WHAT IS SKIN MICROBIOME-FRIENDLY SKIN CARE?
a guest post by skin care coach and blogger Pia – skincareinspirations.com
Our skin is home to many microbes. The various bacteria, fungi and viruses form what is known as your skin microbiome. Even if this does not seem very appealing at first glance, these microorganisms are a very important component of your skin barrier. What’s more: a balanced skin microbiome is indispensable for skin health!
Healthy skin independently regulates which microorganisms are allowed to remain and which do not belong to the skin flora. However, if the skin suffers from neurodermatitis, acne, rosacea, psoriasis or a damaged skin barrier in general, self-regulation is significantly more difficult.
Fortunately, good skin care can help maintain a balanced skin microbiome. But what are the characteristics of microbiome-friendly skin care products?
1) ACIDIC pH
The pH value of (healthy) skin is in the acidic range (approx. pH 5). The acidic environment of the skin surface makes life difficult for harmful germs. This is because undesirable bacteria, which occur more frequently in skin diseases, for example, feel most comfortable in a higher pH environment. In contrast, the skin's own antimicrobial substances, which protect the skin from pathogens, do best in an acidic pH environment. Skin care products characterised by an acidic pH thus create a suboptimal environment for pathogenic microorganisms and an optimal environment for skin-friendly bacteria.
2) THE SKIN'S OWN LIPIDS
In addition to an acidic pH of the skin barrier, the skin's own lipids (fatty substances) also control the growth of unwanted pathogens. At the same time, lipids help to rebuild a damaged skin barrier by making it denser. This makes two processes more difficult: a) the entry of harmful germs into the skin and b) the loss of moisture from the skin. The literature shows that lipids in skin care products that are identical or very similar to the skin’s own, such as ceramides and fatty acids, are recognised by the skin as its own. This means that skin care products with skin-like lipids actively participate in strengthening the skin barrier.
3) INFLAMMATION REGULATING EFFECT
A healthy skin microbiome also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. This is an extremely important function, because even healthy skin is confronted daily with various processes that cause micro-inflammations - not least UV rays. In the case of skin diseases, inflammatory processes play an even greater role. Therefore, it is important to choose care products with anti-inflammatory substances, such as niacinamide or panthenol. This further strengthens our skin microbiome and thus contributes to skin health.
4) MILD INGREDIENTS
A balanced microbiome is an important prerequisite for healthy skin. Good skin care can certainly contribute to strengthening the skin microbiota by, among other things, having a pH value close to that of healthy skin and containing lipids similar to the skin’s own, as well as anti-inflammatory substances. However, good skin care can also have a passive positive effect on the skin microbiome if it is formulated with mild ingredients. Mild skin care means that known irritants - such as denatured alcohol, perfume, essential oil ingredients, allergenic plant extracts or drying surfactants - are avoided. All these characteristics distinguish the VENYA care products. They respect the skin's own microbiome, strengthen the skin barrier and thus promote skin health and healthy aging.