We know that preserving delicate balance of your skin's microbiome is essential, but what happens if your microbiome becomes compromised? If you think you may have done some damage to your skin microbiome over the years, it's important to know how you can support its function.
Here we'll be exploring what the skin microbiome is, what causes it to become compromised and the different ways that you can support it for optimal skin health.
What is the Skin Microbiome?
Let's start by defining the skin microbiome. Also known as the skin microbiota, the skin microbiome is essentially the vast collection of all the microbes (or skin flora) which live on or within your skin. We actually have millions of living microorganisms residing on our skin at any given time, including bacteria, fungi, arthropods, and more.
According to Medline, there are many factors that can affect the skin microbiome, some of which include pH levels, gender, genotype, cosmetic use, temperature, and more.
Why Is the Skin Microbiome Important?
You may already know that the skin is the largest organ of the human body, so it’s well-being is pretty important when it comes to health and disease. The skin microbiome plays an important role in the human immune system and many immune functions.
Just like the microorganisms in our gut, “skin microorganisms have essential roles in the protection against invading pathogens, the education of our immune system and the breakdown of natural products,” according to Nature Reviews Microbiology. “The skin is colonized by beneficial microorganisms and serves as a physical barrier to prevent the invasion of pathogens.”
This means that the skin microbiome has a variety of functions when it comes to keeping our body healthy. The skin microbiome doesn’t just defend against invading bacterial pathogens, but also can help fight off infections, ease inflammation and protect us from outside harm.
How Your Skin Microbiome Becomes Compromised
You are probably already familiar with the idea that antibiotics, other medications and having a poor diet can damage the gut microbiome. Likewise, the skin microbiome is susceptible to damage in the same way. Research shows that "excess use of antimicrobial hand sanitizers and soaps contributes to skin dysbiosis and antibiotic resistance, thus stoking various skin conditions."
According to mindbodygreen, imbalance in the skin microbiome (also known as skin dysbiosis) can lead to a variety of skin and health conditions such as eczema, acne, allergies, contact dermatitis, rosacea, dandruff, and more.
The skin microbiome can be compromised in two ways -- 1) by what you put on your skin, and 2) by what your put in your body. Here are some examples of ways that your skin microbiome may have become compromised:
What you put on your skin
It has been said that our addiction to being "clean" may be what's damaging our skin microbiome. When we use products that are stripping or harsh on our skin, we remove all of the bacteria on our skin -- both good and bad.
What you put in your body
Research shows that anything that is damaging to your gut microbiome can be damaging to your skin microbiome as well. It's called the gut-skin axis and reminds us that it is important to evaluate your gut microbiome health if you are struggling with your skin.
Ways To Support Your Skin Microbiome
There are many different ways in which you can support your skin microbiome. Some of these include:
Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Eating a well-rounded diet is an easy way to support your skin microbiome. Foods that are rich in protein and good fats are a great place to start. It's also important to drink lots of water and to avoid processed foods when possible.
Avoid harsh products
While it is important to practice good hygiene, it is also important to make sure that you are not wiping out all of the good bacteria on your skin. Be careful of using products with harsh surfactants and chemicals that will strip your skin.
According to board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., "when you exercise, you increase the blood flow to your skin, nourishing your skin with vital nutrients and oxygen." Make sure you work up a sweat a few times away to improve your overall skin health.
Try a topical probiotic like Mother Dirt
Topical probiotics, like Mother Dirt, are made with your microbiome in mind. Our products are made without harsh chemicals or surfactants and use powerful probiotic blends to restore and maintain your skin microbiome.
Supporting Your Skin Microbiome with Mother Dirt's Active Probiotic System
If you are thinking of exploring topical probiotics as a way to support your skin microbiome, Mother Dirt's restorative skin probiotics line is a great option. Made with plant-based ingredients and a science-first approach, our face, body and hair care products use the power of probiotics to help maintain the health of your skin microbiome.
To help you get started, here is a roundup of the products included in our Active Probiotic System:
AO+ Restorative Mist
The patented ingredient in Mother Dirt’s AO+ Restorative Mist, live Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (also known as AOB), interacts with elements naturally found in your sweat to produce two powerful byproducts - Nitrite and Nitric Oxide - that are essential to a balanced skin microbiome.
By restoring this essential component to your skin, the Mist helps to protect and maintain healthy skin in addition to improving skin clarity, tone and smoothness.
The PeaceKeeper: Our Active Probiotics System Starter Kit
The PeaceKeeper features the foundations of our Active Probiotic System to repair the damage caused by traditional skincare and restore the skin microbiome, for your most biologically balanced and radiant skin.
This kit is a great option for all skin types (including dry, oil, normal, or combination skin) and includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Probiotic Moisturizing Serum and patented AO+ Restorative Mist. Together, these three products work together to help restore and maintain your skin’s natural ecosystem.
The Difference: Our Active Probiotics System Acne Treatment Kit
The Difference offers a new and revolutionary way of treating acne. It has been formulated to work together as an Active Probiotic System to restore the skin microbiome for improved clarity and smoother, healthier-looking skin.
This kit is ideal for those with acne-prone skin and uses powerful probiotics and FDA-approved salicylic acid to clarify, clear and smooth problem skin. A complete skin care system that helps treat acne in three easy steps, it includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Daily Acne Treatment Lotion and patented AO+ Restorative Mist.
Probiotic Foaming Cleanser
Mother Dirt Probiotic Foaming Cleanser doesn't just clean skin. It uses a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help balance your skin microbiome. Formulated with prebiotics from chicory root and rose water, it removes impurities and maintains an optimal pH level without stripping your skin of its essential balance, leaving it balanced and refreshed. Our Cleanser is also oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and has been dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Moisturizing Serum
Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Serum is specially formulated to nourish your skin and rebalance your skin microbiome. It contains ingredients like squalane and essential fatty acids to nourish and moisturize while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help balance your skin microbiome. Your skin will feel smooth and nourished, revealing a glowing, healthier-looking complexion. Our Serum is non-comedogenic, has been dermatologically approved and helps soothe dry skin without feeling greasy.
Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash deeply cleanses hair while restoring balance to your scalp microbiome. It is specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to clean dirt, debris and impurities from hair without stripping - leaving hair feeling strong, full and soft.
Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner. This Conditioner has been specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to moisturize hair without weighing it down. Only a small amount is needed for smoother and healthier-looking hair.
Both our Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash and Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner are oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and safe for color-treated hair. Plus, they are dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Body Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Body Wash gently cleanses dirt and oil from skin without stripping or damaging the skin barrier. It contains ingredients like rose water, almond and coconut extracts to refresh and nourish, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help maintain a balanced microbiome. Our Body Wash has been dermatologically tested and is formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.
Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Body Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil. This lightweight Body Oil soothes dry skin without feeling greasy or heavy. It contains ingredients like squalane, almond oil and apricot kernel oil to nourish and replenish dry skin, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help maintain your microbiome.
Our Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil has been dermatologically tested and formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.