The skin’s microbiome refers to the various bacterial colonies that live on the surface of the skin.
This ecosystem of microorganisms’ forms part of the acid mantle, the fine, slightly acidic film on the skins surface which is made up of sebum and sweat that works like a protective shield, often referred to as the skin barrier. A healthy, balanced skin microbiome contributes to this barrier function and protects against pathogens in much the same way as a healthy gut microbiome affects our overall health.
There are thousands of different microorganisms within the skin’s microbiome. This diversity of skin flora is linked to the health of our skin and forms part of the skin’s immune system. When the skin microbiome is disrupted, this can create an imbalance of bad bacteria and good bacteria, which can lead to inflammation, irritation, and dryness, all contributing to the skin’s ageing process and inflammatory skin conditions such as blemishes and breakouts.
Supporting the microbiome
In a skincare regime, there are steps that help support a healthy microbiome such as protecting the skin from UV damage by applying a daily SPF and not over-exfoliating to avoid damaging the skin’s barrier function and choosing products that work with not against the skin barrier.
For example, choosing the correct type of cleanser is a key factor in protecting the skin microbiome. Foaming, soap-based cleansers that contain harsh surfactants tend to strip away natural lipids disturbing skin flora and leaving the skin barrier compromised. Look for non-foaming cleansers that respect the skin’s naturally occurring barrier.
Looking for ingredients that respect and optimise the skin microbiota is also recommended. Enter Generation Glow.