Kirsti Tiihonen

Senior R&D Manager, Technical Lead for Skin Health

“I have always been interested in how different substances and environmental conditions affect plants, animals, humans and microbes. Currently we are studying how the probiotic products, either orally or applied to the skin, affect the skin’s moisture balance and structural properties. Skin well-being is easily noticeable as you can see and feel it. It is important to keep it in good condition as it’s also one of the most important barriers of the body to the outside world. Healthy skin is also beautiful. Our aim is to develop novel products to balance skin condition especially during challenging conditions such as ultraviolet radiation, dry climate, external chemicals or unbalanced gut microbiota.”

What do you like best about your job?

“I like to work with the people who are highly dedicated to their special expertise areas. Our research community provides constantly new ideas how to move forward in skin research especially for the opportunities for pro- and prebiotics.”

What interested you in working in the field of probiotics?

“My first touch on gut microbes and probiotics was when we started to look the potential replacement for feed antibiotics. Over the years we have become more oriented to probiotic applications to humans. It has been fascinating to study the mechanisms of action of probiotics in different research models. Currently we are verifying our in vitro skin cell results in human clinical trials.”

Why do you think it’s important to take probiotics?

“Probiotics are a natural way to improve health.”

What work-related accomplishment are you most proud of?

“I am proud that we started to test a variety of probiotics in our skin model already 10 years ago even though we were on the move too early for the market. However, this early start enabled us to demonstrate the potential of probiotics to improve skin barrier. Natural beauty is an ever-increasing trend in personal care.”

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