The conditions for isolation and cultivation of Propionibacterium acnes and related propionibacteria were studied in detail. Triton X-100 added to the diluent inhibited the growth of propionibacteria in concentrations of 0.05 to 0.1%. However, such was not the case with Tween 80; rather, growth of the bacteria was further enhanced by this agent. Consequently, Tween 80 was considered to be a suitable surfactant for addition to the diluent for isolation of propionibacteria. A new medium for isolating propionibacteria from human skin was developed. Comparative studies with colonies of P. acnes, Propionibacterium granulosum, and Staphylococcus epidermidis showed morphological differences among the colonies; thus, the medium was very useful for differentiating and identifying species of the microbes. The new medium was used for studies on the distribution of propionibacteria on the foreheads of 30 Japanese volunteers. Among 447 strains of P. acnes and 86 strains of P. granulosum isolated from the volunteers, all strains of the former were positive for indole, nitrate, milk, and gelatin hydrolysis, whereas all strains of the latter were negative for all of the tests.