What is the Skin Biome?
The Secret Behind Our Skin
You may or may not have heard about the fact that the largest organ of the human body is actually the skin. The skin covers your entire body and protects you from all external factors such as bacteria, pollution, and environmental changes.
Knowing this, you can imagine how important having healthy skin is to having a healthy body overall. But what exactly is your skin made up of and how does it contribute to your health? This blog will answer these questions as simply as possible.
Know your skin
So what is your skin really made of? The skin actually has three distinct layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis. The subcutis is the innermost layer, and is mostly made of up fat and connective tissue. This layer helps to insulate the body as well as cushioning your organs within your body. The middle layer is called the dermis, and is where hair follicles and sweat and oil glands are located. The epidermis is the outermost layer, and is mostly made up of keratinocytes. These keratinocytes grow outwards towards the surface of the skin and eventually die off, as part of the skin cell regeneration cycle.
Your skin is also home to millions of bacteria and fungi, which make up the skin’s microbiome, or skin flora. These microorganisms living on your skin have a very important purpose, which is to protect against pathogens, protecting our skin barrier, as well as aiding your immune system. Just like with the bacteria in your gut, it is important to keep these bacteria healthy for overall skin health. So to put it simply, your skin biome is essentially a layer of millions of bacteria and microorganisms which aid in skin health and play an important role in the skin barrier.
Why is your skin microbiome important?
Your skin’s microbiome has a very important role to your skin health as well as your overall health. Having a healthy microbiome helps to prevent pathogenic bacteria from living on the skin, and the microbiome is also responsible for alerting your immune system when harmful bacteria or viruses attempt to enter the body. Not only that, but it also helps to keep the surface of your skin acidic, which is a good thing, because many bacteria do not like an acidic environment. This keeps harmful bacteria away and keeps your skin healthy.
What affects the microbiome of your skin?
The microbiome of your skin can be influenced by a number of factors. Firstly genes can affect your skin’s microbiome as a base for how it is in its natural state. Also, hormones and hormonal changes can influence your skin’s microbiome as well. You may have experienced this first hand when your body goes through hormonal changes (e.g. during puberty) and your skin starts to react or become more irritable. External factors can also affect your skin’s microbiome, such as pollution in the environment, UV exposure, and even your diet.
Keeping your microbiome healthy
So what can you do to keep the microbiome of your skin healthy? There are several things you can keep in mind to maintain a healthy microbiome:
1. Maintain a healthy diet: It is important that what you're putting into your body is healthy for you. Feeding the microbiome with good nutrition keeps the microbiome happy.
2. Don’t over-cleanse: Although it may seem like a good idea to keep your skin clean, it is possible to over-do cleansing. You want your microbiome to be healthy and happy, not stripped away completely. This can cause more skin sensitivity and irritation.
3. Moisturize: Hydrated skin is healthy skin. Keep your skin moisturized to keep your skin barrier healthy and provide a nourish environment for your microbiome.
4. Use probiotics: Probiotics are a great way to give your microbiome that extra boost it needs to be healthy and function optimally. Just like probiotic supplements can be taken for healthy gut bacteria, probiotics are also added to skincare to help strengthen your skin barrier.
We hope this blog has give you a little bit of insight into our skin microbiome and why it is important, as well as what you can do to keep it as healthy as possible. If you have any questions or comments we'd love to hear them! Leave a comment below if there's anything else you'd like to know.