CERMSkin Nurture your skin microbiome Main image.Pexels.com/Murat Esibatir

Skin microbiome: Crack the code to your skin's best life

Hey beautiful people! Today, we’re spilling the tea on your skin microbiome – the incredible, unique-to-you microworld of trillions of microbes that includes fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Say whatNo, that's not bad news. These little critters are vital to your skin’s health and well-being, living in delicate balance and working together to help keep your skin healthy and radiant, unless something throws them out of balance. 

Key takeaways: you want to keep them all vibing well together so your skin stays happy. Time to dish the deets on who, how and what you can do to keep it healthy.

The skin 101 

You know that your skin’s not just a good-looking cover, right? It’s our body’s largest organ and it’s pretty remarkable – it saves our lives 24/7/365:

  • It’s our protector against the world, acting as our personal bodyguard to bounce microbes and harmful substances if they attack
  • It produces melanin pigment, which gives us our skin its color. And when it gets sun, it produces more melanin (what we see as a tan) to shield our skin-cell DNA against UV rays, so it isn’t damaged or destroyed
  • Sun exposure also makes our skin produce vitamin D, vital for many important body functions
  • It keeps us hydrated by holding water in, so our body can do its work properly
  • Sweat glands and blood vessels help keep our temperature stable, so we don’t overheat, and our skin conserves our body heat in cold weather (trust! That's a good thing!)
  • The nerve endings in our skin help us feel touch, pressure, and pain
  • It produces collagen and elastin, which give our skin strength and elasticity, keeping us flexible
  • It’s an emotion barometer, signalling our feelings through blushing, paling and sweating

Isn’t that incredible?

Skin microbiome 101

We all have a whole ecosystem - the skin microbiome – living on our skin. It’s a bustling community of trillions of microorganisms – you know, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, that’s unique to each of us, just like our fingerprints or DNA. 

When we hear the words bacteria and viruses, we instantly think that's bad news, right? Actually, no. Many of these are our allies, and we really need them to keep up healthy.

Think of the skin microbiome like the skin's personal army, on a mission to maintain a healthy balance, keep the peace and fend off the bad guys. And, just like with any community, it’s important that it stays in harmony and balanced. 

When it’s in sync, the microbiome is supports skin health, and contributes to a healthy, happy glow: 🌟✨

  • It plays a key role in skin defense, acting as a natural barrier against harmful invaders
  • It helps our skin’s immune system work better and calms inflammation
  • Our ‘friendly’ bacteria may help control the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria
  • It helps with the breakdown of sweat and sebum (oil)
  • It helps keep our skin's pH in the zone so it’s unfriendly to harmful bacteria, so they move on, and it helps the skin be stronger against infections

But, sometimes, things go wrong – that microbiome balance goes out of whack and those ‘bad’ bacteria take over.

What happens when your skin microbiome is off balance? 

Your skin might start acting up – experiencing issues like irritation, dehydration, as well as more serious issues like acne, itchy rashes, eczema and psoriasis. 

Your skin barrier might even get compromised, letting in unwanted infections. Yikes!

What throws off the balance?

Ever wondered why your skin's acting up, despite your skincare efforts? It's probably because some party poopers are messing with your skin squad. Check out the potential culprits:

Chemicals: Your everyday skincare products might be low-key sabotaging the balance with harmful chemicals that compromise your skin barrier, contributing to issues like rashes and eczema.

Environment: UV rays, pollution, and humidity can mess with your skin microbiome.

Sanitization: While hand sanitizers were a must during the pandemic, overuse can strip away your skin's moisture, leaving it vulnerable to irritation and inviting harmful bacteria.

Hormone hiccups: Stress and hormonal imbalances can throw off microbiome balance, leading to acne and other uninvited guests.

Diet: The gut-skin connection is real! What you eat influences your gut microflora, and that eventually affects your skin microbiome.

CERMSkin Nurture your microbiome by eating the rainbow Pexels.com/ Mikhail Nilov

Eating the rainbow

Pexels.com/ Mikhail Nilov

Skin microbiome TLC

So how do you keep everyone happy? Here's the 411:

  • Avoid antibacterial overkill: While cleanliness is crucial, don't OD on antibacterial stuff, like antibacterial soaps or sanitizers. They can disrupt the delicate balance of your skin microbiome. 
  • Treat your skin right: Keep it hydrated, maintain that balanced pH, and show some love to our microbiome while protecting the skin barrier. So, drink that water, fam! And use moisturizers free of harsh chemicals, like parabens and SLS.
  • Feed your gut (and your skin): Make sure you include probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts in fermented foods or supplements, prebiotics, e.g., fibers, act as food for the microbiome. And postbiotics are produced by probiotics. Basically, they all help keep the gut and skin crews fed, healthy and in sync. 
  • You can also go directly to source by feeding your skin with new-gen moisturizers that contain pro-, pre- and/or postbiotics.
  • Eat the rainbow: No, we’re not talking Skittles. You need to eat nutrient-rich, fiber-packed foods, especially vegetables in a rainbow of colours. They promote good gut bacteria, helping your skin fight off harmful bacteria and retain moisture.
  • Be sun smart: Limit UV exposure, so your skin's microbiome doesn't go off balance, which can lead to inflammation and skin damage. 
  • Move that body: Exercise isn't just for the gains; it regulates hormones and reduces stress, positively impacting gut health and contributing to a natural, radiant glow.

CERMSkin Nurture your microbiome. Couple jogging. Image: Pexels.com/Andres Ayrton

Exercise is your friend

Image: Pexels.com/Andres Ayrton

That’s a wrap, folx! 

Your skin microbiome is like the behind-the-scenes rockstar making sure your skin slays. So treat it right and give it the TLC it needs. That way, your skin is this gorgeous, vibrant superstar that's ready to tackle whatever life throws at it! 🦸🌈⛈️