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Meet Sarah Baker, Founder of Opalore

Meet Sarah Baker, Founder of Opalore

We're thrilled to speak with with Sarah Baker, the founder of Opalore, the new skincare brand that’s all about harnessing the power of microbiome science.

Opalore's journey started from Sarah's own health battles, and she’s turned that experience into a mission to create skincare that genuinely helps people feel better in their own skin. In our chat, Sarah opens up about what led her to start Opalore, the science behind the products, and why she believes everyone deserves to look and feel their best. Get ready to be inspired by the story behind the latest arrival at JB&C and learn about the innovative of Opalore!

Can you share a bit about your background and how it led you to founding Opalore?

Opalore is inspired by microbiome science and the medical insight gained when I was undergoing chemotherapy and Herceptin treatments. At my lowest point physically, the side effects of these toxic treatments left my skin shocked, highly reactive, and unable to cope with even the most basic skincare routine. It had such a profound impact on my self-confidence and overall wellbeing, I had never experienced anything like it before then.

My oncologist explained that the skin microbiome and the immune cells communicate through an intricate dialogue of chemical signals and are the foundations that support healthy skin. The nutritional advice was to eat a well-balanced diet that incorporated prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics for full fitness, but they couldn’t recommend anything for my skin because it just didn’t exist in beauty. This really was the impetus for Opalore and this idea of looking healthier, feeling better is at the centre of our world.

My philosophy is that by refusing to accept the limitations of the status quo, we can enable people of all ages to reach their full potential. Opalore’s The Brilliance Cream Concentrates do just this by supporting the biological changes that occur as we age, promoting healthy cell signals, delivering a state of balance, and crucially are scientifically proven to deliver on their promise.

How does our microbiome shift throughout our age and what can cause these changes

As we age our microbiome becomes more diverse which is part of the natural ageing process, but there are also certain beneficial species of bacteria that we lose, especially post-menopause. Hormonal changes cause pH level changes which subsequently makes our skin drier. This all has a knock-on effect with the balance of our microbiome, skins natural self-healing properties, and diversity is key for the health and vitality of our skin.

At aged 60+ we see a lower abundance of certain beneficial species, one of these being Lactobacillus which is known for its hydrating properties. During our clinical trials we studied the microbiome of women aged 60+ and who had gone through the menopause. Our study found there was a marked difference in Lactobacilli count (which was practically at zero) compared to the younger cohort. Understanding how pre and postbiotic ingredients benefit our skin barrier enabled us to develop the most significant microbiome breakthrough of a generation, The Brilliance Cream n.5.* A dermatological intervention for advanced ageing and post-menopausal skin, it dramatically boosts microbial diversity, repopulating this species and ultimately extending skin youth. *Patent pending.

What might cause an imbalanced microbiome and how does this contribute to skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or rosacea?

Whilst some of these conditions are inherent in our genes, poor diet, city life, UV exposure and pollution can also contribute to a less diverse microbiome and miscommunication with our immune cells. This creates space for opportunistic pathogens (harmful bacteria) which can lead to inflammatory conditions, acne, sensitivities, itchy, and dull skin.

Increased sensitivities can also be caused by lasers, peels and layering aggressive formulas which can further damage the microbiome and weaken the skin barrier leading to dehydration, redness and ultimately contribute to premature signs of ageing - the exact opposite of what we’re all hoping to achieve. It becomes a vicious cycle trying to keep on top of it all. When skin cannot function properly the ageing process is accelerated.

With 5 different barrier creams, what are the main differences they address?

Highly concentrated yet kind to skin, Opalore’s hybrid creams are designed to work for each life step. As we all age differently our products prioritise what is right for your skin and your goals offering a more results-focused and bespoke solution. Each cream is designed to be used consistently a.m. and p.m. to give the best results for the short and long-term benefits and replaces the need for a separate moisturiser, eye cream and serum.

The Brilliance Cream n.1: A refreshing light-weight gel cream, this is a must-have for anyone wanting the ultimate in skin health; regulating shine, visibly reducing the appearance of pores, rosy tones and congestion, healing past damage and delaying future signs of ageing.

The Brilliance Cream n.2: A light-weight sheer lotion that brings out the best in your skin, this super-hydrator addresses first signs of ageing, smoothing fine lines especially in the eye area and supporting skin in-between tweakments with its combination of peptides and postbiotics for a natural Botox-like retouch.

The Brilliance Cream n.3: A soft rich cream enriched with Micrococcus Lysate, known to support the brain-skin axis for people who lead stressful busy lives. Clinically proven to reverse ageing cells, Cream n.3 restructures the appearance of wrinkles while promoting the feeling of increased volume and intense long-lasting hydration.

The Brilliance Cream n.4 A velvety smooth cream formulated for maturer skin that may be compromised, parched, itchy or over processed. This intensely nourishing hybrid cream significantly improves hydration, texture and tone, restoring skins equilibrium and luminosity. The enhanced benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps recharge the cells, treating advanced wrinkles and sculpting facial contours. Especially suitable for adult acne or those experiencing the occasional break-out.

The Brilliance Cream n.5 Our most indulgent rich cream of the collection has led to a patent pending for our breakthrough discovery in microbiome recovery, supporting advanced ageing and post-menopausal skin. Comprehensive in its remit; lifts facial contours, firms fragile crepey skin, corrects hard to treat wrinkles and re-starts your own natural, healthy-looking glow. Especially good for dry, dull skin, it instantly delivers a luxurious, dewy look.

What are some of the key ingredients and their benefits?

Using Swiss knowhow and state-of-the-art biotechnology, Opalore’s exclusive blend of actives are designed to work on the foundations of skin health and rejuvenate cells damaged through ageing.

PREBIOTICS - Similar to gut health where diet influences our internal and external physical wellbeing, Opalore applies this same principal using prebiotics to improve the diversity of microbial species as we pass through each life phase. Specifically rich in plant sugars, microalgae, enzymes, vitamin K and B complex and minerals, prebiotics promote a diverse ecosystem which reinforces the skin barrier function.

POSTBIOTICS - Used by the pharmaceutical industry for decades to treat a host of conditions such as wound healing, acne, rosacea and other inflammatory conditions, postbiotics are considered the ultimate actives recommended by leading doctors and dermatologists. They are created using biotechnology, a branch of science that merges biology (bio) and technology (tech) to develop new and improved molecules. Ones that tweak the active ingredients found in nature to provide results that go beyond the abilities of traditional ingredients - without wreaking havoc on the skin even at high concentrations. Think upgrade on ceramides, peptides, amino acids and collagen.

SWISS MINERAL WATER - Rich in silicon and selenium minerals and an abundance of sodium, potassium and calcium, these exceptional properties support collagen and protect against inflammation to keep skin in peak condition.

POLYGLUTAMIC ACID – 4x Greater moisture retaining benefits than Hyaluronic Acid, our double infused PGA acts on two levels. Using a high molecular weight (>2000 KDa) to reduce trans-epidermal water loss and provide intense levels of hydration on the surface, and a low molecular weight PGA ≈(1KDa) which works on the deeper layers to significantly increase the Hyaluronic Acid content and boost skins natural moisturising factors for plumper smoother skin.

BIO-FERMENTED BLACK TEA KOMBUCHA - Rich in organic acids, B vitamins and enzymes, our slowly fermented kombucha provides lipo-filling actions to boost skins natural glow.

NIACINAMIDE - Acting as a nutritional source of energy, vitamin B3 is known to diminish inflammatory proteins in skin cells, reduce sensitivity and help prevent and reverse uneven skin tone.

Proven to reverse biological ageing, can you tell us about some of the results from your clinical studies?

Microbiome science is a relatively new concept in the history of skincare, and I believe is the future of beauty and wellness. An imbalanced microbiome has only recently in the last couple of years been identified by leading scientists as a contributing factor in ageing. We wanted to take it one step further; to develop microbiome formulas that could actively reverse the ageing process to extend skin youth, something that has never been achieved before now.

  • Interrupts the ageing process and repairs damaged cells by up to 4.5 years.
  • Reduces redness and rosy tones.
  • Minimises the appearance of pores.
  • Protects from pollution.
  • Reduces trans-epidermal water loss.
  • Intensely hydrates in the short and long-term.

Whilst we all have our own unique microbiome, interestingly there are 20 key species that are uniform to us all, regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, gender, age, skin type. Opalore worked with a team of award-winning scientists to capture advanced data of these species in real time, on real skin - testing in vivo, to understand the impact our formulas have on skin health and microbiome wellness. The results exceeded all expectations and shines a light on why sometimes our skin doesn’t always behave as it should.

Micrococcus luteus -31%: M. Luteus is a bacterium that is shown to reduce the thickness of the skin barrier which can lead to premature signs of aging when it is at high levels.

Staphylococcus hominis + 950%: S. hominis releases an anti-microbial factor that kills harmful bacteria like S. aureus which causes inflammation and infections. It is also noted to improve fine lines.

Corynebacterium tuberculostearium - 62%: C. tuberculostearicum is a bacterium that takes over all skin types: oily, balanced, dry, combination. When there is a high population of this bacterium it can lead to inflammation in the skin.

Roseomonas mucosa + 140%: R. mucosa is a beneficial bacterium that has previously been used to treat Atopic Dermatitis via it’s speculated regulation of S. aureus. Roseomonas mucosa works as a defence against other species within the skin microbiome that may otherwise trigger inflammation.

Shop Opalore and discover the power of microbiome science and the bespoke solutions as we pass through each life-step.