It’s happened to almost everyone: you wake up, wash your face, look in the mirror, and there it is: red or patchy, dry or pimply. However, it presents itself; you have inflamed skin.
How can you get rid of it? Well, slathering on moisturizer and trying to cover it up with makeup can actually make it worse. That’s because a lot of the products out there purported to make our skin look nice and healthy can actually add to the irritation, causing not only breakouts - but dry skin, itchy skin, and uneven skin tone and texture.
Why does this happen? Well, we’ve been destroying our skin’s natural protective barrier, know as the microbiome, for way too long. We’ve been taught that bacteria cause disease and odor and use any product we can to rid ourselves of it.
While that’s not technically wrong, and some bacteria do harm, what we’ve been doing is removing all the bacteria, even the ones that protect us, by consuming those bad ones that cause the skin dryness, redness, irritation, and acne that we are trying to avoid, as well as a whole host of other skin problems.
Certain microbes have been shown to boost the skin's production of ceramides or lipids, which trap moisture in the skin and target the bacteria which cause acne. A skincare routine that incorporates a skincare product with healthy probiotics will help moisturize your skin and prevent acne, resulting in a smoother, less irritated complexion.
Plant-based, natural ingredients are also important. Overly scented, surfactant loaded products will only serve to irritate your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Certain ingredients can reduce facial redness and inflammation on contact, depending on the amount of damage your skin has sustained. Products containing lactobacillus, a powerful probiotic, can do just that.
Mother Dirt’s three-step Active Probiotic System Starter Kit, The PeaceKeeper, is designed to not only be your emergency quick-fix but to be your go-to, all-round, repair, and maintain skincare superhero in your skincare routine.
Our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser contains lactobacillus, rose water, chicory root, and a host of other plant-based and natural ingredients. It is specifically formulated to soothe your irritated skin and restore the natural defense mechanisms in your skin barrier to reduce future inflammation.
Lactobacillus, in addition to soothing the skin on contact, has been shown in medical studies to improve skin texture to the point of using it as a medication for acneic lesions on facial skin.
Rose water, known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and has been used widely for thousands of years. It has beneficial effects to fix common skin issue complaints such as puffiness, skin redness, and acne.
In addition to these on-the-spot soothing effects, cell protection and wrinkle reduction have also been found as a common development when applying rosewater to the face on a regular basis.
Chicory root is another plant-based natural ingredient that can soothe inflamed skin. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory agent, but it also helps boost collagen production, a benefit that means fewer wrinkles. Chicory root acts as a natural moisturizer, and it actually provides a barrier preventing environmental irritants from harming your skin.
Our Probiotic Moisturizing Serum deeply hydrates without triggering acne-prone skin, as its probiotic formulation targets the particular damaging bacteria that cause it. It contains squalane, which mimics our skin’s naturally produced moisture.
An added benefit of squalane is its antioxidizing and antitumor properties, both of which protect your skin from carcinogens, which are so prevalent in our environment, especially if we are part of an urban community.
Another wonderful ingredient in the moisturizer is phytosterols. These plant-based chemicals work to restore cell membranes and reduce photosensitivity in the skin. Phytosterols are a key ingredient in a skincare repair kit, as they have been shown to reduce all sorts of skin damage, from wind and sunburn to scars and a skin condition such as psoriasis.
Saccharomyces ferment has natural anti-aging properties that stimulate cell respiration and metabolism while allowing the skin to produce elastin and collagen at a much quicker rate. It is known for its anti-aging properties, so you can expect wrinkle reduction in addition to irritation reduction.
And the last part of this three-step anti-irritation regimen is the revolutionary patented AO+ Restorative Mist. This Mist repairs your skin's microbiome with bacteria that react to your sweat to reverse the occurrence of blemishes. This is an especially helpful product as it can be applied several times throughout the day, whenever you feel you need a little pick-me-up.
It is especially beneficial post-workout, as the Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria it contains convert the irritating ammonia and urea in sweat into nitric oxide and nitrite. These compounds are said to be beneficial in the treatment of advanced eczema as well as other skin conditions.
Your skin’s microbiome is its first line of defense against environmental agents out there working against skin health. So it follows that a healthy microbiome leads to a healthy complexion. Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, says that restoring healthy bacteria to your skin can aid in reducing common skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, acne, and dry or flaky skin.
Many variables can help promote a healthy microbiome, but one of the most common is using products that not only add those healthy bacteria but also help provide a nourishing environment for them.
Conversely, many products with harsh ingredients and scents will wash all those hard-working, healthy bacteria away. What is sold as something to help your skin may be at fault for causing the skin irritation in the first place.
As Richard Gallo, MD, Ph.D. says, “(y)ou can’t help the skin and not help the microbiome. They’re integrally related.”
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
If these ingredients are such powerful anti-inflammation superheroes for your skin, it should come as no surprise that many nutritionists and doctors tout most as extremely beneficial for your body in its entirety.
Rose water and chicory root taken internally have been shown to reduce stress, improve digestion, and have a positive effect on diseases such as diabetes and help prevent cancer. Ingesting probiotics can also help your skin.
The reason for this is very closely linked to our body’s microbiome. Substances that help healthy bacteria thrive reduce the number of bad bacteria, reducing inflammation both inside our bodies and out.
Your best line of defense against irritated skin is prevention. After you have done all you can to reduce the appearance of inflammation and red skin in the moment by using products that work towards calming and protecting your skin and rebuilding your skin’s microbiome, your next step in preventing another episode of irritated skin is protecting it from the inside out.
Your skin is a large and complex organ, and just like all the other parts of your body, it needs proper care and pampering. It should come as no surprise that what you put into your body is just as important for your skin as what you put on it.
Nutritionist Corina Crysler, who owns healthy juice bar Moonshine Juicery, says that ,“the skin is an external road map of what’s happening inside your body... redness is mainly an indicator of long-term or chronic irritation.”
Growing evidence suggests that nourishing your body’s microbiome is key in maintaining the balance that your body needs. So, what can you eat to help your microbiome and reduce the chances of another bout of skin irritation? Here is Corina’s list:
- Prioritize fruits and vegetables, especially papaya, pineapple, and kiwi, as well as leafy greens, onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
- Whole grains provide essential amino acids and minerals.
- Healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocado aid in cellular health.
Another element that can add to skin health is proper hydration. Yes, the old eight glasses of water a day again. It can become an annoyance to constantly be sipping water, but improperly hydrated skin reduces the ability of your microbiome to thrive, allowing harmful bacteria to propagate and damage your skin and leaving it open to irritation.
Dermatologist Stacy Chimento, MD, warns against the effects of dehydration, saying that it can cause blotchiness and ruddiness and contribute to premature aging. Use products that target acne prone skin and promote hydration. Steer clear of antibacterial soaps that remove that healthy, hydrating microbiome, and drink your water.
Sleep is another factor in the quest for beautiful skin. Lack of sleep causes stress in your body, which reduces its ability to produce collagen, something that adds elasticity to your skin and aids in producing a healthy glow.
Lack of sleep, on the other hand, produces cortisol, a stress hormone that can cause fine lines and accelerated aging. Sleep is also closely related to your body’s microbiome, according to Dr. Michael Breus, from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
The best way to cure your irritated skin is to take care of your microbiome, inside and out. Using products on your skin that allow your microbiome to thrive makes a huge difference in the amount of skin redness and irritation you will see.
Taking care of that precious inner microbiome will make you feel wonderful and healthy while allowing your skin to glow as it was meant to.