The skin is colonised by approximately a trillion microbes. These microbes include bacteria, viruses and fungi and play key roles in health and disease.
We also now understand that there is a link between the skin and the gut called the skin gut axis. The skin gut axis acts bidirectionally. This means that our gut communicates with our skin and vice versa. Maintaining a balanced gut microbiome has benefits for immune health and skin health.
To reduce the risk of being susceptible to skin conditions and to manage them, it is worth considering the role of the skin microbiome. When our skin microbiome is out of balance, we are more vulnerable to skin conditions. So what can we do to improve our skin microbiome?
We’ve put together our top five tips to improve your skin microbiome and maintain balance:
1. Avoid harsh skincare products
The skin microbiome thrives when there is a diversity of beneficial microbes. Cleansers, make up and moisturisers containing harsh chemicals can decrease our microbial diversity and make us more susceptible to dysbiosis (an imbalanced skin microbiome). It’s this imbalance which is associated with many skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
2. Eat a diet diverse in plant based whole foods
Given the skin gut axis, it’s important to look after our guts in order to look after our skin. Eating a diet rich and diverse in plant based whole foods helps cultivate a diverse gut microbiome. There are also knock on health benefits as 70% of our immune system cells are in our guts.
3. Consider the impact of lifestyle
It is also worth considering how our lifestyle can support our gut health which can in turn benefit our skin health. Managing stress, getting enough quality sleep and movement are all factors that can help us manage our gut health and as a result, skin microbiome.
4. Apply topical probiotics
Particular strains of probiotics can reset the skin’s protective ecosystem and help restore it’s natural power to heal and protect itself from disease. Sencyr’s Living Skin Probiotics replenish the natural microbiome with living bacteria that naturally live on healthy skin.
5. Identify and remove trigger foods
The gut skin axis communicates bidirectionally. It’s therefore important to identify any foods or drinks that are causing symptoms and reduce or eliminate these from your diet.
CEO & Founder of The Gut Feeling (UK)