Marrying your gut health to your face hasn’t really been on anyone’s agenda when it comes to investing in skincare, but the microbiome movement is coming to get you in 2020. Essentially, your microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on the skin, and it controls a lot about it. From how well products are absorbed, to general health and appearance to protecting the skin and its barrier.
There's a new wave of products centered around how we can manage the balance of those organisms through innovative skincare. For instance, sebum is antimicrobial, so if you suffer from excess sebum, you will have a lack of positive microbes living on the skin, which is where these products might come in handy. To put this all into perspective, human skin has 1m microbes (bacteria) per square centimetre. It’s a community of billions of organisms on your visage and having them live in harmony is what we should all strive for.
The days of celebrities endorsing yoghurts that claim to offer a miracle cure have thankfully been debunked. They have been replaced by science led, prebiotic and probiotic formulas that will make your skin flora sing. So what's the difference? Prebiotics are the food that good bacteria grows and thrives on, whereas probiotics are the actual organisms themselves, which when ingested or applied topically to the skin, can help boost waning microbiome health by surging it with extra bacteria.
The nonchalants of modern day life including hot showers, dodgy diet, environmental stressors and excess UV/UVB radiation have disrupted the natural order of things and as a result, your skin takes the hit. Eczema, psoriasis and dandruff are just a few consequences of an unhealthy microbiome. These conditions can also make the skin weaker and when we try to counteract them with our power packed acids and magical creams, we end up depleting skin of its natural oils, which can lead to sensitivity and dryness.
Maintaining healthy amounts of good skin bacteria while keeping natural operations like sebum secretion at the right level is key to a happy microbiome. While it all seems quite complex at first glance, it’s plainly about nurturing the good little mites, not eliminating them altogether.
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