Learn Today About The Skin's Microbiome And Why It Matters
Updated: May 12
When it comes to your skin, you may be surprised to learn that the well worn phrase “What you see is what you get” doesn’t actually hold true. Whether you’re talking pimples, occasional redness, or eczema, there is more to each of them than meets the eye. In fact, there exists atop the outermost layer of skin a microbiome (a ‘community’ of microorganisms, if you will) which impacts your overall skin health. Today we set out to define what this microbiome is, how to keep it healthy, and what products are best for it. Ready to get your science on? Let’s do this!
So, Uh, What Is The Skin Microbiome Anyway?
A good place to start is to cover what exactly the skin microbiome is. You may have heard (we certainly mention it often) that the skin is the human body’s largest organ. Well, on top of this large organ lies a tiny universe (the aforementioned community) made up of bacteria and other microorganisms. This microcosm of microbes helps to promote your skin’s health, as well as protect it from allowing in too many unwanted things.
The skin’s microbiome creates a functional barrier between what’s underneath your skin, and what’s outside of it. What’s more, the state of the skin’s microbiome determines the look and feel of your skin overall. Since the microbiome is made up of both good and bad bacteria, when the bad bacteria outgrows the good, the result is a disturbance. This, in turn, can create undesirable effects. Two unwanted results of an imbalance in the microbiome with which most people are familiar are rosacea and acne.
So yeah... we’d say it’s pretty important to maintain peace and harmony in this microscopic community.
Here’s How To Keep The Microbiome Healthy
We’re guessing the possibility of allowing unwanted things in piqued your interest, no? After all, the protection of our complexions’ is a constant concern! That said, there are ways to ensure you maintain a healthy microbiome (and the glowing complexion that comes with it).
We’ve hammered away on this point before (and we’re going to keep doing it)! The first (and easiest) thing you can do is ensure your skin is always hydrated, and you can do this by staying, well, hydrated. Drink enough water daily. That’s it! A simple trick (if you find yourself forgetful) is to set an alarm every hour and track if you drank 8 oz. or not. Aside from drinking more water, you can treat your skin to hydration treatments via products that have humectant properties. These enrich and hydrate the skin, allowing the skin’s microbiome to stay moist.
Use Gentle Products
The next thing is to make sure you use gentle products that won’t harm the delicate balance of good versus bad bacteria. The best bet for this is to use all-natural, organic products that have plant-based ingredients. Products to avoid are ones that include parabens, sulfates, and other foreign cleansing agents which will throw off your skin’s microbiome. Luckily, we have all sorts of microbiome-friendly products on hand for you to use.
Here’s one of our favorite routines:
> Use our gentle 02 Cleansing Balm -- Overnight Mask to sweep off any dirt and grime from the face without damaging the microbiome.
> Follow with our 01 Luminous Face Oil to boost hydration levels.
>End with the 07 Reviving Eye Serum to keep the area around your eyes youthful and radiant.
Three steps and you will have enviable skin.
Keep Scrubbing To A Minimum
In addition to selecting the right products, you should also be aware not to scrub your skin too hard. While finding out your skin has a little bacteria world of its own might be kind of gross to hear at first, it’s really important you don’t start to scrub away at it. Contrary to what you thought in middle school, scrubbing doesn’t solve skin woes (or, in this case, remove bad bacteria) It instead creates a disturbance in the microbiome promoting the growth of bad bacteria. So, ya know… stop scrubbing so hard. Really. Please refrain.
Eat For Your Health
The last pointer we have for you in keeping the microbiome healthy is eating correctly. We hear all the time that healthy eating is important, but many people don’t realize the effect of diet on the skin. Because your gut aligns with all other parts of your body, it’s important to eat for your skin as well. Make sure to get nourishing, probiotic-supporting foods like garlic, oats, and asparagus into your diet. These can help to build up your skin’s microbiome. After all, they are what is known as prebiotics (ingredients that when broken down in your gut, act like little snacks for the skin’s good bacteria). It’ll help things not only stay in balance but keep the bad bacteria from overgrowing.
There you have it! The skin microbiome in all its glory. As you can see, just like the trend of keeping your gut healthy, you should make sure that you always keep your skin’s barrier healthy too. Try to follow our pointers and see if you wind up with a radiant complexion after a few weeks! We hope you do (and we would love to hear all about your experiences too).