Microbiome is fast becoming a household word. We hear a lot about gut health and gut microbiome and the role it plays in health and wellbeing. But hear less about our skin microbiome and the important role it also plays in our overall health and immunity.
According to Webster’s Dictionary ‘micro’ is an adjective that describes something as very small. ‘Biome’ a noun is a major ecological community type. While this word may sound like a massive contradiction, it points to what the microbiome actually is – a massive community of microorganisms that inhabit an environment. In our case the human microbiome is a massive community of microorganisms that inhabit your body.
Each human body hosts a number of ecosystems. Composed of approximately 10 trillion human cells, 100 trillion bacteria, yeasts, and single cell protozoa (representing thousands of different species), and 1,000 trillion viruses in and on our bodies, which are collectively called the microbiome.
Researchers are now beginning to focus their attention towards the relationship the skin microbiome plays in maintaining healthy skin. The latest discoveries are beginning to show how crucial the skin microbiome is to our health and well-being and even to how the skin ages.
The skin microbiomes main function is to directly protect our body from pathogenic invaders. It helps our immune system to maintain and regulate that delicate balance between effective protection and damaging inflammation.
When it comes to healthy skin microbial biodiversity is everything.
Several studies have already shown that an important aspect of skin health is directly connected to our skins inhabitant’s diversity. This research shows that the greater the diversity of the microbiome found on the skin's surface, the lesser the age-related changes are being seen in the skin.
This phenomena is replicated through nature. All research across biology and ecology agrees that a higher biodiversity corresponds directly to increased healthiness and functionality within the ecosystem. This new knowledge has the potential to revolutionise the beauty and personal care industry and the way skincare products are produced and made. Most importantly it will change how we treat, tend and nurture our skin.
Keeping our skin healthy begins with a better understanding of the skin microbiome and how it interacts with us its host. It is exciting to know that by learning how to be better hosts to our microbiota we can directly improve the condition and quality of our skin. In turn we will also become better guests to the planet that hosts us.