In the world of microbiomes (that is: microbial communities or colonies of fungi, bacteria, and mites) we’re not sure why the gut gets all the glory! Sure, gut microbiomes are key to overall health such as immune and metabolic. And yes, they play a part in the operation of daily life—so much so, in fact, the microbiome has been labeled a supporting organ. And probiotic supplement sales, consequently, are projected to increase to $65 billion by 2024, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
But did you know the skin microbiome plays an equally important role in human health and beautiful skin? Here’s the thing: The microbiota in your gut is different from the microbiota in your armpits is different from the microbiota in your skin. So while you may have purchased your probiotics already, know that your skin needs its own set of care tactics to keep its unique flora thriving and your complexion naturally healthy.
And keeping it healthy, you’ll want to do: The skin microbiome plays a vital role by helping produce vitamins, hormones, and chemicals that affect your mood and metabolism. An off-balance in the skin microbiome, on the other hand, can flare atopic dermatitis and, as we saw in this article about Demodex mites, cause rosacea. There are many factors that can throw the delicate balance off-kilter. With the harsh landscape of the skin and the many topical things we apply to it, it can be difficult to know what to do.
Here’s 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 can’t, well, protect itself as well from outside aggressors such as sun damage, pollutants, and more. In addition, you’re sold a myriad of other products that throw off the delicate, acidic balance on your skin (think: toners, peels, masks, etc). Don’t worry—just 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! It’s 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.
3. Add Skin Barrier Repair Products – For those with sensitive and reactive skin types, your complexion may need some extra TLC. Research by Peter M Elias has shown that “the permeability barrier, which holds in our body’s water, and the skin’s antimicrobial barrier, which guards against the invasion by ‘bad bugs’ are closely linked – perturb one, and you compromise the other. Vice-versa, when we fix the barrier in a disease like atopic dermatitis we also reconstitute the antimicrobial barrier.” In Layman’s terms? Fix the root of the problem, not the symptom. Here are some of our favorites to help with that:
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.
4. Keep an Acidic Skin Surface – Happy skin and microbiome live on an acidic surface – an image often opposite of what most people imagine to be a healthy plane. But it’s true! Your skin has a naturally acidic pH. Keep it that way by using sunscreen and skincare regimens that maintain the delicate homeostasis of the skin. Then, steer clear of unnecessary spa treatments that irritate and ultimately dry out the skin.
5. Skimping on sunscreen – Your skin microbiome helps protect you from outside stressors. So why wouldn’t you safeguard it by giving it the amazing shield of sunscreen? Apply SPF 30 or more every day. Bonus: This will also help combat oxidative stress which rapidly ages the skin.
We’ve told you once, we’ll tell you again: Good skin begins with a good barrier. That’s key to skin the perfect playground for the vitalized microbiome. Enjoy a healthy diet, ditch the harsh cleansers and adopt a routine that respects the skin barrier for healthy, vibrant skin that glows!
If you’re 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.
This article is copyright of Kathryn Mazierski. The first 200 words only may be shared as long as they are unaltered and proper credit is given and a link to this website www.dermavidualsny.com is included. The full article may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission from the copyright holder.