Why is having a healthy skin microbiome important?
The skin is the human body’s largest organ, whose primary role is to serve as a physical barrier, protecting our bodies from environmental factors that could potentially harm us (toxic substances, foreign organisms, etc).
The skin also serves as an interface with the outside environment and is therefore colonized by a wide range of microorganisms, most of which are harmless or even beneficial. In some cases they provide vital functions that the human genome has not evolved to complete.
Furthermore, while things happening inside of our bodies can cause a specific response on the skin microbiome, the opposite is also true: The skin microbiome also functions in communicating with our body.
The perception of the skin as an ecosystem, made up of living microorganisms, can help us advance our understanding of the seemingly delicate balance it helps us maintain. Disruptions in the balance on either side of the equation can result in skin disorders or infections.
The incidences of everything from sensitive skin and contact dermatitis to more serious conditions such as acne and eczema have been on the rise for reasons doctors have not been able to explain (or solve).
We hypothesize that the modern lifestyle has largely stripped us of our delicate and crucial skin microbiome. The pervasive use of antibacterial washes and gels, antibiotics (topical and ingestible), and harsh surfactants have continually been damaging the skin microbiome, preventing it from performing it’s crucial role and potentially leaving the skin more susceptible to a variety of skin problems.