The intersection of the beauty industry’s favorite brand categories for 2022 is here. Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, which combines the fanfare of celebrity beauty brands with “science-backed” skin care, launched today, June 8. 

Although Whitney Bowe, MD, doesn’t consider herself a celebrity, she’s not not famous. The board-certified dermatologist based in New York City has nearly half a million followers on social media and counts several true celebrities as patients. The science-backed part of Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty needs no explanation. However, I did learn while interviewing Dr. Bowe ahead of the launch of her eponymous line that she is also a published research scientist trained in clinical epidemiology. 

After years of treating thousands of patients, Dr. Bowe realized not enough people were addressing their complexion concerns internally in addition to externally — or in a “three-dimensional way,” as she calls it. She’s long preached the powers of probiotics for strengthening skin’s microbiome and moisture barrier. 

“The gut and the skin are connected,” Dr. Bowe tells Allure. “When your gut microbiome is out of balance, inflammatory molecules that are supposed to stay housed within your gut get into the bloodstream and trigger inflammation throughout your body and that manifests in the skin as dehydration, accelerated aging, and sensitive skin.” Poor gut health can also exacerbate acne, eczema, and rosacea, she adds. 

But as connected as they may be, microbiologist Kristin Neumann, who runs an independent lab in Erlangen, Germany, previously told Allure that gut and skin microbiomes are not similar and should not be treated in the same way because each work with different sets of good and bad bacteria strains. These bacteria also range from person to person. In fact, more similarities between the facial microbiomes of two complete strangers than the gut microbiome and facial microbiome of the same person, Neumann shared. 

Luckily, “in many ways, the skin microbiome offers more potential for universal solutions than the gut microbiome,” though, according to Tami Lieberman, an assistant professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, who researches the principles governing colonization and personalization in the human microbiome. “There are microbial species that live on nearly everybody’s skin, whereas that is not true in the gut. The microbial community is less complex on the face.”

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