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Did you know there are over 1,000 species of bacteria living on your skin? Before you run to the sink and wash your face with antibacterial hand soap… you’ll be relieved to learn that these good bacteria - like probiotics - that keep our skin healthy and balanced. Meet your skin’s Microbiome.
First, let's understand what the skin’s microbiome is. The microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that live on and in our bodies, including our skin. These microorganisms play a vital role in maintaining the health of our skin by keeping bad bacteria in check, protecting against environmental stressors, and supporting the skin’s natural barrier function.
When the skin’s microbiome is imbalanced, it can lead to a host of skin problems, including acne, eczema, and premature aging. The good news is that there are specific skincare ingredients and products that can help improve the skin’s microbiome, leading to healthier and more radiant skin.
The Gut-Brain-Skin Connection
We also have a microbiome in our gut. The gut is home to a diverse community of bacteria and microorganisms that are essential to our overall health. A balanced gut microbiome plays a vital role in digestion, our immunite system, our metabolism and our skin. In fact, the health of our gut microbiome directly influences the balance and diversity of the microbiome on our skin. Hence the gut-skin connection.
The third party in this complex interconnected system is the brain. Stress, negative thinking patters, depression and anxiety alter neurotransmitters in our brain, which disrupts the gut microbiome. Did you know that certain strains of good bacteria in our gut can produce seratonin, the feel good molecule? This interconnected system is essential to our overall physical and emotional well-being. The gut-brain-skin connection refers to the interrelationship between these three organs, and how they all impact each other's health and function.
When our gut-brain-skin connection is weak, and the diversity of good bacteria on our skin and in our gut is low, conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and damaged skin barrier can occur. Optimizing this connection involves a dedicated lifestyle, diet and skincare routine. In this article, we'll focus on the skin microbiome and how to support its delicate balance with the right skincare ingredients.
Prebiotic and Probiotic Skincare
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the good bacteria on our skin, while probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a boost of beneficial bacteria. Both can be found in skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Look for products that contain ingredients like lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and inulin to help support a healthy microbiome.
Studies have shown that taking probiotic supplements can have a noticeable impact on acne and sensitive skin issues. Choose a probiotic supplement with specific strains proven to improve the skin like Kuma’s Glow Biome Probiotic Supplement. We love this acne safe probiotic because it’s boosted with prebiotic fiber which acts as food for the good bacteria to help them thrive.
Applying probiotic rich skincare topically to your face can help boost the effects of your supplement routine. Probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate and prebiotic fibers such as inulin can be found in topical skincare serums and mists. Here are our favorite probiotic-rich skincare probiotics:
Ceramides are lipids that make up the skin’s natural barrier, which helps to keep moisture in and environmental stressors out. When the skin’s barrier is compromised, it can lead to an imbalance in the microbiome. Look for products with ceramides, such as moisturizers and serums, to help strengthen the skin’s barrier and keep the microbiome balanced.
Our favorite skincare products with Ceramides:
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is an ingredient that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to soothe irritated skin. It has also been shown to improve the skin’s barrier function, which can help to support a healthy microbiome.
Niacinamide is a popular skincare ingredient that can be found in serums, toners, creams and masks. Here are our favorites:
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps to draw moisture into the skin. When the skin is properly hydrated, it is better able to support the growth of beneficial bacteria and maintain a healthy microbiome. Look for products with hyaluronic acid, such as serums and moisturizers, to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
Hyaluronic acid-rich skincare products at Flawless:
Keeping your skin protected from UV damage will help protect the delicate balance of microorganisms on your face. We recommend a mineral-rich tinted formula to proven broad-spectrum protection such as Alastin’s HydraTint Pro SPF 36.
Taking care of your skin’s microbiome is essential for healthy, glowing skin. Incorporating prebiotics and probiotics, ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine can help to support a healthy microbiome and keep your skin looking its best.