What is your skin's microbiome and how to look after it
The primary role of the skin is a physical barrier to keep potentially harmful things out and keep the good stuff in there are millions of micro organisms that exist on the surface of the skin that live symbiotically with ourselves, and in some cases help keep our bodies healthy and safe. Think of it like a delicate ecosystem. Just as in the natural world, if one part of the ecosystem becomes unbalanced, the whole system is disrupted and doesn't work so well. It's just the same with skin. If something disrupts the ecosystem this can result in skin disorders like oily or dry skin, eczema, rosacea or acne. So basically we need to help keep our skin microbiome balanced and healthy in order to gain the fresh dewy and glowing skin, we also desire.
More and more research is coming to light about how the microbiome in our gut plays a crucial part in our mental and physical well being, these micro organisms that live on our skin makes up our skin's microbiome and its function is just as crucial as it is in our gut.
How to look after the skin's microbiome?
Gentle products and fewer products is my mantra for looking after your skin and your microbiome is no different. Soap and harsh cleansers that have strong surfactants should be avoided. These products will disrupt the pH of your skin, and often the good bacteria needs a similar pH to our skin, (about 4.5) and soap has a high pH of 10, so can cause issues. Choose oil or gentle cleanses that require a flannel to remove. Let your skin recover every now and then, if you use strong actives, take a break once or twice a week. Avoid ingredients with drying alcohols such as denatured alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol. Drying your skin is a surefire way to throw it out of balance. Confusingly, there are lots of ingredients that are named alcohol, but are moisturising. If you're unsure just give it a Google or send me an email and I'd be happy to help. Look out for prebiotics and probiotics in skincare for a real boost to your microbiome.
Now that was a lot of sciency information, but I hope you'll agree it's a really critical topic, and one, we should keep learning about.