Since the pandemic, house plants have become mega-popular. Self-proclaimed “Plant Moms'' have taken over social media with images of luscious green plants placed indoors amongst carefully curated rooms. Sometimes hung, perched on a shelf, or potted on the floor, there is no wrong way to display your plant babies. What's even better? Recent studies have shown that being near greenery is actually beneficial for your microbiome, house plant fanatics, rejoice!
Living in an urbanized environment has been studied to negatively affect your microbiome. Pollution, lack of nature & small apartments with low air circulation create an environment that restricts the natural balance of your microbiome. Studies show that people who live in densely populated urban areas have microbiomes with less diversity, leading to an unbalanced microbiome and a myriad of skin issues. The lack of diversity stems from a lack of nature, which is the source for all of our microbes. With over half of the world's population living in cities, this signals bad news for our skin, but there are tangible ways you can mitigate these issues.
Let’s Get Dirty
A recent study published in Finland investigated the effects of dirt (yes, the kind on the ground), and your microbiome. Participants rubbed their hands with sixteen soil and plant based materials, and an exposure via fabric packets filled with moss material. Swabs of the face were taken before and after to record the microbiota diversity. Next-generation sequencing showed that exposures increased, at least temporarily, the total diversity of skin microbiota and the diversity of: Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria. This study proves that contact with nature-based materials modify skin microbiome and increase skin microbial diversity.
To clarify, we do not suggest everyone run outside and spread dirt on their face. Although that does sound fun...However, the benefits of this “soil-cleanse” shouldn’t be ignored. This study is an exaggeration of important points we emphasize, our skin is hungry for microbial diversity and relies a rich and robust environment o perform at its best. The solution to healthier skin is not to wash more or strip our faces into sterility. Instead, we should let our skin blossom naturally, by choosing minimally invasive ingredients & products.
An Easier Solution (No Dirt Scrub Required)
If you are searching for a way to better your microbiome via natural solutions, listen up! A recent study conducted by Finnish scientists discovered the microbiome-positive effects via the use of “green walls” in office spaces. Green walls are man-made structures that are intentionally covered with plants or succulents, usually found indoors for aesthetic purposes, these walls can have lasting impacts on our skin, see below for example.
The study evaluated the impact of air-circulating green walls on bacterial abundance and diversity on human skin, and on immune responses determined by blood cytokine measurements. Basically, will having a green wall help the microbiome? To summarize, YES.
Participants who worked next to the green wall had an increase in microbiotic diversity including the closely studied, Proteobacteria and Lactobacillus. The bacteria from Lactobacillaceae family are known to act against pathogens and inflammation on skin. Their application as a probiotic on skin has been recommended in the treatment of sunburns, skin oxidative damage and hyperpigmentation.
The green walls produce oxygen, naturally filter the air, and provide a symbiotic relationship with the microbiome naturally found on your skin. Plus, they look beautiful and add a touch of nature to a usually bland sterile office environment. Suffice it to say that greenery in and around your home, or where you work, could have a positive impact on your microbiome, and thus your skin.
If plants aren't your thing, try switching your skin routine to a minimal, microbiome friendly regime. Our line of serums and cleansers has no more than 4 handpicked, highest quality, ingredients per package.
Are you curious about the state of your microbiome? Consider taking our Skin Microbiome Kit Test to discover the state of your microbiome. Complete with a breakdown of your top 10 bacteria, personalized skin care & dietary recommendations, the Skin Microbiome Kit is the perfect place to learn about your skin on a microscopic level.