Ever heard of microbiome skincare? It's generated quite a buzz this year, as we better understand the role it plays in achieving great skin.
According to Nutrimetics' in-house chemist and new product development specialist Victor Nguyen, the skin microbiome is an ecosystem of good bacteria that lives on your epidermis, which helps regulate inflammation and serves as a barrier that's the first line of defence against pathogenic bacteria.
"Having a balanced microbiome is an essential building block for your healthiest skin," Victor said. "If your microbiome is in tune, skin is better at warding off environmental aggressors like pollution. It improves skin's defence mechanisms against triggers that can cause the skin to become inflamed, irritated, and sensitive."
According to Victor, our skin microbiome changes with lifestyle and environment, and using too many products, especially chemical-laden products, will disrupt skin's pH balance and make your skin microbiome weaker. This can lead to problems such as dryness, breakouts, oily skin, redness, inflammation and even premature ageing.
"The impact of the pandemic also means people are more hygienic than ever," he said. "Over washing and stripping skin of natural oils with harsh antibacterial formulas, all contribute to a weaker microbiome."
So how do we maintain a healthy skin microbiome? Victor says to be mindful of harsh treatments or overusing things such as exfoliants.
Also avoid skin-stripping products that contain parabens and SLS (a foam-creating chemical that can irritate skin). Instead, choose naturally enriched ingredients targeted toward improving skin barrier function.
As well as a simple skincare routine, you can also support your skin holistically by not only digesting probiotics, but applying them topically. "It all works together synergistically to keep your skin's ecosystem balanced, healthy and happy," said Victor.