Our skin’s microbiome, which is typically home to an estimated 1,000 species of bacteria and nearly 80 species of fungi, serves as a protector and preventer. It protects against invading pathogens and thus skin infections. It trains our immune system to tolerate neutral or beneficial organisms, while reducing inflammation and assisting in wound healing. The skin microbiome prevents the loss of beneficial microorganisms that balance the skin barrier, may protect us from UV rays and exposure to allergens while diminishing oxidative damage. All of which help our skin regenerate, keeping it moist and plump. The skin microbiome is pretty good at balancing itself. Our role is mostly to stop irritating the microbiome with antibacterial hand sanitizers and harsh, alkaline-high soaps that can damage good bacteria.
We are born with a unique microbiome. Babies delivered vaginally acquire bacteria colonized in the mother’s vagina. Babies born surgically through Caesarian section acquire microorganisms associated with mom’s skin. This birth microbiome restructures itself during puberty and then exists throughout adulthood. Aging does have an impact as the count of good bacteria naturally diminishes. It seems that the microbiome is a good predictor of one’s age.
Areas on the body that are oily, moist, or dry act as microenvironments. Imbalance in the microbiome often manifests itself in common skin diseases including acne, eczema, primary immunodeficiency, and chronic wound infections. Disease-causing microorganisms are being studied by researchers to determine the role they play.
As mentioned earlier, typically, microbiomes do a good job of balancing themselves. Follow these commonsense skin care tips to keep it that way.
- Avoid the overuse of antimicrobial hand sanitizers and high alkaline soaps that can damage good bacteria. Typically, skin likes a Ph level of 5.
- Use topical products containing gentle surfactants (coconut) and barrier ingredients (aloe vera).
- Stay hydrated. Drink clean, pure water.
- Eat healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Your gut and skin are linked. A bad diet can impact inflammation on skin.
- Especially after washing and using sanitizers on your skin.
- The bacteria on skin are aerobic, needing oxygen to survive. Exercise increases the blood flow to skin adding oxygen and vital nutrients.
- Check the ingredients on any product applied to the skin. Less is more when protecting the microbiome.
As usual, nature provides us with what we need to stay healthy. We are proud to offer a natural, organic skin care line that works with nature’s resources and wisdom.