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How Can You Support the Skin Microbiome?

How Can You Support the Skin Microbiome?

Have you ever wondered why certain skin care products work and others don't, or why we get breakouts and other skin conditions? It all has to do with something called the skin microbiome.

Our epidermis, which is our largest organ, is made up of tiny microorganisms. These skin microbiotas live on the surface of our skin and can affect our overall skin health.

Read on as we uncover all there is to know about the human skin microbiome, including what it is and how it works.

What Is the Skin Microbiome?

The skin microbiome is a complex ecosystem made up of microorganisms, like good bacteria, that live on our skin surface and support the skin barrier. This microbial community includes healthy bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microscopic organisms. 

The skin microbiome forms a protective barrier against environmental threats and can help regulate our immune system as well as irritation in the body.

In fact, it can even influence your body chemistry in ways you may have never imagined — for example, some microorganisms help break down toxins or create essential vitamins.

How Does the Skin Microbiome Work?

The skin microflora works to keep us healthy by maintaining the balance of our bodily systems and protecting our skin cells against pathogens and skin diseases.

It does this by producing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, regulating pH levels on the surface of the skin, and supporting a balance of natural oils to create an environment where beneficial bacteria can thrive. This same environment can also discourage bad skin bacteria, support proper wound healing, and ward off dryness. 

This microbial diversity helps us stay healthy and can prevent infection or irritation caused by bad bacteria or fungal overgrowth. 

What Are the Signs of an Unhealthy Skin Microbiome?

Are you wondering if your skin flora is functioning at its best? There are some warning signs that can indicate an imbalanced microbiome.

These can include:

  • Excess Sebum Production. When your sebaceous glands are overactive, they end up producing too much oil — and while some natural oil is necessary in order to maintain your skin health, too much oil can affect your makeup application and even feed bad bacteria, building a habitat for them to grow. Excess sebum (oil) production could indicate an unhealthy skin microbiome, as oil overproduction can be the body’s attempt to compensate for a compromised barrier.
  • Visible Blemishes. Breakouts are no fun in general, but they can also indicate that the balance of good and bad bacteria on your skin has gone awry.
  • Clogged Pores. Clogging can happen when the oil secreted by our skin mixes with dirt, debris, and dead cells and settles into our hair follicles and pores.
  • Sensitive Skin. An imbalance in your skin microbiome may lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as itchiness, redness, burning sensations, or painful bumps.
  • Irritation. Unhealthy skin, or skin lacking proper hydration, has a hard time repairing itself, which can result in visible irritation.

If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be time to see a dermatologist who can help determine if your skin microbiome is out of balance. Once you know what's wrong, they can help you put together a plan to get it back on track and keep it healthy.

How Can You Support Your Skin Microbiome?

It’s pretty clear that having a healthy skin microbiome plays a huge role not just in skin health but also in overall health. Here are a few ways you can support your skin microbiome.

Eat a Variety of Foods

Eating a variety of nutrient-rich fruits can help provide your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber needed to support a healthy microbiome. 

These can include:

  • Fiber-rich vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts, which provide key fatty acids

As much as possible, choose organic produce when shopping at the grocery store to avoid unnecessary preservatives and pesticides. 

Additionally, try incorporating fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut into your diet. These foods can contain probiotics, which can help support beneficial bacteria in the gut. To support those probiotics, make sure you eat plenty of prebiotic foods rich in fiber, as well.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for a healthy microbiome. Water can help flush out toxins from the body while providing much-needed moisture to help your cells function properly. 

Adequate water consumption can also help support skin barrier function. Aim to drink eight glasses of water per day or more, depending on your activity level. 

Get Moving

Exercise can play an important role in maintaining a healthy microbiome by helping move food through the digestive tract more quickly and efficiently. Even just 20 minutes of exercise per day can make a huge difference.

Find something active that you enjoy doing so you're more likely to stick with it for longer periods of time. Whether it’s swimming laps at the pool or going for a brisk walk around the block with your pup, moving your body can only help.

Manage Stress

Stress is one of those things that we all experience from time to time, but it's important not to let it take over our lives. Chronic stress can affect our immune system and gut health, which can then affect many other areas of wellness.

Take some time each day dedicated solely to yourself — this could mean reading a book in silence or taking part in a calming yoga routine. It's amazing what even just 10 minutes can do for our mental well-being.

Sleep More

Getting an adequate amount of shut-eye each night is essential for maintaining a healthy microbiome. Too little sleep can increase irritation in the body, while more sleep can help soothe feelings of stress and support healthy digestion. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to support skin health.

Pro Tip: Need some help in the sleep department? Look no further than Sleeping Beauty — a dreamy supplement that combines melatonin, magnesium, and valerian root to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.*

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial, live microorganisms that can help support a healthy skin microbiome. Look for probiotic supplements with multiple strains of bacteria and take them regularly to reap the full benefits. 

Not sure where to look? Check out Clear Skin Probiotics — a skin-loving supplement made with powerful probiotics and herbs that work to support the appearance of healthy skin texture.*

Supporting your gut microbiota can help support your immune system’s defenses against health and environmental factors that can affect your skin. You can also apply topical probiotics directly to your skin. 

The Bottom Line

The human body is home to an incredible array of tiny organisms known as the skin microbiome. This microbial ecosystem plays a key role in keeping us healthy by protecting us from disease-causing pathogens and helping regulate pH levels on the surface of our skin. 

To keep your microbes balanced and happy, it's important to practice healthy dietary and hygiene habits. This is where supplements like Clear Skin Probiotics can also help. 

For more tips and supplements to help support your wellness, check out our blog and browse our online products.


The skin microbiome | PMC

The Skin and Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Common Dermatologic Conditions | PMC

Distinct Skin Microbiome and Skin Physiological Functions Between Bedridden Older Patients and Healthy People: A Single-Center Study in Japan | Frontiers

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