Skin has tons of bacteria on it (skin microbiome), and contrary to what a lot of people think when they hear this, it is actually essential to our skin’s health and well being.
Not only does it help stave off infection, but it also communicates with our skin’s immune system, which helps to reduce skin inflammation, and speeds up the essential healing process.
Everyone’s skin microbiome is different and incredibly complex. There are one trillion diverse microbes living on your skin, and there are distinct bacteria on different parts of your skin.
Most bacteria on your skin is good bacteria, it helps the skin stay balanced and thrive! However, bad bacteria also inhabits your skin, which is normally what cleansers aim to get rid of. The problem is that quite often these products are too harsh and used too often and they actually eliminate BOTH the bad and the good bacteria.
Below are some tips on how to keep your skin’s microbiome healthy and functioning properly:
- Eat prebiotics and probiotics. You probably already know probiotics are good for digestion, but they can also work wonders for your skin. Prebiotics help your body to grow its own good bacteria, while probiotics add live organisms to your already existing good bacteria. Consuming prebiotics and probiotics daily can improve your skin’s microbiome, so look for foods like onions, bananas and oats for prebiotics and foods like yogurt, kombucha and kimchi for probiotics.
- Exercise more. Exercising is beneficial for a lot of reasons, but in this case getting sweaty can be a really good thing for your skin, as it can function as a prebiotic under the right circumstances. If you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, it definitely affects the components of your sweat as it does everything else in the body. Which means that when the microbiome on your skin consume the sweat, it acts as a fortifying prebiotic.
- Avoid antibacterial soap and harsh cleansers on your face. Antibacterial soaps, harsh cleansers, and over-cleansing can kill off both good and bad bacteria on your face, and therefore can cause an imbalanced microbiome, which can lead to various skin problems such as acne, rosacea and eczema. It’s best to avoid these harsh cleansers and opt for something more gentle. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Facial Cleanser and Environ’s Low Foam Cleansing Gel are great choices because they provide a deep but gentle cleanse that won’t disrupt the skin’s natural and delicate moisture balance.
And because pH level also affects the growth and livelihood of microbiome, it is important to keep it balanced. Your skin’s normal pH level is between 4.6 and 6.4, making it slightly acidic, so the products you use should aim to preserve this pH. Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50 products aim to gently exfoliate, regulate sebum secretion, and maintain the skin’s acidic pH level. But remember there are 7 different P50s, so make sure your esthetician recommends the right one for your skin.