Microbiome: Your Skin’s Natural Ecosystem
The Skin Microbiome 101
You may not know it, but there’s a whole host of flora and fauna living on your skin, which can include bacteria, fungi, and other microbes.
Most of us feel a little creeped-out upon hearing this, but this mini ecosystem that lives on your skin, called the microbiome, is 100% unique to you and crucial to keeping your skin bright and healthy.
Exactly What Does the Microbiome Do?
Think of your microbiome as the ultimate organic defense system. This community of helpful organisms essentially regulates the environment of your skin, defending it against bad bacteria and environmental aggressors, and supporting skin barrier function. It also produces skin lipids and skin nutrients!
But several things can cause your microbiome to become unbalanced or disrupted, which may lead to skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and even acne.
Following are several ways to keep your skin’s good bugs in good shape and your skin glowing.
Harsh soaps are the enemy of the microbiome. While it may seem counterintuitive, especially in regard to acne, over-cleaning will strip your skin of good bacteria.
Once Again, Make Water Your Friend
Hydration—both internal and external—is key to a thriving and balanced microbiome. Drink plenty of water every day and incorporate products with hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine. (Hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant that attracts moisture from the environment and helps keep your skin plump and bouncy!)
Eat Foods Rich in Prebiotics
By now we’ve all heard of prebiotics, which help keep the bacteria/microbiome of your intestinal tract balanced and improve digestion. Eating foods high in prebiotics can benefit your skin’s microbiome, too! Foods like bananas, asparagus, apples, artichokes, flaxseed and certain fermented foods taste good and are an easy way to feed your skin, helping to diversify and nourish its good bacteria.
Try Skincare Ingredients that Help Support a Healthy Skin Barrier
Hyaluronic Acid is certainly one ingredient that will help keep your skin’s barrier strong and healthy, but additional ingredients, like niacinamide (vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid) and squalane, are also good for the microbiome and can function as nourishing and soothing powerhouses.
Several of our products contain these ingredients, like Hydrate Moisture Replenishing Serum (squalane and hyaluronic acid), Defend Skin Shielding Essence (niacinamide), and Hydrate Refreshing Micellar Water (niacinamide).
Tea tree oil, the key ingredient in our Pore Minimizing Toner, is another powerful ingredient that promotes a healthy skin biome.
Keep in mind that the skin microbiome is a relatively new field of study, and that no two people’s are alike, so there’s no one-size-fits-all “prescription” for keeping it in optimal condition. That’s not to say that highly individualized regimens aren’t on the horizon, however.
We here at Nuria will be keeping our scientific eyes peeled in order to bring more microbiome goodness to you and your skin!
About the author, Jasmin Figueroa
Jasmin is an accomplished formulation scientist and skin health expert who has spent her career listening to consumers and developing products that rock. A founding member of the Nuria community, she loves traveling with her family, chilling with her friends at the beach, and will totally judge you if you don’t wear SPF.