Why is Microbiome Skincare a Thing?
Did you know that there are literally thousands of friendly microorganisms living on the skin? Much like the gut microbiome, the skin microbiome works to improve health but instead of working inside the body, it’s working from the outside, on the skin. The skin microbiome is responsible for the look and health of the skin and because of that, it has become an emerging trend in the beauty industry. There has been a shift away from harsh cleansers and exfoliators and a move to skincare that focuses on maintaining the health of the skin microbiome.
The skin microbiome is the skin’s own immune system, protecting the body from invading pathogens like infection, cancers and toxins in addition to being an actual physical barrier against external environmental factors. It is made up of more than 1,000 different species of bacteria and up to 80 different fungi species all living together to maintain the skin’s immunity. While the word bacteria may conjure up unhealthy images and there are indeed some bad bacteria in the skin microbiome, there is plethora of good bacteria as well. It’s those good bacteria that are essential to maintaining a healthy-looking complexion.
The skin microbiome plays many roles in keeping us healthy. Most importantly, it communicates with our immune system and fights off infection. But it is also key in easing inflammation, helping in wound healing and minimizing oxidative damage all while keeping the skin hydrated. It’s when that skin barrier is broken or unbalanced that skin issues begin to appear - everything from acne to eczema to cancer. A healthy and balanced microbiome is crucial to skin health.
There are a lot of factors that can affect the appearance of the skin and the same is true of the microbiome. Many things cause damage to the microbiome. Everything from environmental factors like sun exposure and pollution to what is put on the skin like certain skin care products and make-up. They make the skin more susceptible to dryness, roughness, loss of elasticity and even the appearance of wrinkles. These things are also closely tied to skin aging which is one of the most well-studied skin microbiome related issues. Studies have shown that skin aging in conjunction with the collection of environmental influences in one’s life can lead to an alteration of the skin microbiome which can increase the occurance of skin diseases. It’s just one more reason for the shift to maintaining a healthy and balanced skin microbiome.
In the past, there was a lot of focus on scrubbing the face and exfoliating to bring the new skin cells to the surface. But products like face scrubs and antibacterial soaps get rid of all bacteria including the good, healthy bacteria. Studies have shown these types of harsh products strip the skin and leave an unbalanced microbiome. Now we know the good bacteria actually fight off the bad bacteria which contributes to the signs of skin aging, even plumping skin for a more youthful look. Because of the new focus on a healthy skin microbiome, the beauty industry has responded with products that encourage the good bacteria.
While it's important to eliminate any products that may be getting rid of healthy bacteria, there are other lifestyle factors that can help maintain a balanced skin microbiome. Eating healthy. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated. And Exercise…not only does it increase blood flow to the skin and relieves stress, but the sweat produced can actually be a prebiotic for the skin microbiome.
A healthy, balanced and strengthened microbiome is essential to skin health. It leads to healthier skin long term while helping to avoid a lot of the issues that many look to skincare to fix of in the first place - acne, irritation and premature signs of aging.
Shielded Beauty recognized how important a healthy skin microbiome is and created a clean beauty breakthrough. Their patent-pending Guardian Complex™ was created to safeguard the skin from impurities and balance the microbiome. Containing potent antioxidants, nourishing hydrators, gentle actives and natural compounds known to contain antimicrobial activity, the Guardian Complex™ is unlike anything seen before in skincare. Shielded Beauty has been recognized as “The Microbiome Skin Brand You Need to Know” by Bustle and received Microbiome Skincare Product of the Year at the 2021 Independent Innovation Beauty Awards.