If there’s one thing the last few years has taught us, it’s the power of viruses and bacteria.
After being faced with the bad bugs we’ve tried to steer clear of (we’re looking at you Corona), it also shone a light on the good ones we actually need to survive: enter, the Skin Microbiome.
Despite it being by your side since birth, our research found that one in two adults don’t know what the skin microbiome is.
But, the vast ecosystem of bugs, bacteria and everything else we deem dirty, is actually your biggest protector and shield.
Did you know that the skin is the body’s largest organ?
While we are well aware of the service the lungs, liver and kidneys provide, we are often less familiar with the superior skillset of our skin – and how it adapts.
So, let’s get better acquainted with it.
WHAT IS THE SKIN MICROBIOME?
The microbiome is essentially your skin’s frontline, the first level of defence there to protect your skin – and body – from infection.
It’s an invisible security guard created by an ecosystem of microorganisms.
Otherwise known as bugs, this includes over 1,000 different bacteria species to 80 types of fungi. In fact, the more complex, the better.
We often assume bacteria is bad, but these types are known as being the more favourable and friendly sibling.
In order to keep the bad stuff away, you need the good ones to fight your corner, which is the main role of a well-balanced microbiome.
But microbiome harmony can be tricky, as balancing bugs is almost like walking a tightrope.
Your microbiome can be easily influenced by external factors such as pollution and UV. Along with our skincare regime, and natural changes such as age and hormones, can all alter its equilibrium.
WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SKIN MICROBIOME?
You may have already met your microbiome without a formal introduction.
It’s great at informing us when it’s unhappy through breakouts, flare-ups, irritation and dehydration, a few key signs that your frontline defence is a little weak.
Just like our brains attempting to work whilst hungover, the skin can also struggle to keep everything in check if the microbiome is off-balance and the skin barrier is compromised.
The microbiome works in tandem with the skin barrier – the outermost layer of skin that shields everything underneath – in order for it to work and look its best.
Getting to grips with the microbiome and what’s living there helps you build a better relationship with your skin and actually find out your skin type (on paper).
Recent research carried out by Skin Trust Club found that 46 per cent said they know their skin type, determined on how it looks, feels and behaves.
But of the people that have tested their skin with our microbiome kit, a whopping 63 per cent were wrong. Consequently, this makes them more at risk of feeding their skin with ingredients they may not need.
HOW CAN I LOOK AFTER THE SKIN MICROBIOME?
When it comes to personal identification, your microbiome is just as unique as your fingerprint and can even reveal whether you own a cat or dog.
For that reason, it proves that skincare cannot be a one-size-fits-all rule. Instead, our regimes should be just as unique and work in symbiosis with our skin and the microbiome.
This can be determined by testing your microbiome to understand your skin type. That way, you can know for certain just how oily, dry or balanced your skin is.
Once you’ve met the good team that is your microbiome, the route you need to protect it will be clearer – all of this is available through our Skin Trust Club app.
Keeping it healthy provides us with all the things we want – a youthful glow, hydration and blemish-free skin, whilst blocking out the harmful pathogens we may be exposed to.
THE DO’S OF MICROBIOME CARE
DO: Lean towards “microbiome-friendly” products. These tend to have more gentle formulations with added mildness factors. But they are still hard-working and can ward off skin concerns like acne, just without stripping the skin.
DO: Look out for probiotic, prebiotic and postbiotic ingredients to help support your microbiome. These promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
DON’T: Use products that are harsh and can disrupt your natural ecosystem. A typical culprit is soap bars. Often the conventional type can have a high PH level compared to your skin’s usual low PH level. We want skincare to support rather than bulldoze.
DON’T: Overload your skin with products as this can be unsettling for the microbiome. Think quality over quantity. The more steps you add and the more complicated it gets, the more reactive and confused your skin can become.
For a limited time only, we are offering you a chance to trial our award-winning skincare service for free. Click here to learn more.