. J Virol. 1974;14(5):1268-1273.
*Fun science fact: if you check out some of the references below for papers describing the first C. acnes phages studied, you’ll see that the name for Cutibacterium acnes (aka C. acnes) bacteria has actually changed a few times over the years. The reason for this is that scientists often rename and re-classify species of bacteria when we learn more about them through DNA sequencing and comparative analyses with other bacteria. That’s why some people still refer to C. acnes as P. acnes (for Propionibacterium acnes)...the name was only just changed in 2016 (See reference 7 above)!
About Ellis Day Skin Science
We believe that modern skincare must be grounded in true microbiome science. We believe the answers are in the wild, natural world, which includes the surface of your skin.
At Ellis Day Skin Science, we pioneer natural phage-based products that target and kill bad bacteria associated with inflammation, damage, and aging, and enable good bacteria to flourish. By doing so, we aim to reset your microbiome for optimal skin health.
We use cutting-edge science to leverage nature, creating products that are just as kind and conscientious as they are effective, so that all can feel empowered with balanced, clear, radiant, and resilient skin.