Your skin is an incredibly important organ, serving as the interface between your body and the outside world. It prevents water loss, protects against invading pathogens, maintains structure and more. It also hosts a variety of different immune cells and microbes and acts as a complex immune organ that keeps a state of balance. Your skin’s structure and function is absolutely essential to your general health.
The microbiome is essentially a community of organisms that live on the skin barrier. It’s made up of various forms of bacteria, fungi, mites, and viruses that live in perfect balance to keep your skin healthy.
We’re discovering now that over washing, especially with antibacterial soap, as well as using antibiotic creams (often used in dermatology) or cosmetic products with alcohol and petrochemicals or even strong preservatives, may not bode well for your skin flora. A better mode of hygiene may be working with the skin flora rather than trying to strip it all away.
If the skin microbiome is not in balance, then the skin microbiome can include larger numbers of pathogens like staphylococcus aureus, cutibacterium acnes, or pseudomonas, which can reduce our resistance to viral infections. Those pathogens hiding in an imbalanced microbiome can also cause secondary infections after a virus causes the first infection, leading to longer recovery or more complications.
If the skin microbiome is in balance, then your skin can function at optimal levels. More specifically, the bacteria and fungi in the skin microbiome can use their energy to produce antimicrobial peptides that help maintain skin health by preventing pathogens from growing. These good microbes can also stimulate skin cells to produce antimicrobial peptides that destroy viruses. If the skin microbiome is out of balance, then these good microbes cannot protect us from pathogens very well.
If you’re noticing any dryness, sensitivity, or breakouts on the skin, there’s a chance your microbiome is out of whack. “A compromised barrier also leads to a loss in skin hydration and can lead to inflammation
A. Avoid using harsh soaps that strip away the good bacteria on your skin.
Not all bar and liquid soaps are created equal. Some soaps are made from whole, natural ingredients such saponified oils which become an effective cleansing agent without stripping away the sebum, your skin’s protective barrier. However, many commercial soaps are actual detergents, or borderline detergents that are made up of synthetic ingredients and contain little to no natural ingredients whatsoever.
Using a soap that is good for your skin helps maintain a healthy pH balance, cleanses without stripping away the skin’s protective barrier, and maintains healthy skin microbiomes.
B. Avoid using alcohol based products
Would you take a cotton ball, dip it in rubbing alcohol and clean your face with it? Definitely not! So take a good look at the ingredient list on your facial skin care products because many of these products contain alcohol or other strong chemicals We suggest using botanical ingredients and cold pressed oils that are good for your skin and won’t strip away vital nutrients and good bacteria.