What Is Skin Microbiome?
Both inside and out, our bodies harbor trillions of microorganisms. The microbiome is the textbook term that describes the genetic material-genome- of all the microorganisms, symbiotic and pathogenic, living in and on all vertebrates, including us.
Each area of our body has its own unique microbiome of (mostly friendly) bacteria, fungi, and viruses, outnumbering even the human cells. The skin microbiome is no exception! This ecosystem of microflora lives and thrives on your skin. (It has been revealed that the skin is inhabited by over 100 distinct species of microorganisms and lodging 1-million microorganisms per square centimeter.) Studies show that some of these microbes promote skin health. They strengthen skin's natural barrier against harmful bacteria, balance skin's pH levels, and may even protect against skin cancer linked to UV damages.
However, lifestyle factors such as stress, over-clean harsh skincare routine, and environmental pollutants can easily damage the delicate balance of beneficial microflora resulting in a compromised protective barrier leading to a continuous cycle of recurring skin problems, including sensitivity, dryness, excess oil, acne, and infections.
That's where microbiome-friendly probiotic skincare comes in.
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
The simple definition of probiotics is 'microorganisms that can benefit their host.' Probiotics are good bacteria that improve human health. They regulate the natural balance and help moderate the cells' signaling molecules increasing cell communication and balancing the body's immune response. Similar to the supplements you take to keep your gut happy, the topical version of probiotics can have biome-balancing properties to strengthen your personal ecosystem, which results in glowing, healthy, and happy skin.
How Does Probiotics Help With Acne?
Harnessing a surge of friendly bacteria to help cells flourish, probiotics help keep blemishes at bay. Science-backed research uncovered probiotics benefits for acne-prone skin in three key ways.
- Probiotics act as a protective shield by preventing harmful microorganisms from triggering an immune reaction to create a more calming environment for the skin. As acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin due to an allergy, infection, or underlying factors, the anti-inflammatory activity of probiotics helps control breakouts.
- Probiotics reduce the risk of the presence of harmful bacteria, in turn lowering the number of infections. As discussed earlier, the high probiotics content ensures a healthy microbiome, which obviously does not cause diseases. Moreover, some probiotics produce natural antibiotics called antimicrobial peptides that help combat bacterial infections, including acne.
- Probiotics repair the skin barrier quickly. Compromised barrier function worsens the acne condition. Therefore, speedy recovery of the skin barrier is vital to stop infections in damaged skin. Bonus! Quickly restored skin looks healthier and more beautiful.
In addition to potent antiacne activity, a promising study suggests probiotics balance the skin's pH and defy premature aging due to free radical damage. Protection against free radicals also reduces inflammation which leads to acne flare-ups.
- Health effects of probiotics on the skin
- Topical use of probiotics: The natural balance
- The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging