Affecting just under 10% of the global population, acne is among the most common skin conditions adolescents, adults, and children around the world deal with.
For many, a few, occasional pimples are nothing more than an inconvenience, while for others with more severe acne breakouts, this condition can lead to emotional and psychological stress. While there is no cure for acne, many treatments – including topical creams and antibiotics – have helped people cope with their skin condition.
However, the roots of acne go far beyond the mere symptoms that are visible on the skin.
Here is all you need to know about the connection between the skin microbiome and acne – and how to start working towards healthier skin!
Acne: causes, triggers, and treatments
At its core, acne is a skin condition triggered by skin pores – or follicles – that become clogged with dead skin cells and oil.
When this happens, the skin cannot receive the nutrients, moisture, and fresh oxygen needed to remain healthy and fight infections. The most common symptoms of this condition include blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, but they can also develop into painful, pus-filled lumps that sit under the skin.
While it has always been considered a condition related to adolescence and hormonal changes, adults and children can be just as affected by acne.
Today, dermatologists have connected acne breakouts to specific triggers, including stress, genetic factors, lifestyle, and poor skincare. However, the exact cause of this condition remains partly undiscovered.
In terms of treatments, there is no cure to eradicate acne once and for all, but certain medications have been seen to reduce the symptoms, prevent scarring, and make it easier to live with it. Some of the most common ones include topical cream that exfoliates the skin and eliminates dead skin cells and antibiotics.
The microbiome and acne
The fact that the skin is home to a delicate and complex ecosystem of bacteria and microorganisms is not a new discovery. Indeed, scientists have been exploring the dynamics between skin conditions and skin microbiome since the early 20th century.
However, scientists have only found a clear connection between conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and acne and the skin microbiome during the past years.
Additionally, because of the connection between the skin microbiome and the gut microbiome (gut-skin axis), studies have confirmed that the gut flora composition also influences skin health.
This connection has not only helped us better understand the causes behind acne, but they have also changed our perspective on this condition’s treatments.
Indeed, acne is usually addressed with antibiotics and other chemical compounds designed to kill infections and malign bacteria. However, these treatments are not selective – meaning that they will also affect good bacteria and disrupt the microbiome.
In turn, this can affect the skin’s ability to fight off infections and protect itself from inflammation, making acne and other skin conditions worse.
Maintaining a healthy microbiome to fight acne
As we have seen, understanding our skin microbiome is not only essential to understand the causes of acne but also to find the best treatment for it. And, keeping your microbiome balanced and healthy is a great starting point to help your skin regain its power to protect itself, rejuvenate, and cleanse.
Some tips to gain and maintain a healthy microbiome include:
- Follow a healthy and nutritious diet – your diet can influence your gut microbiome, which will affect the skin flora. Ensure to get most of your nutrients from minimally processed ingredients, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seeds.
- Clothes and fabrics – we don’t often realise that our skin is always in contact with materials. Opting for loose, natural, and minimally dyed clothing can help your skin regain its chemical balance.
- Pollutants – smog, UV rays, heat, and cold can affect your skin. Ensure to protect it from these pollutants by investing in high-quality sunscreen and try to be in a healthy, natural environment as much as possible.
- Skincare products – the wrong skincare product can affect your skin microbiome and throw it off balance.
Discover your skin microbiome at the Skin Trust Club
If you are looking to find acne makeup and skin products that can help you address your skin condition and look after the microbiome, it is essential to start by understanding the skin you’re in.
Here at the Skin Trust Club, we understand that everyone’s skin microbiome composition is unique. Thus, the same skincare routine won’t work in precisely the same way for two different people.
That is why we recommend you start your journey towards healthier skin by getting to know your skin flora through our simple, at-home skin microbiome testing for truly personalised skincare and skin health tracking. Once you receive the results from our lab, you can enjoy personalised skincare recommendations for skin products that work for your unique skin microbiome!