Skin microbiome - what is it, why is it so important and what can we do to protect it?
By Steph Davies
The skin microbiome (also called skin flora) refers to the collection of micro-organisms that reside on the skin's surface. These micro-organisms include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes. While it might seem counterintuitive, having a diverse and balanced skin microbiome is essential for overall health.
Why the skin microbiome is important?
Here are a few reasons:
1. Protection against pathogens
A healthy skin microbiome acts as a protective barrier against harmful pathogens. The beneficial bacteria on the skin outcompete potentially harmful micro-organisms, preventing them from colonizing and causing infections. They produce antimicrobial substances that can directly kill or inhibit the growth of pathogens, thus helping to maintain the skin's health
2. Immune system regulation
The skin microbiome plays a crucial role in training and regulating the immune system. It helps to educate the immune cells, ensuring that they respond appropriately to potential threats without overreacting. Imbalances in the skin microbiome can lead to immune dysfunction, which may contribute to various skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
3. Skin barrier function
The skin's outermost layer, called the stratum corneum, acts as a protective barrier against moisture loss and environmental toxins. The skin microbiome interacts with the skin cells and helps to maintain the integrity and functionality of this barrier. It aids in regulating the skin's pH level, lipid production, and moisture balance, all of which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. All byebyebad™ products are powered by Bioactive Totarol™ which protects the natural skin barrier.
4. Inflammation regulation
A well-balanced skin microbiome helps to regulate inflammation in the skin. It produces anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce excessive inflammation, which is associated with various skin disorders. When the microbiome is disrupted or imbalanced, it can lead to chronic inflammation, potentially contributing to conditions like dermatitis and rosacea.
5. Skin appearance and aesthetics
The skin microbiome also plays a role in the overall appearance and aesthetics of the skin. It influences factors such as skin texture, hydration, and sebum production. A disrupted or imbalanced microbiome can contribute to skin problems like dryness, oiliness, and blemishes.
How can I support and restore my skin microbiome?
Maintaining a healthy and diverse skin microbiome is crucial for overall skin health and general well-being. Practices such as maintaining good hygiene without excessive antimicrobial products, avoiding harsh chemicals, and promoting a balanced diet can help support a thriving skin microbiome. The way you care for your skin plays an important role in protecting and maintaining a healthy microbiome. Here are some ways in which skincare practices can help support and restore the skin microbiome:
1. Gentle cleansing
Choose mild and gentle cleansers that do not strip the skin of its natural oils excessively. Harsh cleansers can disrupt the balance of the skin microbiome. Opt for cleansers that are pH-balanced and free from harsh chemicals like sulfates and alcohol. All byebyebad™ products are alcohol-free and avoid harmful chemicals.
2. Avoid overwashing
Overwashing the skin can disrupt the natural balance of the microbiome. Unless necessary, it's generally recommended to wash the face no more than twice a day. This helps to preserve the beneficial micro-organisms and maintain a healthy environment on the skin.
3. Use probiotic and prebiotic skincare
Probiotic skincare products contain live bacteria or their extracts that can help replenish and support the beneficial micro-organisms on the skin. Prebiotic skincare has ingredients that act as a food source for the good bacteria. byebyebad™ products contain Bioactive Totarol™ which can help restore balance to the skin microbiome and promote a healthy environment.
4. Moisturise regularly
Proper moisturisation helps maintain the skin barrier function and hydration levels. Products that contain moisture giving ingredients like Aloe Vera and other natural oils can nourish the skin and support its natural protective barrier. The entire byebyebad™ range contains moisturising ingredients to help your skin be well hydrated and healthy.
5. Avoid unnecessary antimicrobial products
While it's important to maintain hygiene, excessive use of antimicrobial products like antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers can disrupt the skin microbiome. Reserve the use of these products for situations where they are truly necessary, such as when you're exposed to harmful pathogens. We specifically created the byebyebad™ hand range to include natural, nourishing antibacterial ingredients only without the need for harsh, irritating ingredients that strip your microbiome. Consider replacing hand sanitisers for our Natural Hand Protector, which nourishes the good bacteria to aid your skin’s natural ability to maintain a healthy microbiome. For more information on this, read our article - 5 reasons to use Hand Protector instead of hand sanitiser.
6. Be cautious with antibiotics
Antibiotics, whether taken orally or applied topically, can disrupt the balance of the skin microbiome. While they may be necessary in certain situations, it's essential to use them judiciously and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
7. UV protection
Protecting the skin from excessive UV exposure is crucial for overall skin health. UV radiation can cause damage to the skin and impact the microbiome, leaving your skin vulnerable. The byebyebad™ Blue Light Face Shield can help protect from UV rays that are caused by things like devices and pollution.
8. Balanced diet and lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can indirectly support the skin microbiome. Proper nutrition provides the necessary vitamins and minerals for overall skin health.
By adopting these skin care practices and incorporating byebyebad™ products that will suit your lifestyle, you can help protect and maintain a healthy microbiome, promoting optimal skin health and well-being.
Skin microbiome products
All byebyebad™ products were formulated with keeping an optimum skin microbiome in mind, browse our range now.