Here’s an amazing fun fact that is really mind blowing. Our skin is our largest organ in the body. There’s a whole ecosystem living on our skin that’s made of billions of bacteria, microbes, fungi and virus’s! Working in unison with our skin barrier, our skin microbiome protects the body from external sensitivities and different types of pathogenic invasions. When our microbiome is flourishing and balanced our skin looks gorgeous and feels healthy, but when we tamper with this ecosystem our skins defense system fails and we start to deal with a broken skin barrier. Our skin barrier is our first line of defense! When this barrier becomes damaged our skin becomes vulnerable. Irritants and allergens seep in and water evaporates leaving the skin dull, dry, dehydrated, and prone to inflammation. What’s key here is diversity and keeping this ecosystem in balance!
What can a healthy and balanced skin microbiome do for us?
- Prevents infection
- Regulates collagen
- Maintains the acid mantle
- Reduces UV Sensitivity
- Communicates with the gut, brain, hormones and nerves
- Regulates lipids, peptides, and sebum
- Helps maintain hydration in the skin
- Improves innate immune function
- Prevents cell abnormalities
- Upregulates vitamin D receptors
How do we heal this beautiful ecosystem so we can get the protection and healthy skin we have always longed for?
- Pay attention to over cleansing with things like foaming cleansers and surfactants.
- Make sure not to excessively exfoliate... too much is never good!
- Stay away from antimicrobial soaps that strip the natural barriers of your beautiful skin
- Stay away from unnecessary antibiotics which rid us of all our good bacteria
- Avoid alcohol-based skin products as these strip our skin
- Avoid harsh chemicals in your skincare. Always opt for organic and natural ingredients
If you are dealing with a broken skin barrier there are ways you can start healing the skin!
- Use a daily cleanser that is oil based like our Holi(cleanse) that is gentle and wont strip away the skin barrier
- Pay attention to your diet and eat nourishing foods that feed the gut microbiome. We have something called the gut-brain-skin axis which shows that the bacteria we have residing in the gut influences all the bacteria we have on our skin and vice vera.
- Get full spectrum sunlight on the skin
- Protect the skin barrier integrity using products that keep the skins PH balanced and moisturized. All of my skincare products are full of ingredient’s that help heal your skin and retain more water. This water retention helps the enzymes on your skin work optimally! These ingredients include things like hyaluronic acid, fatty acids.
- Replace other acids that dry out the skin and damage the skin barrier for lactic acid found in my acid (wash) lactic acid brightening cleanser which increases moisture levels in the skin by binding to water! Unlike other acids that weaken the skin barrier, lactic acid strengthens it by encouraging it to make more ceramides. These protect the skin from pollution and other environmental stressors.
- Reduce your stress levels as your skin is an extension of your nervous system
- Make sure to hydrate on the cellular level. Your cells loose water throughout the day through things like physical activity, environmental pollution and generally just living life. Keeping the body hydrated is fundamental! The skin is always a last priority so if the body is lacking proper hydration the skin will be the first to suffer. Thing is, drinking water doesn’t guarantee hydration as this water needs to get inside your cells! Fiber helps your body absorb water at a higher level so eating things like fruits and vegetables are sometimes more hydrating than drinking water itself. To build a charge necessary for proper hydration you can use electrolytes to increase the charge across membranes.
What is the state of your skins Ecosystem? Just like any ecosystem on earth, the flora of our skin form important symbiotic relationships that serve pivotal roles for the health of our skin and bodies. Healthy skin is anything but squeaky clean!
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
Article Written by Jena Scaccetti
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe & Chic, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.