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What Is Your Skin’s Microbiome

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Communicates With Our Immune System

Your Skin Has a Microbiome – Learn the Basics

We once thought that our microbiome only existed on the surface of the skin and that the deeper dermal layers were sterile. We now know that’s not true. In 2013, scientists did a deep dive into the dermis looking for microbes, which were found all the way to the subcutaneous fat layer. While the researchers noted that more studies are needed, it appears that the most intimate communication between the microbiome and our immune system takes place at this layer.

Microbiome Skin Care Products To Try

A soap- and fragrance-free formula cleanses while soothing even the driest skin.Ducray Dexyane Ultra-Rich Cleansing Gel, $24, pharmacies across Canada and

This dreamy blend of probiotics and hyaluronic acid tends skin while you sleep.Antipodes Culture Probiotic Night Recovery Water Cream, $70,

Glycerin and lactic acid give lacklustre skin a gentle boost.Faace Tired Mask, $45,

Calm multiple symptoms of sensitive skin while reducing redness fast.REN Evercalm Redness Relief Serum, $68,

Treat blemish-causing bacteria and restore balance to skin.JB Skin Sävvi La Crème Harmoni, $95,

Heres an ultra-rich way to deeply comfort a dry, stressed-out complexion.Murad Intense Recovery Cream, $109,

Now that you know about microbiome skin care products, learn if youre layering skin care products the right way.

The Skin Microbiome In Disease

Interactions between members of the microbiota both shape the resident microbial community and prevent colonization by pathogenic bacteria in a process termed ‘colonization resistance’ . However, in certain contexts, bacteria that are ordinarily beneficial to their hosts can become pathogenic. Many common skin diseases are associated with changes in the microbiota, termed . This dysbiosis is often driven by common commensal species, as described below for acne, eczema and chronic wounds. Both rare and common skin disorders are thought to have underlying contributions both from individual species and from alterations to the microbial community. Additional longitudinal clinical studies may elucidate a mechanistic link between fungal species and dandruff or toenail infections and between viruses and warts.

Historically, vitamin B12 supplementation has been associated with acne in a subset of individuals,,,,. Recently, this has been linked to supplemental vitamin B12 repressing vitamin B12 biosynthesis in P. acnes, which subsequently increases the production of porphyrins that can induce skin inflammation and acne development. Interestingly, acne-associated P. acnes strains were found to produce substantially higher levels of porphyrins.

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Modulation By The Cutaneous Immune System

In addition to being a physical barrier, the skin is an immunological barrier. The skin immune response is vital in wounding and infection and also modulates the commensal microbiota that colonizes the skin. Keratinocytes continuously sample the microbiota colonizing the skin surface through pattern recognition receptors , such as Toll-like receptors , mannose receptors and the NOD-like receptors. These receptors recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns including flagellin and nucleic acids, as well as lipopolysaccharide from Gram-negative bacteria, mannan and zymosin from fungal cell walls, and peptidoglycan and lipoteichoic acid from Gram-positive bacteria. The activation of keratinocyte PRRs by PAMPs immediately initiates the innate immune response, resulting in the secretion of antimicrobial peptides , cytokines and chemokines. Beyond effecting an adaptive immune response, AMPs also directly kill bacteria, fungi and enveloped viruses. Therefore, there is a constant interplay among keratinocytes, immune cells and microorganisms that is modulated by AMPs, cytokines, chemokines and microbial peptides.

Whats Compromising The Skin Microbiome In Modern Life

Skin Microbiome

It’s the way we live today, and how it’s impacting our skin microbiome, that inspired Cutlan to start a microbiome skin-care brand in the first place. “Our modern lifestyles, including what we eat, being over-hygienic, the products we use, and our reduced exposure to nature, have decreased our microbial diversity making us more susceptible to dysbiosis associated with chronic inflammatory skin conditions, such as dryness, overproduction of sebum, breakouts, redness, and inflammatory condition.” Cutlan also notes that research has shown that as a whole, our bacterial diversity has dramatically declined from our ancestors.

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You’re Using The Wrong Products

So if you’re addicted to “clean,” you could be damaging your skin microbiome. Take soap, for example: By its very nature, it’s alkalinizing. That’s how it works to remove dirt and microbes. But recall that our skin microbiome prefers a pH of about 5. At this relatively acidic pH, the healthy microbiome thrives. It’s also understood that the opportunistic bacteriathe dysbiotic playersdo better at a higher, more alkaline pH. And soap has a pH of up to about 10. Thus, we may actually be damaging our microflora with soap or other alkaline topical products and setting the stage for increased risk for skin issues.

Also interesting: A recent study showed that kids who hand-wash dishes have a lower incidence of allergies compared to those in families that use a dishwasher. That sounds paradoxical given what I’ve just mentioned about soap, but the authors speculate this has to do with the benefits of skin exposure to the microbes on the dirty plates.

How To Achieve Healthy Skin Microbiome

To boost your skin microbiome, a gentle yet effective skincare routine can help. Equally as beneficial: removing products that are too harsh for your skin. Here are some tips for achieving skin health through healthy skin microbiome.

Opt for Natural, Gentle Products with Simple Ingredients

Be mindful of what you’re actually putting on your skin. Some people don’t realize it, but some skincare products are too intense for most skin types and could it be causing many of your skin issues.

Use cleansers and moisturizers with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter.

Avoid irritating ingredients like preservatives, certain essential oils, and harsh surfactants which can mess with the skin’s natural alkaline pH.

Embrace Probiotic Skincare

Incorporate prebiotics, probiotics, and post-biotics that support a healthy microbiome. With topical application, these ingredients will help balance the skin and help it recover faster. It will also prevent an overgrowth of harmful bacteria that may compromise your skin barrier.

Less is More

Too many steps in our skincare routine could be harming your skin’s microbiome. That’s because it exposes the skin to hundreds of chemicals that cause imbalances and sensitivities in the skin.

Bring in the Antioxidants

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Working Your Way To A Healthy Skin Microbiome

You’ve probably already heard a ton about the gut microbiome, but did you know that it influences the skin microbiome? It’s true! Eating healthy, fiber-rich foods ones that build good gut bacteria through fermentation can boost the skin’s ability to fight off bad bacteria and retain moisture.

If you aren’t sure that your skin’s microbiome is healthy, or if you have some skin issues that you think could be solved with a stronger safeguard against pathogens, consider changing up your diet.

To start, encourage microbial diversity by promoting healthy gut bacteria and eating healthy foods. Focus on foods that contain prebiotics as well as foods with probiotics to stimulate beneficial skin bacteria and address acne. You may also want to consider trying probiotic supplements, as research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition shows that they may help prevent and treat skin diseases.

You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating: Healthy skin starts on the inside! Following a nutritious diet can give your skin the tools and resources it needs to protect your body from harmful pathogens, keeping you healthy and feeling great.

How To Support Your Skin Microbiome

What is the skin microbiome ? Ask Doctor Anne

Since there are many different ways that the skin microbiome can become compromised , it’s essential to know how to repair the damage that has already been done.

There are many steps that you can take to support your skin microbiome. Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, N.D. says that eating healthy, staying hydrated, and exercising can support microbiome function.

There’s also value in choosing the right products for your skin. There is a huge difference between “clean” and “sterile.” Our obsession with being as clean as possible has generally resulted in removing all bacteria from our skin, including our skin microbiome’s beneficial and necessary ecosystem. “We may actually be damaging our microflora with soap or other alkaline topical products and setting the stage for increased risk for skin issues,” says Dr. Fitzgerald.

Given the important role of the skin barrier, it’s important to know the right strategies to maintain optimal skin barrier health. Prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics and good-for-skin ingredients like squalane and fatty acids are all great options for supporting skin barrier function.

Simplifying your skin care routine is another great way of maintaining skin barrier health, in addition to avoiding harsh scrubs and brushes or products that contain harmful chemicals and ingredients.

Mother Dirt’s Microbiome-Balancing Skincare Products

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What Is Your Skin Microbiome And How Can You Maintain It

A microbiome is a collection of microorganisms known as microbiota. The human microbiome refers to the 10 to 100 trillion microbial cells that reside in the body. The majority of those cells are located within the gut microbiome, which is best known for its impact on the digestive system, immune system, and central nervous system.

But how much do you know about your skin microbiome and the role it plays in maintaining healthy skin? In this article, we’ll review the myriad bacteria that live on the human body’s largest organ and share the best ways you can maintain a healthy skin microbiome.

How Can You Improve Your Microbiome

The first step to maintaining a balanced skin microbiome is to start feeding it well. A mix of prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic ingredients is the best approach, says Brodeur. Prebiotics include oat extract, glycerol , rhamnose and oligosaccharides, while lactobacillus, lactococcus, bifidobacterium and vitreoscilla are common probiotics. The list of postbiotic ingredients, those derived from the fermentation of living bacteria, includes hyaluronic acid, peptides and ceramides.

It is also very important to keep your skin well hydrated, especially in the drier months, by using a good moisturizer, says Ghiasi. Broken skin is often susceptible to penetration and overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. She recommends removing makeup nightly but avoiding harsh soaps that can overly strip the skins barrier. Do not leave excess oil and residue on the skin. This makes you more prone to the overgrowth of yeast.

It is essential to routinely wash makeup brushes and anything else that comes in contact with your skin, like a pillowcase, Ghiasi says. Brodeurs checklist includes using sunscreen to help maintain the delicate homeostasis of the skin and avoiding unnecessary treatments that can be irritating and drying.

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What Is The Function Of The Skin Microbiome

The skin microbiome keeps our skin healthy. It produces the nutrients and lipids needed to protect our skin from infections, it keeps our moisture barrier functioning at its optimum and reduces the chances of inflammation. When all is well, good and bad bacteria are in balance. When the harmful bacteria overtake the good bacteria, is when various skin problems arise. Sometimes it can lead to acne, eczema, or rosacea.

Why Your Skin Microbiome Is So Important To Your Health

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Skin Microbiome

Runner, dancer, baker, adopted dog mom, wisecracker

You know how important it is to take care of the skin all over your body, but when’s the last time you gave serious consideration to your skin’s microbiome? Doesn’t sound familiar to you? No worries not many people have heard the term!

Your skin microbiome is an ecosystem of bacteria on the skin’s surface. It works to guard you against pathogens that could affect your skin and overall health. When your microbiome is balanced, your skin looks and feels healthy. However, it can become unbalanced when there’s more harmful bacteria than helpful bacteria, leading to issues like dryness and itching.

Here’s everything you need to know to keep your skin’s defenses strong.

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What’s The Skin Microbiome

The skin microbiome can be thought of as an ecosystem – and a pretty complex one, at that. Also known as the skin microbiota, the skin microbiome is essentially the vast collection of all the microbes which live on or within your skin. We actually have millions of living microorganisms residing on our skin at any time, including bacteria, fungi, arthropods, and more.

Using this definition, the microbiome would include:

  • The microbiota: bacteria, fungi, algae, archaea, and protists
  • Microbial community elements: proteins, peptides, lipids, polysaccharides, and DNA
  • Internal and external structural elements: environmental conditions
  • Microbial metabolites: signaling molecules, toxins, and organic molecules

According to Medline, many factors can affect the skin microbiome, including pH levels, gender, genotype, cosmetic use, temperature, and more.

Why Is A Healthy Microbiome Important

When your microbiome is disrupted or off-balanced, skin diseases and conditions like eczema and psoriasis could flare up.

“When the microbiome is not in equilibrium, things like acne, atopic dermatitis, skin inflammation, and irritation can occur,” says board-certified dermatologist and celebrity skin expert Dr. Anna Guanche. “If there is predominantly good bacteria , then this is when our skin is best. Its all about balance and protecting the microbiome.”

So yes, in this case, bacteria is a good thing. “People often times think that bacteria is bad and always means infection, but the reality is that were born with a whole host of bacteria on our skin thats absolutely protective and necessary,” says Dr. Gohara. “If that gets disrupted, then we can see skin disease.”

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Heres How To Restore Your Skin For A Healthy Microbiome:

1. Avoid Harsh Cleansers Generic and even name-brand cleansers use surfactants that remove the key defensive components of your protective skin barrier. When the protective skin barrier is compromised, it cant, well, protect itself as well from outside aggressors such as sun damage, pollutants, and more. In addition, youre sold a myriad of other products that throw off the delicate, acidic balance on your skin . Dont worryjust ditch em and switch to a surfactant-free cleanser that respects the skin barrier. In time, things can go back to normal.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet While the gut and skin microbiome are different in nature, they are still interconnected. That is, a healthy gut can equal healthy skin! Its time to add more foods into your diet that contain prebiotics such as oats, onions, and legumes as well as probiotics like yogurt. A probiotic-rich diet has been proven to treat skin diseases such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and prevent acne.

DMS Base Cream High Classic: A fast penetrating cream, stabilizes and restores barrier defenses in the skin without leaving it sticky or oily.

Mineral Clay Gel: An aqua-based gel mask with a cooling effect for ultra hydration.

Day Cream Plus with SPF: A moisturizing cream packed with SPF 30 to keep your skin barrier protected all day long.

If youre a spa or clinic in New York State, find out how our microbiome-loving products can find their way to your shelves! Get in touch today.

An Introduction To Skin Microbiome From Dove

What you need to know about your skin’s microbiome and how to use probiotics in skincare

Microbiome, microbes, skin flora they might be unfamiliar terms, but theyâre as easy to understand as they are important. And despite being invisible to the naked eye, they certainly shouldnât be overlooked as they help support healthy looking and beautiful skin! So, weâre here to answer your biggest questions about your âskin microbiomeâ â the living protective layer on your skin.

So, what is skin microbiome?

Just like your gut, your skin is home to a community of billions of friendly living microorganisms, also known as skin flora. This community is called skin microbiome. Think of it as an invisible eco-system that lives on the skin thatâs working to help keep it healthy and in good condition.

What makes your microbiome so interesting?

To start, itâs unique to you – just like a fingerprint. Some parts are similar in everyone, but others are defined by factors that are personal to you. These include genetics and life style, like where you live, what you eat and even if you have pets. And your skin microbiome is different all over your body, too – from your face to your underarms to your legs.

How does the microbiome benefit your skin?

What happens when your microbiome is out of balance?

How can a body wash help care for your skin microbiome?

A healthy microbiome plays a positive role in helping to maintain a healthy skin and barrier.

Michael Hoptroff, Unilever Microbiology and Microbiomics Expert

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What Causes Imbalance In The Skin Microbiome

Rather than nourish skin, traditional skincare has worked against it and disrupted its natural biological state by stripping away the good bacteria. Your beneficial bacteria love a natural pH level of 5, but many soaps contain harsh ingredients with a pH of 10. These high levels of alkalinity can both damage the skin barrier and throw off the necessary environment that beneficial bacteria need to thrive. While this a popular reason that your microbiome can become unbalanced, there are other factors as well, including stress and diet.

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Eat Foods With Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. By doing this, prebiotics contribute to a healthy digestive system.

Heres a list of 10 foods rich in prebiotics:

  • Chicory root
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Traditional buttermilk
  • Some types of cheese

Health experts advise people to get at least one serving of these foods each day. If you dont like them, you can take probiotic supplements. They will help you maintain microflora in your gut and skin. Its recommended to take between 1-10 billion CFUs every day.

Stop Using Harsh Soaps

Microbiome Skin Health Organisms Acne Research

Dermatologists have started advising against overcleaning, says Anne Chapas, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Washing your skin too often or using harsh soaps strips away good bacteria, she says. Clean only when you really need tobefore bed to remove makeup, after a workout or an especially sweaty dayand avoid antibacterial soaps.

Preserving these colonies of organisms also means focusing on eliminating fragrances and other powerful synthetic materials, says Dr. Levin. Retinoid or topical antibiotics also disturb the fragile balance of skin organisms. “There’s a strong push not to give so many antibiotics or retinoids,” says Dr. Levin. “You don’t want to significantly change the diversity of your skin.”

And don’t forget other body parts, she warns. For instance, wearing natural clothing fibers can keep the skin flora in balance in other parts of your body, including the armpits and groin area. Or try Gallinée La Culture Body Milk which uses prebiotic and lactic acid along with probiotics to encourage microbiome diversity.

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