woman drinking to stay hydrated to look after her skin microbiome

Skin microbiome mythbuster

What do you know about skin microbiome? There’s a lot of information out there about it, and that’s only online….

For instance, if you were to Google ‘skin microbiome’, like we just have, you’ll be presented with no less than in the region of 11,800,000 results. Now, that’s a lot of skin microbiome information!

But how can you tell which bits to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to? What’s the definitive truth and what’s not 100% right? It can be difficult to know the difference between the two when there’s such a vast amount of information to read through.

To help you out, and to help set the record straight about skin microbiome, we’ve taken some of the most common myths and debunked them for you. Take a look, we’ve listed five of them below:

MYTH #1: Skin microbiome doesn’t really do very much

Fact – Now this couldn’t be further from the truth! The skin’s microbiome is a real force to be reckoned with. It’s essentially a powerful ecosystem that’s designed to help keep your skin in check and healthy. Now, for the science bit….

Skin microbiome is made up of diverse colonies of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. Many of these microorganisms are harmless and, in some cases, provide vital functions, such as helping to preserve the balance on your skin.1

MYTH #2: We’ve all got the same skin microbiome

Fact – We haven’t at all. Our skin microbiome is as unique to us as our fingerprints. In fact, human skin microbiomes have been described as a ‘microbial fingerprint’ due to how different they are from one person to the next.

Skin microbiome is thought to be shaped by our lifestyle and genetic predisposition. This is especially true for the epidermal microbiome (the outermost layers of our skin). Interestingly, the skin microbiome that’s present deeper down within the skin, at the dermal layer, is said to be ‘universal’ between healthy individuals.2

MYTH #3: Skin microbiome has got nothing to do with gut microbiome

Fact – This is an easy assumption to make, as the bacteria inside our gut is tucked away deep down inside our bodies and the microbiome on our skin is well, present on our skin. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t interlinked, because they are.

Our skin bacteria and skin immune system actually ‘talk’ to each other and communicate with the bacteria living in your gut too. Just like with your gut, having a diverse balance is the key to a happy skin microbiome.3

MYTH #4: Our skin microbiome becomes unbalanced on its own

Fact – Our everyday lifestyle habits, in particular our cleaning habits, play a big part in settling, and unsettling, the natural state of our skin microbiome.

Having hot showers and taking baths every day, increased washing generally and using ingredient-packed products that strip the skin of its natural oils can quickly result in our skin microbiome getting out of sync. This is due to something that’s known as transepidermal water loss, which can result in moisture escaping from the skin.

How can you tell if your skin microbiome balance isn’t quite right? Your skin can become dry, irritated or red.4

MYTH 5: There’s nothing we do to help our skin microbiome do its job

Fact – There’s actually a whole lot of things we can do. In fact, a lot of what we do on a day-to-day basis influences the state and overall condition of our skin microbiome. Here are just some of the skin microbiome-boosting habits worth taking note of:

  • Be gentle to your skin – by using products that help protect and preserve your skin’s PH and its microbiome while you wash. I.e. use products that are 100% gentle and are as mild to skin as water5

  • Stay hydrated – it’s no secret that staying hydrated can really help our skin overall, skin microbiome included

  • Think about your gut microbiome – it’s important to give your gut microbiome some TLC if you can as this may support your skin microbiome6

  • Exercise – as we all know, staying active and taking part in regular exercise can help us to stay healthy, as well as sweat out toxins and contribute towards better skin health overall7
Feeling a bit more clued up about skin microbiome now? Well, now you can hopefully distinguish between some of the myths and some of the real truths about what is your skin’s microbiome and how it functions.

As you’ve most probably realised by now, skin microbiome is literally a whole world in itself that can influence how your skin looks and feels. The key, as with most of the inner workings of our body, is taking the time to consider yours and trying to understand what makes your personal skin microsystem tick.

Last updated: 15 June 2020