By Mina Dragani
For glowing results, support your skin's balance of bacteria with products that nourish its microbiome.
After years of neglecting the invisible factors of skincare, a collective trust in cosmetic science has made way for the conscious creation of microbiome-focused products. What is the microbiome, you ask? In short, it is the genetic material of all microbes that live on the inside and outside of the human body. These microbes include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Not very glamorous, we know, but undeniably important to skincare. While there is a strong connection between the gut’s microbiome and our general appearance, the skin’s microbiome should garner the same concern.
When looking in the mirror, the complex assortment of our skin’s microscopic organisms cannot be seen, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be tended to. While the production of “bacteria” and “fungi” might suggest the existence of impurities, these microbes are actually your skin’s way of nourishing and protecting itself. They have the ability of to utilize the nutrients that naturally occur in the skin, and thus infuse life into one’s appearance while promoting a healthy complexion.
The issue lies in the fact that some skincare products damage the microbiome, leaving it weak and more prone to infection via environmental damage. We must consider the microbiome as a shield that preserves the vitality of the skin through giving it essential biomolecules like Vitamin A, E, and D.
Enter microbiome-friendly skincare, products that supplement our skin with the nutrients our microbiome can no longer produce on its own. These products do not strip the microbiome of its protective qualities, instead they fortify them. The key to repairing the microbiome is to use less products, and check labels. In order for our skin to be clear and healthy it needs essential vitamins, fatty acids, and other biomolecular nutrients. The ideal microbiome-conscious product would include one of these elements and not much else. Moreover, skin probiotics can do wonders for the microbiome, as they indulge the skin with good bacteria, which promotes balance and overall health. Professionals suggest reading up on the products you religiously use and gauge if they are doing more harm than good. Less is always more when it comes to the microbiome.
Some skincare brands like The Beauty Chef, Symbiome, and Biophile are especially targeted for supporting microbriome health. From serums to face masks, these speclaized labels hope to feed that skin flora and its microbes. To help you on your search for the best products for your microbiome, here are 14 standout formulas that will give your skin what it needs to glow.