What is the Skin's Microbiome?
What is the skin’s microbiome?
This falls under the category of “too much information” but the truth is, we all have a ton of skin bacteria living on our face. That’s a good thing because, just like our gut, our skin is a vast ecosystem with tons of little microscopic critters living on it we actually need to maintain healthy skin. This community of microorganisms which includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mites is called the microbiome.
I’ve got WHAT living on me?
To be exact, there are 1,000 different bacterial species and up to 80 different fungi species living on your body right now. Yes, it sounds gross, but a healthy microbiome means healthy, hydrated skin. Your microbiome is unique to you, it’s just like a fingerprint. Some parts are similar in everyone, but others are defined by factors that are personal to you. These include things like genetics, lifestyle, age and gender. Your skin microbiome is different all over your body, too, the microbiome on your face is different than your underarms or on your legs.
A healthy Microbiome supports a healthy immune system
Scientists originally believed that our microbiome only existed on the surface of the skin. Research now proves this is not the case, and in fact, microbes are found all the way to the subcutaneous fat layer which is the innermost layer of skin. Scientists now believe the most important communication between the microbiome and our immune system takes place at this layer.
We have many misconceptions of the tiny organisms that make up our microbiome, thinking that we have to sterilize everything. Research has proven that some of the bacteria on our skin educate our immune system and act as a barrier to keep you healthy. If we disturb the balance of this ecosystem it can lead to skin infections and even compromise our immune responses.
How does the microbiome benefit your skin?
Your skin is your largest organ, approximately 22 square feet on average. The scary part? Approximately 60 percent of everything you put on your skin is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. Now, this allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals, but, unfortunately, we also absorb the harmful chemicals, harsh soaps, and antibacterial products we put on it too. These chemicals and common soap products mess with your microbiome. An out of balance microbiome is associated with many health conditions, including psoriasis, allergies, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, poor wound healing, skin ulcers, dandruff, yeast and fungal infections, rosacea, and accelerated skin aging.
The bottom line? According to US National Library of Medicine, a balanced diverse microbiome supports many of the processes that the skin needs to stay healthy and resilient.
What’s hiding in your soap?
Chemicals in common soaps are a problem for your skin’s microbiome. Scrubbing your skin, using harsh cleansers with soap, waxing and shaving are all things that can disrupt the microbiome. Common soap can disrupt the skin’s pH balance which throws your microbiome out of wack leading to those numerous skin issues we mentioned. With serious side effects like these, we need to be really picky about what we put on our skin.
What can you do to keep your microbiome healthy?
- Don’t scrub the heck out of your skin.
- Use gentle products that are free of soap and sulfates.
- Select products that support and nourish your skin’s microbiome.
WOSH is one of those products
WOSH is an all-natural mineral bar made with Kisameet Glacial Clay, recognized by the global scientific and medical community for its unique healing properties, alongside its ability to support and nourish the skin’s natural microbiome.
We invite you to read this report from the American Society for Microbiology about Kisameet Clay’s effectiveness against the ESKAPE pathogens.
The takeaway? Be gentle on your microbiome, from how you wash to the ingredients in the products you're using. Your skin will thank you.