If we say ‘microbiome’, your first thought is probably, “hey, aren’t you a skincare brand, not my science teacher?” You’d be right, of course, but understanding your skin and what makes it tick is super important to understanding skincare! They go together like Paris and Nicole, so get your lab coats and safety goggles out, we’re taking a trip to the lab.
What is a Microbiome?
In a sentence? It is a supporting organ that plays a crucial role in making sure our bodies operate smoothly. It is linked to certain diseases, how you respond to skincare ingredients and even how well you sleep.
The microbiome is made up of literally trillions of microorganisms - yup, trillions! In fact, microbes outnumber human cells 10:1. It contains everything from viruses and fungi, to parasites. Before you freak out, it is way less scary than it sounds.
When a person is healthy, these microbes coexist, most commonly in the tummy, but also in other areas like our skin. The microbes in our body usually stabilise at the age of three, but when we factor in diet, stress, and basically anything we consume or put on our skin, our microbiome adapts.
The bacteria within our microbiome are what help us to digest food, regulate our immune system and fight off diseases. They provide nutrients to our cells to prevent harmful viruses or bacteria setting up camp. One important note here; the microbes found in the skin are distinct from those found in other parts of the body.
Microbiome in Skincare
While the tummy microbiome has been getting all of the attention thanks to kombucha, its distant cousin, the skin microbiome, is what we’re interested in.
While we often talk about the importance of clean skin in the sense of removing makeup, dirt and oil, our skin has 1 billion microbes per square centimetre. Most of these bacteria and organisms on the skin are the good guys, so no need to be alarmed. They help us retain moisture, produce collagen for youthful skin, and help the skin heal after an acne flare-up.
“A compromised, unhappy microbiome is increasingly associated with so many of the major skin problems we see today: the alarming rise in skin sensitivity, chronic dryness, breakouts, rosacea, acne, and premature skin ageing,” says Rob Calcraft.
Keeping your skin’s microbiome happy and healthy is going to give you the best skin of your life! So, what products should you be using to protect your microbiome?
The golden rule is to look for gentle products that don’t interfere with your natural skin microbiome. Products that leave your face feeling ‘squeaky clean’ are not the vibe here because they mess with your pH levels - we’re trying to achieve a nice 4.7 on the pH scale.
Now for what we geek out over here at esmi HQ: probiotics (and prebiotics and postbiotics). If probiotics are the good live bacteria that keep bad bacteria in check, prebiotics are the food for probiotics, and postbiotics are the by-products of that combo. Don't worry, there won’t be a test after this. A good skincare routine will incorporate all 3 of these -biotics, in order for our skin to keep up with the effects of pollution, toxins and stress.
We have an entire line dedicated to probiotic skincare products, including the Probiotic Skin Mylck Cleanser and our range of Skin Mylcks. They contain Lysate, which helps to create an environment in which your skin can thrive when the big bad world tries to compromise it. Think of our Skin Mylcks as a lightweight lotion that will strengthen the skin by increasing hydration and soothing sensitivity or inflammation. Plus, there’s one with brightening ingredients, one for added hydration, one for calming redness and of course our classic Skin Mylck.
Want to find out more about the benefits of microbiome in skincare? Chat to one of our friendly skin specialists!