Healthy Skin Microbiome 101 + 5 Tips to Achieve Healthy Skin Microbiome
You are what you eat – and it shows on our skin. However, do you know that our skin is also the last organ that receives nutrients from what we eat? Skin, the largest organ in our body, is the major interface between us and the outside world. It’s vital to have strong and well-functioning skin, especially for young, growing babies.
Skin Microbiome: What is it & Why is it Important
Our skin is home to a vast array of microbes which play an important role in its health. Everyone’s set of skin microbes differ, a newborn whose vernix was allowed to be fully absorbed has a different set of microbes from one whose vernix was wiped off at birth.
A healthy skin microbiome protects against infection – in the same way a good gut microbiome does – by colonizing pathogenic organisms with good and healthy ones. The skin microbiome prefers a relatively acidic environment, which also inhibits growth of bad pathogens.
The microbiome and skin immune system “talk” to each other regularly, dampening inflammation. When the microbiome is out of line, the immune system can release various antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin to help balance things out. Likewise, our good bacterial residents can inhibit the release of inflammatory compounds from the immune system.
Clean is good? Think again
You’re probably familiar with the idea that excessive cleanliness and loads of antibiotics and other medications could damage gut microbiome and increase the risk of allergy and autoimmunity, among other issues. That’s the reason for the recent influx of articles telling mothers to let their kids get out and get dirty.
Thanks and no thanks to the highly marketed “anti-bacterial wash”, we now have a stronger skin dysbiosis and antibiotic resistance, thus the rise of various skin conditions. An imbalanced microbiome is associated with many skin diseases, including psoriasis, allergies, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, poor wound healing, skin ulcers, dandruff, yeast and fungal infections, rosacea, and accelerated skin aging. So is being clean really good? Think again.
Here are our TOP 5 tips for a healthy skin microbiome:
1. Identify and remove trigger food
It’s common to be allergic to something and more often than not, it’s food related. If you’re unsure about what the trigger could be, having a food diary would help. You can start with common allergens such as gluten, dairy and nuts. If you’re breastfeeding and your child has sensitive skin, you should look into your own diet too.
2. Eat healthy
As skin is the last organ to receive nutrients, making sure you’re always eating healthy is very important. I would recommend having lots of healthy fats in your diet – good healthy fish oil, avocado, nuts (if you’re not allergic to nuts).
3. Minimize the use of hand sanitizers and antibacterial wash
Let your microbiome grow and be your defense! I recommend a mild and safe wash for your daily cleaning. Our babies don’t do rough or dirty work, they don’t need harsh cleaners.
4. Maintain a healthy gut
A healthy gut equates healthy skin too! Load up on probiotics and bone broths for a healthy gut.
5. Use a topical probiotic
As mentioned above, the skin is the last organ to get nutrients, so it may need some help. Use topical probiotics, like the one in Bare Nuhcessities Bare Balancing Baby Lotion, to help build a healthy skin microbiome!