Crown Laboratories Is Giving Skincare a Makeover and Replacing Hype With Hope

Dallas-based scientist Thomas Hitchcock, the mastermind behind Crown Laboratories' newest product called BIOJUVE, leverages a common skin microbe to optimize skin health. One local woman, after experiencing the products benefits firsthand in a clinical trial, says she "needs this in her life."

Hitchcock's innovative work harnessing the power of the skin microbiome has established a new category of skin therapeutics—and solidified his reputation as a pioneer in the field.

Probiotic-rich, microbial-derived, clean ingredients, dermatologist recommended …

These are popular buzzwords used to market skincare found in stores ranging from neighborhood pharmacies to high-end specialty shops. The problem, says Crown Laboratories’ Dallas-based chief scientist Thomas Hitchcock, is that when used indiscriminately, they lose meaning.

Thomas M. Hitchcock, PhD, is the chief science officer of Crown Laboratories. The scientist, author, and inventor holds multiple patents in aesthetic medicine, dermatology, and microbiology.

“As a result, people have chemistry experiments that they’re putting on their face, when they think they’re being healthy,” said Hitchcock. He explains that the science of truly great skincare, like the science of treating disease, can’t be boiled down to one or two terms. It’s complicated. And he should know—Hitchcock created BIOJUVE, a product that Crown acquired and unveiled in January 2023.

Hitchcock, a PhD geneticist and dermatology innovator, has transformed his early work studying DNA damage and repair into a pursuit of understanding the skin biome. As a holobiontologist, he investigates the intricate relationships between organisms and their microbial communities, leading to pioneering inventions. In 2014, the scientist founded a skin microbiome technology company, aptly named after his groundbreaking Xycrobe technology, which established a new vertical of skin biome therapeutics. Crown Laboratories acquired the company in 2019, bringing Hitchcock’s expertise in-house.

Unlocking the mysteries of the skin microbiome

BIOJUVE is the result of years of studying and experimenting with C.acnes—a skin microbe that transcends race, gender, and age.

Courtesy: Crown Laboratories

“Every single person on the face of the earth has this—but not everyone has the same strain, and that’s where there’s a lot of miscommunication,” Hitchcock notes.

Between the science that makes it work and the overuse of terminology, he admits it’s been hard to get this product into the hands of people who need it. One Dallas woman found it accidentally by responding to a call for participants when Crown was running a clinical study.

Seeing red

“It wasn’t rosacea, but I had some redness here,” says Laura Goodwin, seventh-generation Texan and early adopter of BIOJUVE, while touching the area over the bridge of her nose and cheekbones. “And I was sick of seeing deep lines on my forehead. I don’t mind aging naturally, but I’m going to do it as well as I can.”

She says the regimen is simple: a cream cleanser used morning and night, a serum applied once a day, and a moisturizer. “It’s not magic in a bottle, but it’s pretty close,” Goodwin said.

During the blind study, she didn’t know the product’s name. But knowing some of the ingredients, she thought she might be able to find a similar product afterward.

“I was a madwoman researching every sort of probiotic/prebiotic skincare,” she said. However, she only found one expensive product that didn’t yield the same results she had seen during the study.

Courtesy: Crown Laboratories

When simple solutions complicate a problem

‘Not working as well’ is the best-case scenario, says Dr. Hitchcock. Too often, solutions that aren’t adequately studied end up doing more harm than good.

“Back in the 1960s, x-rays were used for treating acne and caused cancer,” he said.

The CSO compares this to the early 1900s decision to kill all wolves in Yellowstone National Park, aiming to protect livestock.However, this led to an explosion in the elk population, causing overgrazing and ecological destruction. (In the 1990s, a wolf restoration program reintroduced wolves into their natural habitat to restore balance to the ecosystem.)

Today, “companies are only required to test certain things for safety but not how it affects overall long-term health,” said Hitchcock.

That’s why he’s committed to maintaining the integrity of BIOJUVE and not advertising it with a marketing gimmick. That commitment to integrity is something he saw from Crown early, which made him comfortable selling his formula to the company.

“To make the C.acnes and scale it up, several million dollars need to be invested to create the right kind of manufacturing facility. Crown was willing to do that,” he said. “They saw the opportunity to show true innovation in the skin and dermatologist market.”

Hitchcock says caring for the skin’s biome is the best way to improve its look and feel, without creating another issue. Goodwin agrees.

“I’ve never used any skincare that actually does what it says it’s going do … I told Crown, ‘this needs to be a part of my life.


Courtesy: Crown Laboratories

DIY research

Currently, BIOJUVE is available only through physicians. Dr. Hitchcock and Crown Laboratories urge people to speak with their dermatologist if they’re interested. For more on the science behind the system, check out Crown’s YouTube series, Beauty & the Bacteria, and Hitchcock’s book, Rebooting the Biome.

Voices contributor Nicole Ward is a data journalist for the Dallas Regional Chamber.

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R E A D   N E X T

As a data journalist at the Dallas Regional Chamber, Ward writes about the innovation that is defining the Dallas region.