We work tirelessly to maintain the health of our skin, dedicating mornings and nights to a thorough skincare routine and watching what we eat in between (or trying to anyway), but there’s one thing that many of us haven’t even heard of, let alone considered: skin microbiome.
It turns out we’ve done bacteria some injustice when it comes to the bacteria on our skin. We think we’ve struck gold when we find a skincare product that works to get rid of bacteria on the skin (shoutout to our favourite cleansers), but there are actually some bacteria that we want to hold onto. The dirty truth is that beautiful skin plays host to thousands of the good kind of bacteria.
Welcome to your short and sweet masterclass on the skin microbiome – notepads and pens at the ready!
What Is the Skin Microbiome?
Your skin microbiome, sometimes referred to as the skin flora, is an ecosystem of trillions of microscopic organisms, most of which are bacteria, that live on the surface of your skin. Here’s where it gets a little (or a lot more) gross, as the more strains that exist on your skin, the healthier it is. So, squeaky clean skin is actually the last thing you want. We bet you didn’t think the answer to “how to maintain healthy skin” was going to be more strains of bacteria, right? But since it’s so bizarre, you have a good shot at remembering it.
Why Is It So Important for the Skin Microbiome to Stay Balanced?
The skin microbiome is the first point of contact with the outside world, and when it’s balanced, these itty-bitty organisms protect the skin from harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses (and why you should never underestimate a small bodyguard).
But what the skin microbiome needs to stay balanced is an equal (ish) amount of each strain. If one strain gets out of hand and outgrows the others, or the number of good bacteria is overwhelmed by bad bacteria, this is when it becomes imbalanced, leading to skin issues such as dryness, irritation, and acne.
How to Take Care of Your Skin Microbiome
Eat Foods Rich in Probiotics
Probiotics nourish the good bacteria on the skin and encourage them to grow, strengthening the skin microbiome. Yogurt, tempeh, and olives are all prebiotic-rich foods that can be effortlessly added into any diet, whether you’re a dedicated veggie or crave beef burgers, and you don’t have to be Gordon Ramsey to do it!
Avoid Harsh Cleansers and Exfoliators
When your skin is dry, it leads to a growth in bad bacteria, so you want to use a gentle cleanser and exfoliator to keep your skin microbiome in balance with good bacteria on the skin.
No one would purposely choose a harsh cleanser or exfoliator, trouble is, not many of us know that we’re using one. If you finish cleansing or exfoliating and your skin feels dry and/or tight (or face-lift like if it’s really harsh), it’s time to switch it up.
Don’t Go OTT on Your Skincare Routine
Believe it or not, there’s such thing as having an OTT skincare routine. If you’re hitting double-digit steps in your skincare routine, you might want to cool it on the number of skincare products you’re using.
Excessive skincare routines contain more chemicals and ingredients, putting a lot of stress on the skin microbiome and making it easier for an imbalance to occur.
Choose pH Friendly Skincare Products
Bad pathogens thrive off higher pH levels, whereas good bacteria can be killed off with lower pH levels, so here’s where the importance of skincare comes in. While you don’t want to go OTT on the number of products you’re using in your skincare regime, it’s a good idea to involve pH friendly formulas that won’t disrupt your skin’s pH levels.
The trick is to choose skincare products that don’t interfere with your pH levels that cover non-negotiable steps. For example, cleansing and toning are (or should be) part of the most basic skincare routines, meaning IMAGE Skincare the Max Stem Cell Facial Cleanser and Skinceuticals Equalising Toner can be used as part of your essential skincare routine, balancing your skin microbiome without having to add any extra steps.
Get Regular Skin Microbiome Facials at Young LDN
Keeping your skin microbiome intact doesn’t have to be hard work, in fact, how’d you feel about putting your feet up for 60 minutes whilst we restore your skin’s first line of defence?
Our Skin Microbiome Facial begins with a deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation infused with probiotics and propolis to feed the good bacteria on the skin. Next up is a combination of blue and yellow LED light therapy to suppress the overgrowth of harmful pathogens, calm irritated and inflamed skin, and stimulate healing – all without having to lift a finger.
This facial treatment is recommended for those with a compromised barrier, redness, eczema, psoriasis, some acne types, over exfoliated and dry skin.
Now you’ve graduated in skin microbiome, it’s time to celebrate your success with a Skin Microbiome Facial with Young LDN.