The microbiome in the gut is probably the most well-known microbiome in the human body. But the gut microbiome is only one of many that we should be aware of. Others include our mouths and skin. That is right, your skin is home to millions of bacteria that, when properly cared for, help you get beautiful, flawless skin.
The skin microbiome consists of three different factors that contribute to better-looking skin. You know how important it is to take care of the skin all over your body, but when’s the last time you gave serious consideration to your skin’s microbiome? Doesn’t sound familiar to you? No worries — not many people have heard the term!
Your skin microbiome (also called skin microbiota) is an ecosystem of bacteria on the skin’s surface. It works to guard you against pathogens that could affect your skin and overall health. When your gut microbiome is balanced, your skin looks and feels healthy. However, it can become unbalanced when there’s more harmful bacteria than helpful bacteria, leading to issues like dryness and itching.
Here are things about gut microbiome you need to know to keep your skin’s defences strong.
What is Skin Microbiome?
The skin microbiome consists of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea. It changes depending on the skin area, and the person’s age and gender.
Your skin microbiome helps you with:
- Fat storage
- Absorbing nutrients
- Creating blood vessels
- Breaking down toxins
The bacteria in your skin and gut help replenish your soft, delicate tissues by replacing damaged or dead/dying cells with new ones. While the immune system works hard to fight the “bad” or invading microorganisms, it is the microbiome that determines what is beneficial and what needs to be eliminated.
A balanced gut microbiome is crucial to your skin health
It’s no surprise that when you look good, you feelgood. Not only does a healthy skin barrier protect you from foreign invaders, it helps prevent evaporation to keep skin supple and hydrated. When the skin’s protective barrier is compromised and the microbiome becomes unbalanced, it can make skin vulnerable to a variety of issues.
Your skin — your body’s largest organ — is home to millions of fungi, bacteria and viruses that make up the microbiota. Similar to your gut microbiome, the skin microbiome is in charge of keeping you healthy and safe.
Typically, if you’re a healthy adult, your skin microbiome will remain stable over time, even despite environmental fluctuations, pollution, sun damage and minor scrapes. However, it is possible for the barrier to become compromised and lose its natural balance.
Some bacteria is actually good for you!
Although it might seem like using an antibacterial soap to get rid of bacteria on the skin’s surface would only be a good thing, these soaps don’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria — they simply remove all bacteria! Accordingly, overusing antibacterial soap can actually cause an imbalance in the skin microbiome.
Good bacteria are so important to the health of your body as a whole (including your skin), it is imperative to know as much as possible about the three components you need to achieve healthier skin microbiome.
Prebiotics are actually nutrients that the bacteria feed upon. Giving them the proper “food” will help them thrive, while starving them of what they need can contribute to poor immune function and the development of skin conditions.
To ensure the health of the microbiome in the gut, you need to eat foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.
What about the skin microbiome? In addition to eating a healthy diet, you need to feed the bacteria on a surface level as well. Using microbiome skincare (like snowperk’s Skin Soothing & Hydrating Booster) will help nourish your skin on the surface, while also penetrating the layers of skin to feed the bacteria below the skin’s surface.
Probiotics are the actual bacteria in your skin’s microbiome. The bacteria on your skin can help:
- Suppress inflammation
- Reinforce cell contacts (the tighter the contact, the stronger the barrier is to keep out invading microorganisms)
- Secrete antimicrobial peptides to help against invading pathogens
Using skin boosters in your skincare routine will help the bacteria function optimally, helping them reduce your risk of acne breakouts, soreness caused by inflammation, and premature aging.
You can increase the number of good bacteria in your body by taking probiotic supplements or eating foods such as yogurt, tempeh, and miso soup.
Postbiotics are substances that are produced or released by the metabolic activity of any microorganism, such as bacteria. The substances produced benefit the host (you) because of their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties. This can result in:
- Less redness, swelling, or tenderness of the skin
- Fewer breakouts
- Faster healing after a breakout
- Protection from free radical production and oxidative stress (in other words, reduced dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles)
The fermentation process produces postbiotics. Therefore, eating the following foods can increase the health of the microbiome in the gut.
- Miso soup
- Sourdough bread
Working your way to a healthy skin microbiome
You’ve probably already heard a ton about the gut microbiome, but did you know that it influences the skin microbiome? It’s true! Eating healthy, fiber-rich foods — ones that build good gut bacteria through fermentation — can boost the skin’s ability to fight off bad bacteria and retain moisture.
If you aren’t sure that your skin’s microbiome is healthy, or if you have some skin issues that you think could be solved with a stronger safeguard against pathogens, consider changing up your diet.
To start, encourage microbial diversity by promoting healthy gut bacteria and eating healthy foods. Focus on foods that contain prebiotics (like oats, onions, leeks, garlic, soy milk and legumes) as well as foods with probiotics (like yogurt or kefir) to stimulate beneficial skin bacteria and address acne. You may also want to consider trying probiotic supplements, as research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition shows that they may help prevent and treat skin diseases.
You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating: Healthy skin starts on the inside! Following a nutritious diet can give your skin the tools and resources it needs to protect your body from harmful pathogens, keeping you healthy and feeling great.
Stop Hiding Your Flaws: Feel Confident in Your Skin
Many women do not know how to properly care for their skin, simply because they have not been taught. They do not know how to determine what skin type they have. Therefore, they do not know which skincare routine will help them achieve flawless-looking skin.
Instead, they waste their money on skincare products that do not work and pile makeup onto their skin to hide their flaws.
If this sounds familiar, there is hope. You do not have to keep hiding behind a mask of makeup. By determining your skin’s needs, you can utilize the microbiome skincare products that will help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes. You will finally feel confident in your naturally healthy, radiant skin.
Are you ready for youthful-looking skin? Take our snowperk iD test today! The analysis will show you which skincare routine is best for your skin’s unique needs.