A fact which shocked us the first time we heard it is just how much of the human body is not actually, well… human. In fact, our own cells account for only about 43% of the body’s total cell count – the rest comprises bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic organisms who collectively are known as our microbiome.
More than just a fun fact to share at (boring) parties, our microbiome has huge health implications for our entire bodies and of course, our skin. Because, while the majority of microorganisms live in our digestive system, billions live on our skin, where they have a profound impact on its health and appearance. For this reason, nourishing and supporting your skin microbiome may be the best thing you can do for skin.
Who’s Who in the Microbe Zoo
There are innumerable types of microbes living in our bodies, but scientists break them down into two core groups. You may have heard them described as ‘good’ bacteria and ‘bad’ bacteria but they’re known more officially as ‘commensal’ and ‘pathogenic’ bacteria.
Commensal bacteria include the kind you find in yogurt or Yakult (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium), while Pathogenic bacteria are the kind which make you sick – think Streptococcus and Salmonella. So, our goal is to provide the kind of environment our ‘good’ bacteria require, while ensuring we reduce the opportunity for ‘bad’ bacteria to exist.
What Does ‘Good’ Bacteria Like?
You’ll no doubt already be aware that there are certain foods and drinks which help our gut microbiomes – AKA our ‘gut flora’ – to thrive. These include fermented foods – kombucha, kim chi, sourdough, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir – but also much more common, everyday wholefoods like fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. Whole hemp seeds are also beneficial, providing a good source of soluble fibre to feed our ‘good’ bacteria!
Eating a healthy diet rich in the above foods will benefit both your skin and gut microbiome, but there are a few extra things you can do to take care of your skin microbiome in particular…
Caring For Your Skin Microbiome
Of course, the first and most important tip in caring for our skin microbiome is to keep your skin hydrated as much as possible. Do this throughout the day by drinking at least 2 litres of water and using moisturisers and serums, especially in dry conditions.
Our skin especially loves natural oils including our hero ingredient here, Hemp Seed Oil. It’s perfect for most skin types, as it can moisturize without clogging pores and even help balance out oily skin by hydrating it. It regulates our skin’s oil production and has antimicrobial properties, which means it can help to deter ‘bad’ bacteria from taking a foothold in your skin microbiome.
Other oils we’ve included in our formulas for their moisturizing properties include rosehip, coconut and jojoba oil. Jojoba is the plant-based oil which most closely matches the natural oils produced by our own skin. This means this ingredient – which features in our Renewal Serum, Hemp Jelly, Complex CoQ10 Serum, Clarify Serum and La Tropica Body Serum – can trick the skin into producing less sebum, preventing it becoming oily.
Care for the thriving ecosystem of your skin – and gut – and reap the benefits of overall health, vitality and of course, a glowing complexion!