Close this search box.

Sign in/Register

New serum treats acne with live bacteria cultured from heathy skin


Acne Skincare
A new serum from New Zealand skincare brand Emma Lewisham is promising to help treat acne with a specific live strain of probiotic.

Microbiome science for skincare isn’t new.

Research over the years has shown that the billions of microorganisms on the surface of skin that make up the skin microbiome, directly influence its all-important moisture barrier and other conditions like acne. When the balance of bad bacteria overtakes the good, the skin barrier is compromised, causing dry, dull, sensitive and irritated skin.

Studies have found links between certain bacteria in the skin and the prevalence of acne, skin aging and rosacea.

So rather than stripping skin with harsh cleansers and acids, introducing and encouraging healthy bacteria to your skin via skincare has been a key approach in recent years, leading to a boom in probiotic skincare.  These probiotics were generally sourced from fermented foods or dirt.

Emma Lewisham’s Supernatural Blemish Serum, however, makes the most of the patented probiotic Micrococcus luteus Q24, discovered by Professor John Tagg, founder of New Zealand’s Blis Technologies, in 2004.

Emma Lewisham Supernatural Blemish Serum (1)

The live probiotic was swabbed and cultured from healthy human skin to research its health potential on people for 20 years. Over those years, the clinical research has shown Q24 has the ability to reduce pathogenic strains, including C. acnes, S. aureus & Pseudomonas, a key factor in the development of acne.

Impressed by the science, Lewisham has used the development in the gentle new Supernatural Blemish Serum, contained in a dual-chamber bottle. One side has the live probiotic formula and the other, a gentle and hydrating cream formula. They are intended to be pumped out equally and mixed in your hand before applying.

How it works

A science-driven approach to treating acne and rebalancing your skin, the aim is to nourish, rather than over-cleanse and strip, something that is common in routines targeting breakouts.

Once applied, it’s said live Micrococcus luteus cells colonise the skin, and as these grow, they dominate and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as C. acnes that thrive on excess sebum (oil) and, in turn, results in inflammation and blemishes. The World Health Organisation has officially defined a probiotic as a live microorganism that, when administered in adequate amounts, confers a health benefit on the host1.

While ‘probiotic’ may be a frequently used term in skincare, according to the Lewisham team, it requires that the microbe is alive, which is a very difficult and rare outcome to achieve in a table-room temperature product with a shelf life.

The Supernatural Blemish Serum, however, is uniquely tested at room temperature for a period of two years to validate that it is able to maintain the life of Q24. While the original  probiotic was found on healthy human skin, seeding technology means it can continue to be reproduced for the serum.

To apply, it is advised to use one pump from each side and mix together in the palm of your hand. The serum is intended to be applied to cleansed skin morning and evening.

Like all Emma Lewisham products, the serum comes in packaging that can be refilled and recycled through the brand’s Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle program.


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.