Bacteria, Fungi & Viruses, Oh My! How Your Microbiome Affects Your Skin Sensitivity
70% of women report having sensitive skin. This number has increased throughout the decades, and research shows that it could be caused by continual harm to our microbiomes.
We know if left alone, our microbiome most likely would be balanced, our skin has an incredible ability to reach equilibrium on its own. However, our lifestyle today does not allow for that. We shower, sweat, wear makeup & skincare products almost daily, all of these activities alter our microbiome. Additionally, stress & hormones affect your microbiome. Research shows that less abundant and diverse microbiomes are associated with sensitive skin.Meaning, the more robust and diverse microbiome you have, the less likely you are to suffer from sensitive skin.
What is the Microbiome?
The microbiome is the invisible layer of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on the surface of your skin. It is an entire universe of trillions of residents, calling your skin home. Don’t worry it's less scary than it might sound. This ecosystem works in epic cohesion to protect your body from outside irritants, and act as the first line of defense against outside viruses.
All these microorganisms living on our skin are in constant conversation with the skin’s tissues to keep a healthy balance. Cells in your skin perform background checks on microorganisms around them to identify bad ones. The cells work with good microorganisms to kill off any dangerous creatures.
This means that microorganisms like bacteria are always protecting you from outside threats. They fight pathogens, fungus, and parasites which may cause diseases or infections. We can also thank them for combating inflammation and helping our skin repair itself.
Why is our Microbiome Affected By Certain Activities?
Our microbiomes are affected by the activities listed above because simply put: our skin is alive! Trillions of bacteria and fungi live on your skin, and they react to the environment around them, like any other organism. Overwashing, over use of skincare products, and frequent makeup use can contribute to an unbalanced microbiome.
How is an unbalanced microbiome and sensitive skin related?
As stated above, your microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria and fungi. Within this invisible ecosystem is organized chaos and epic cohesion. Working together, these microbes create a layer of protection on your skin from outside irritants + harmful viruses. But just like any team, they work best together when they are in sync.
Scientific studies have shown sensitive skin is caused by an imbalance of microbes. For example, a study was completed to show the correlation between microbes and sensitive skin. Within this study there were 2 groups of women of relative age, & background. One group self identified as having sensitive skin, the other did not. The study revealed that the abundance of the bacteria, Staphylococcus epidermidis, was significantly less in the sensitive skin group. Meaning, the occurrence of sensitive skin is related to the significant decrease of Staphylococcus on the skin’s surface. Staphylococcus epidermis has been studied to be a “good” bacteria, and is known to regulate and strengthen our skin’s defense system and help accelerate wound healing.
Furthermore, multiple studies show that a more diverse group of bacteria & fungi is correlated with non-sensitive skin. Those who suffer from sensitive skin usually are missing vital bacteria + fungi.
What can I do for my Microbiome?
We are the first microbiome-friendly certified skin care in the USA, and we take the microbiome and your skin heath, pretty seriously. We're passionate about minimalist skincare and the importance of your microbiome. To best care for your microbiome, discover our serums + cleansers in our shop. Not sure what to buy? Try them all with our Minimaliste Disocvery Set.
Our Skin Microbiome Kit is the perfect solution if you are wondering about the health of your microbiome. With one swab, you can discover your bacteria + fungi, and receive a score based on your microbe makeup. To learn more about our test see here.