Your Best Skin Complexion
WHAT IS A MICROBIOME AND WHY DO I NEED TO PROTECT IT?
The human body is home to trillions of organisms or microbes. So many that they even outnumber human cells and can account for up to 2 or 3 kilos of body weight. They are made up of bacteria, viruses and fungi or yeasts, and can vary according to the part of the body where they are located. When a whole community of these microorganisms get together it is called a microbiome.
Weirded out yet? Don’t be because it’s totally natural and normal, and a healthy microbiome will have plenty of good bacteria that can be very beneficial for your skin. They reinforce your skin’s natural barrier against bad bacteria, balance your skin’s pH levels and some claim, may even protect against skin cancer. In fact, the whole microbiome beauty movement is one of the biggest trends in skincare right now with ongoing research showing just how significant it is when it comes to the pursuit of the perfect complexion.
SKIN ISN’T MEANT TO BE SQUEAKY CLEAN, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE WE ARE OBSESSED WITH “ANTI-BACTERIAL” EVERYTHING THESE DAYS, ESPECIALLY IN THIS AGE OF COVID-19.
Keeping your hands sanitised with alcohol-based handwash to kill bacteria is one thing, but you need a different regime for your face. While an overproduction of oils and an abundance of bad bacteria can be associated with skin conditions like acne and sensitivity, it is really all about balance. Too much or too little of either can contribute to problem skin. Research shows that skin sensitivity is on the rise with up to 60% of people admitting to suffering from inflammation and uncomfortable complexions, and we may actually be adding to the problem.
The constant use of harsh facial cleansers and antibacterial soaps can strip your skin of healthy bacteria and damage your skin’s natural bacterial ecosystem. Lifestyle factors like heat, travel and pets, as well as environmental influences like smoke and pollution, can also play a major role in the health of your microbiome. Ironically, when a skin’s microbiome is out of balance, the good microflora can actually turn bad leading to issues like acne, eczema, rosacea flares and psoriasis.
So how do you restore your skins natural defences and build a healthy microbiome? That’s where probiotics come in.
HOW DO PROBIOTICS PROTECT YOUR MICROBIOME?
Probiotics are another name for good bacteria. They facilitate a number of health functions like the production of serotonin (which enables our feeling of wellness and happiness), they assist digestion and increase our resistance to illness and infection.
Nowadays, you are also probably aware of the benefits of probiotics in relation to gut health. Foods like yogurt, kimchi and kombucha are some popular sources of gut-friendly probiotics and science shows there is a strong link between a healthy gut and healthy skin.
When it comes to skincare, probiotics optimise the healing benefits of our skin’s good bacteria and act as a protective shield against bad bacteria. They also reduce inflammation, stimulate the skin’s immune system, prevent collagen damage and overall, help keep the skin’s microbiome in balance.
Prebiotics and postbiotics are also used to promote a healthy skin microbiome. Prebiotics are like the food or fertilizer use to promote the growth of the live bacteria and the diversity of the bacteria on your skin, the lack of which causes problems like acne, rosacea, fine lines and discolouration. Postbiotics are a product of good bacteria that help create a perfect environment for the good bacteria to flourish and further reinforce a healthy barrier for your skin.