Knowing about skincare is important to figure out how to develop the right routine for your skin. With the launch of Lavinia Purifying Cleanser, we thought we would provide some education around some key buzzwords: skin microbiome, acid mantle, what they are, what they do and how it affects your skincare routine.
Understanding the science behind these terms will help you understand how to treat your skin!
Firstly, what is the skin microbiome?
The skin microbiome is a community of micro-organisms living together in a specific habitat. All the organisms on our skin are described as the skin microbiome. The individual micro-organisms affect our bodies in the same way that our bodies affect them. They also interact with each other. Healthy skin maintains a balance. Most are harmless microorganisms which inhibit the spread of potentially dangerous microorganisms. They even help our immune system to fight off pathogens effectively.
In combination with the acid mantle and lipid barrier, the microbiome is a crucial component of our skin barrier. Think of our microbiome as the first line of defense against bacterial invasion. Directly below the microbiome, a slightly acidic acid cover (pH of approximately 5.0) helps to inhibit the growth of external stressors such as other bacteria, fungi and pathogens in general.
So, how do we maintain a healthy microbiome?
A healthy microbiome is about maintaining an ideal environment for good and bad bacteria to co-exist and work together. It needs to be properly maintained and nourished to thrive. This includes feeding the microbiome with good nutrients (such as probiotics) to produce more bacteria. This helps to maintain the integrity of the microbiome.
What are the top skincare tips for keeping your microbiome healthy?
There are many ways to use our daily skincare routine to help your skin barrier perform and look its best. Here are some tips.
Nourish your skin with probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are 'food' for your probiotics to help good bacteria thrive.
● Skin cleansing and care affects the balance of the microbiome. The slightly acidic pH of the skin's natural protective layer promotes a healthy ecological balance on the skin. This healthy balance can be supported by using skin cleansing and care products with a pH of 5.5. This is especially important when this balance is jeopardised by internal and external factors.
● ️Some people may think that the squeakier clean, the better, but this likely means that your skin is being stripped of its natural nutrients after cleansing. The proper pH level for human skin is slightly acidic (4.7-5.5). Some products, such as certain harsh cleansers, can make the skin too alkaline and weaken the bacterial barrier. Using pH-balanced cleansers helps to maintain skin's microbiome balance and protect its barrier function from drying out and harmful environmental influences.
● Use other pH-balanced skin care products. In order to allow good micro-organisms to multiple, it is necessary to restore the proper pH level.
● ️Look for ingredients that love the skin barrier. Choose products rich in moisturising and rejuvenating properties such as ceramides, peptides and niacinamide.
● Avoid over-exfoliating. Chemical exfoliants are gentler than exfoliants with small particles (physical exfoliants).
● Never forget the SPF: protecting your skin from UV rays is the most important thing you can do to help reinforce your skin barrier.
In our next skincare blog, we will cover another important buzzword, 'acid mantle'.