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#01 Microbiome: The Secret life of skin

What is the microbiome?

The microbiome is the universe of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that live on and within our skin, guts and other niches. Seeded at birth and with us until the very end, our microbiomes are as unique, dynamic ecosystems that play a major role in our health and vitality, our immune systems and mood and even the condition of our skin. 

What is the skin microbiome? 

The skin’s microbiome is the collection microorganisms that live on and within our skin.  Of the thousands of species present, the majority are commensals and play a fundamental role in maintaining skin health by supporting its innate and adaptive immunity, a healthy barrier, nutrient delivery and protecting the skin against pathogenic and environmental aggressors. We think of the skin’s microbiome as the protective ‘life force’ of the skin!

What is a healthy skin microbiome? 

Like most ecosystems on our planet, a healthy, resilient skin microbiome is one that is both diverse and balanced in species. This supportive and dynamic ecosystem produces an array of communication molecules, vitamins, antioxidants and anti-microbial peptides that keep the environment healthy. A balanced skin microbiome means that there isn’t one species that takes over at the expense of others and that peacekeeping bacteria are cared for.  

What threatens the skin microbiome? 

Research has shown our modern lifestyles (ie. diet, over-hygenic practices, product usage, stress and reduced exposure to nature) have decreased our microbial diversity - leaving us susceptible to imbalances (ie. dysbiosis) that lead to barrier disruption and inflammatory skin conditions along with dandruff, acne, dryness and accelerated skin aging.  Our daily skincare regimens - from how we cleanse, to the type (and number) of chemicals we put on our skin- can have lasting impacts on our skin chemistry and microbial communities.

 To truly care for the skin means skincare products must work in harmony with the entire skin ecosystem- from the microbiome on inward- in order for it to thrive. 

 

How To Make Your Skin Thrive

Taking care of your microbiome is cultivating healthy skin at its source.  Here are some biophile tips:

  1. Use simplified formulas with only clean ingredients to reduce chemical load on the skin. Like the food we eat, every ingredient counts. Feed your skin right!  
  1. Avoid harsh ingredients that can strip the skin and microbiome- these include harsh surfactants, ethoxylated ingredients, harsh preservatives, penetration enhancers, many essential oils 
  1. Use products that have lower pH to protect your skins protective acid mantle (pH is 4.6-5) which supports growth of healthy, protective bacteria on the skin.
  1. Use the ‘biotics’ in your skincare: pre- pro- and post-biotics, while different in their activities, all support a healthy microbiome. These ingredients can help with microbiome maintenance and balance and to help the skin recover faster from threatening ingredients. 
  1. Use fermentation-derived, postbiotic extracts (ie. bacterial lysates and filtrates) which contain rich secondary metabolites that nourish the skin and microbiome. Make sure these are high on the ingredient list and that they are not just a ‘hero ingredient’ mixed in with a long list of chemicals!  
  1. Use skincare that is tested and proven to be microbiome friendly and supportive! With certified microbiome friendly skincare, you can be assured that the whole formula (not just certain ingredients within it) is safe and effective. 

Biophile skincare mindfully embodies all of the above for your skin to thrive. Powered by our fermented Biotic Broths, biophile’s clean, bio-active formulas rejuvenate and revitalize the skin while supporting its biotic life force. 

  

 

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