Did you know about the good bacteria that live on your skin?



By now, you’ve probably heard of the gut microbiome: the array of microorganisms that live in your digestive system.It turns out that your skin has its own microbiome too. 

Your skin biome is home to the microorganisms that live on your skin. These include bacteria, fungi and viruses. Just as the microorganisms in your gut plays a role in your overall health, your skin biome influences the health of your skin. This includes the way your skin looks and feels, as well as its overall condition.

A 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports revealed that in acne patients, the skin microbiome bacteria are less balanced than in people with healthy skin. Skin biomes also play a role in skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and even dandruff.

A healthy skin microbiome protects your skin from infections and conditions by preventing the overgrowth of bad bacteria and pathogens. It can also enable wounds to heal faster, acts as a barrier to keep out toxins and keeps inflammation at bay.Unfortunately, if you don’t look after your skin microbiome properly, you’ll wreak havoc on your skin’s overall health.

For example, if you have blemish-prone skin, your skin microbiome is probably overpopulated with pathogens and bad bacteria; while healthy skin would have a balance of both good and bad bacteria.

The overuse of antibacterial soaps, preservatives in topical skin products and other harsh products we apply to our skin, are just a few factors that can send the bacteria in your skin biome out of whack. 

Here are a few ways to keep your skin bugs in check.

Protect your skin microbiome

Eat more prebiotics

In order to thrive, the bacteria in your skin needs food. Prebiotics are a kind of fibre that good bacteria feed on, but your body can’t produce it. Include prebiotics in your diet to ensure that your skin’s bacteria are nourished and plentiful. Eat foods like soybeans, oats, garlic, artichokes and asparagus. 

Up your probiotics

Besides prebiotics, have probiotics every day. Like prebiotics, probiotics help your skin microbiome’s good bugs to grow healthily. Probiotics also boost digestion. You can find them in most fermented foods and good options include yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh. 

Find the balance

Avoid using antibacterial soaps on your skin to ensure you have a healthy community of bacteria in your skin’s microbiome. Avoid moisturisers with harmful ingredients and use natural ones instead. Minimise your use of sanitiser and don’t wash your hands unnecessarily. Have at least one serving of both prebiotics and probiotics each day. 

Destress regularly

Just as stress negatively affects your general health, it also affects your skin’s wellbeing. Find a stress management technique and use it daily. This can range from journaling to meditation and even yoga. Working out could also help you let off steam and working up a sweat also ups your body’s prebiotics. 

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