Skin Microbiome - Everything You Need To Know
by Palakshi Bhargava on September 16, 2021
Yes, some bacteria are actually doing wonders for you.
Get ready to hear it from us. At this moment, over 1 trillion microorganisms are living on your skin. While the word ‘bacteria’ might make you shiver, you would want these living things to flourish, as we know their ability to keep your skin in a better place.
Let's understand it a little better. So, what exactly are we talking about?
Skin Microbiome – also called skin flora, is an ecosystem of trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, and tiny arthropods colonizing the skin surface, and like a fingerprint, each person's microbiome is unique as well. Some sit on the outside, some burrow in the pores —it’s all intertwined. Even though they all share a similar role – the microbes on our skin perform vital roles in our body: Defending against pathogens, strengthening the immune system, and securing healthy skin. As you start to understand skin’s moisture barrier, it might start making more sense. This microscopic layer of microorganisms sits right above the skin's acid mantle, helping keep intruders away and shielding its lower layers from damage.
Now the question arises – is it fair to say that once you have cracked the whole concept of the skin microbiome, you have unlocked the best-suited skincare for yourself?
From producing lipids like ceramides, keeping the barrier strong and sealing in hydration to feeding off sebum to keep the oil level in check – your skin microbiome does it all for you. A thriving microbiome helps skin to maintain its natural functions. Humans are complex ecosystems composed of bacteria, and other micro-organisms. As a result of eons of evolution, they have become an essential unit of our existence much like a body-organ. Something which still sounds alien and counter-intuitive, these microbes keep us healthy! The skin relies heavily on their proper functioning. So, is a healthy microbiome the key to it all?
Yes, but not all bacteria are good. Not taking proper care and not maintaining a hygiene standard can lead to growth of unwanted microbes. These microbes are not harmonious with our skin, they can lead to severe skin ailments like acne and scarring. Poor microbe function can also cause issues Inflammatory skin issues — like eczema, acne, psoriasis — are all in some way a result of poor microbiome health. Harsh skincare products can and do affect the health of it.
What do you think a well-balanced skin microbiome can do?
You would be surprised to know but a maintained microbiome can fight off all kinds of infections, prevent moisture loss, heal wounds more quickly, and even protect against UV ray damage.
So, how do you really take care of your skin microbiome?
Let us put it this way, allowing this ecosystem of bacteria and other organisms to thrive is essential for keeping the microbiome in shipshape, which will benefit the skin’s health overall wellness.
Here’s how you can nurture good bacteria in and on your skin