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L’Oréal-SCELSE joint research initiative

Working with the L’Oréal team in the joint laboratory environment has been phenomenal. Combining the deep expertise of L’Oréal in skin and hair with the SCELSE expertise in microbial biofilms and communities has been highly productive and a real joy.

Dr Scott Rice

Joint Director, L’Oréal-SCELSE joint laboratory
Affiliated Scientist, SCELSE

The joint lab is an excellent example of public-private partnership in scientific research. Researchers from both sides work shoulder to shoulder towards a common goal of coming up with disruptive concepts that would fuel future innovations for our consumers.

Dr Tarun Chopra

Joint Director, L’Oréal-SCELSE joint laboratory
Director of Advanced Research, L’Oréal Singapore


The skin microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that colonise the human skin that plays a key role in maintaining skin health and function. Several clinical skin conditions such as Seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, folliculitis, psoriasis etc. are associated with dysbiosis of the skin microbiome, where the relative abundance of key microbial species deviates from that present in normal, healthy conditions. While it is clear that the healthy skin requires an appropriate balance of its microbiome members, the functional roles of the microbial members in the skin microbiome community and their interactions in maintaining this balance (or leading to dysbiosis in skin/scalp disorders) are not well understood. L’Oréal (Singapore) and SCELSE have set up a joint laboratory to investigate these functional interactions and identify the mechanisms that define skin/scalp health. The joint laboratory develops novel tools to study the skin microbiome, employs a breadth of “-omics” technologies and applies state-of-the-art methods to undertake a holistic dissection of microbiome functions and phenotype(s).


The joint research initiative aims to develop a functional understanding of the role of the microbiome in human skin/scalp, with an aim to develop the next generation of health and therapeutic products for skin and scalp care.

How we do it?

We study the microbial ecology of the human skin and scalp through clinical studies and in parallel develop in-vitro and ex-vivo laboratory scale microbial model systems for determining the role of individual microbial members. Using these complementary approaches and employing a range of approaches from microscopy to multi-omics, we are uncovering the functional interactions within the microbiome community and investigating how these interactions impact healthy and non-healthy conditions for the human host. These findings are then used to design the next generation of cosmetic and dermatological solutions.


From work carried out in the joint lab, two international patents via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PTC) have been filed and one patent is at the technology disclosure stage. These lead technologies are currently in clinical stages, being explored for development of products. 

People in L’Oréal-SCELSE joint laboratory