It might not sound flashy or "aesthetic," but taking care of the bacteria that live on your skin should be a major focus of your skincare routine.
For years, scientists have been begging us to pay more attention to our skin's microbiome and care for its health. But it still hasn't become a big enough conversation in the skincare world, perhaps because the topic of the tiny critters living on our skin can make some feel a little squeamish.
So we'll let you be one of the first in on this secret: if you can't get rid of acne, dry skin, inflammation, or other skin problems, your skin's microbiome might be unbalanced. By diving into this topic and getting the right products for it, you can do incredible things for your skin's health and appearance.
That's because the complex ecosystem made up of millions of microorganisms plays an essential role in your skin's (and body's) health. Those microorganisms work constantly in tandem with you to protect you from diseases and keep your complexion looking smooth and cared for. However, when that delicate ecosystem gets thrown off, it can lead to problems.
If you are dealing with issues like acne, dry skin, inflammation, or more, then there may be an imbalance in your skin's microbiome.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to restore equilibrium and get your skin health back to where you want it.
Skin Microbiome Definition & Quick Facts
When we discuss the skin's microbiome, we're referring to the millions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that live on the skin's surface. As is true for other parts of the body (think: our gastrointestinal systems), these tiny organisms play a vital role in protecting our skin and maintaining homeostasis.
Why is the skin's microbiome important?
The primary role of our skin's microbiome is to defend against foreign invaders, like pathogens, and to help keep the skin healthy and balanced.
As the largest organ of the body, our skin is important for a lot more than just looks: it serves as a barrier between the outside world and the human body's vulnerable insides.
But even skin needs some level of protection, which is where bacteria and other microorganisms come into the mix. A healthy skin microbiome can fend off potential threats from the outside while also creating byproducts, like enzymes, that our skin needs to thrive. You can think of it as an additional layer of your skin's barrier, almost painting a clear finish on top of a painting to seal in its contents.
Without this microbiome, our skin would likely be far more susceptible to infection and injury. Likewise, the moisture and suppleness that we expect from our skin would probably be lacking.
How Microbiome Skin Care Works
Because the microorganisms living on the skin are such a critical part of its natural ecosystem, microbiome skin care works to support their health and supplement bacteria that may be lost.
There are lots of ways to support a healthy microbiome as you take care of your skin, but using products that are specifically meant to help you achieve this goal will likely yield the best results.
Types of Bacteria Affecting Skin Microbiome
As you venture into the world of microbiome skin care, you're likely to see mentions of different types of microorganisms. But which ones are best for your skin?
Prebiotics: These are supplements or topical products that serve as great food for bacteria. Prebiotics are not bacteria themselves, but instead the fuel that "good" bacteria need to function.
Probiotics: These are likely what you think of when you hear about bacteria in or on the body. Probiotics are live bacteria that can be found in certain foods or taken as a supplement, or administered directly to the skin.
Postbiotics: These are the waste products, such as vitamins, that get left behind as your body processes prebiotics and probiotics.
In terms of supplementing bacteria, fungi, and viruses on the skin, probiotics are your best friend. Of course, to promote the health of probiotics, you'll need to provide your skin with plenty of prebiotics, too. We'll discuss how to achieve each of these goals in more depth later on.
Benefits of a Healthy Skin Microbiome
Ensuring that your skin's microbiome is not just present but also thriving is an effort well-worth pursuing, especially if you experience frequent acne breakouts. Below are some of the main benefits of maintaining a healthy microbiome:
Healthy, balanced skin. Because the tiny organisms living on your skin produce useful waste – the kind that can be used to moisturize and nourish the skin – keeping them around can help your skin look and feel its best.
Strengthened immunity. Research has already begun to explore a potential connection between our gut microbiome and skin health, but studies examining how the bacteria on our skin affect other parts of the body are still evolving. What we know for now is that our microbiome seems to have a link to the immune system; that is, a strong microbiome is linked to higher rates of immunity from infection and vice versa. This suggests that taking good care of the bacteria on our skin and in our bodies might have implications for our overall health.
Fewer acne breakouts. While it may seem counterintuitive, having more "good" bacteria on the skin can help you lower how frequently you break out. Acne-causing bacteria can be fended off or weakened by a healthy skin microbiome. In other words, a strong microbiome can make your skin a less habitable environment for foreign pathogens and bacteria and thus prevent acne from forming.
How to Restore Your Skin Microbiome
Perhaps the best way to restore your skin's microbiome is by replacing bacteria that have been lost and creating an ideal living environment for those that haven't.
It's easy and common to disrupt our skin's microbiome; typically, our skin is able to restore itself to a good balance on its own. But when exposed to multiple irritants, especially over a long period of time, our skin's microbiome can weather and begin to break down.
A compromised skin barrier can be hard to spot, but it typically leads to symptoms like dry, irritated skin, frequent breakouts, and sensitivity to products.
Fortunately, it's relatively straightforward to begin rebuilding your skin's microbiome with the right techniques.
Shift Your Focus
If your skin microbiome is already damaged or weakened, it's possible that the products you're using are to blame. Skincare products that are drying, irritating, or overly aggressive can kill good bacteria or lead to inflammation, which is one of the main causes of acne.
Take a look at your current routine to see where there's room for change or improvement. Look out for fragranced products or those formulated with ingredients like alcohol or harsh detergents. These sorts of options tend to do more harm than good, even if you're using them to address a specific skin concern.
Use The Right Products
Because your cleanser's goal should be to rid your skin of dirt, oil, and other grime that can clog pores, it should be strong enough to get the job done but not so aggressive that it can harm your microbiome. Finding a cleanser that
strikes a balance is key.
The Pure Biome Balancing Cleanser is an ideal option for protecting your skin's microbiome because it's rich in prebiotics, the food microorganisms need to prosper.
This cleanser is also formulated with soothing ingredients like green tea to ensure that your skin is clean without over-stripping.
Put Products to Work
It's much harder to restore your skin's microbiome to good health without products that share this goal. That's why it's important to look for treatments that supplement lost bacteria and help create an ideal environment for skin microorganisms to grow.
Our Pure Biome Balancing Serum is lightweight enough for daily use and
packed with probiotics. Its gentle formula is suitable even for sensitive skin or skin with a damaged barrier.
Keep Skin Hydrated & Protected
Moisturized skin is happy skin, especially when you're trying to make sure that the microorganisms living there are protected. Keeping your skin hydrated can help promote healing, keep your complexion looking its best, and may even help you limit your risk of breakouts in the future by limiting irritation.
The Pure Biome Balancing Cream is a great option for keeping irritation at bay and soothing the skin, especially when paired with the Pure Biome Balancing Moisturizer Eye Cream. Each formula contains probiotics and gentle ingredients meant to help your skin rebuild its protective barrier.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Another thing to keep in mind is protecting your skin from the sun. Sun protection is always important, but it's particularly vital when you're aiming to heal your skin. The sun's invisible UVA/UVB rays can cause undetectable damage to our skin, leading to an increased risk of skin cancer, inflammation, and other adverse effects.
That's why the Pure Biome Balancing Moisturizer SPF 30 uses clear zinc that can reflect harmful rays away from your skin without leaving a noticeable residue.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy skin microbiome is an important part of protecting your skin. Though they may be invisible to the naked eye, the millions of microorganisms living on your skin can make it or break it for your appearance and health. A routine that takes skin barrier health into consideration can help you restore your microbiome and ensure that it sticks around well into the future.