Did you know that there is a whole natural ecosystem living on the surface of your skin? Billions of tiny, invisible microorganisms make up your skin’s microbiome; the natural flora residing on your complexion. All these bacteria sound a little worrying but surprisingly, without them we couldn’t survive.
What is the microbiome?
The microbiome is the first line of defence against disease, infection and pathogen attack. Often referred to as our ‘acid mantle’, the microbiome tends to have a pH around 4.5-5.5: the ideal environment to stop alkali-loving pathogens. Home to a diverse range of bacteria, our microbiome is utterly vital for long-term health and like our fingerprints, is completely unique to each and every one of us.
Balance is key for the health of the microbiome. Changes in pH, levels of hydration and the environment can all take effect on the bacteria living on your skin. One bad bacteria too many can tip the scales and cause skin flare-ups such as dry skin, sensitivity and blemishes.
Prebiotics & Probiotics
Probiotics, meaning ‘for life’ in latin, are live bacteria. Similar to the bacteria already present in the microbiome, probiotics can intermix with your natural bacteria. This alters the composition of the microbiome; optimising its pH levels and helping to favour the growth of the good bacteria, while suppressing the bad. They can also produce antimicrobials to help protect the skin from external aggressors.
Prebiotics are often based on carbohydrates, and act as ‘food’ for the growth of bacteria colonies (just as carbs act as food for the growth of humans). Able to feed the bacteria already on our skin as well as the probiotics to make them stronger, prebiotics are essential for microbiome health.
Pre and probiotics work synergistically to support the skin’s natural microbiome balance. The combination is ideal for treating blemish-prone skin. An alternative to antibiotic treatment, pre and probiotics are much gentler on the skin and do not pose any risk of antibiotic resistance. Pre and probiotics gently encourage the skin’s natural flora to favour good bacteria over the bad, such as P. acnes which can cause blemishes. This leads to an overall more balanced, even and predictable complexion that is in pure harmony with itself.