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Your skin health is affected by your unique universe of microorganisms

The return of microorganisms

The bacteria have for a long time been drawn with a tarnished reputation. It's a little ironic because they were here on earth long before us. For about three billion years, they have colonized the planet - to compare with the modern history of man, which begins only three hundred thousand years ago.

We have a deep-rooted habit of seeing bacteria as evil, which is an attitude we inherited from the 1800s. For a long time, in our culture, we have regarded bacteria primarily as enemies to be exterminated. We can also see this in our lifestyle habits with daily showers or baths, chlorinated water and frequent use of soap. We are so focused on keeping ourselves clean and getting rid of germs that we may have encountered but, without micro-organisms like bacteria, we humans would not survive. They work with our cells and play an important role in all aspects of our health.

Fortunately, we are starting to have a better relationship with our microorganisms and bacteria. Most of us know the importance of a balanced intestinal flora for good health. But what about the skin flora? What do you know about your skin flora and how well do you relate to it?

We think it's time to start rethinking how we treat our ecosystem of bacteria in our skin - our protective microbiome and skin flora.

Microbiome = skin flora

The microbiome is the genetic heritage of all our microorganisms that live and live in and on us. A certain set of microorganisms forms the well-known intestinal flora and another unique set forms the skin flora.

Why is the skin microbiome important?

The skin's microorganisms protect the skin against attacks from harmful bacteria and viruses and control the overall health of our skin. That's why we want to take care of the microorganisms that live on our skin and not disturb their "home". A disturbance in the balance between different types of bacteria that live on the skin can lead to skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema.

How do the bacteria protect our skin?

The good bacterial flora, also called commensal bacterial flora, is the skin flora that has our skin as its home. We have thousands of different species of bacteria and other microorganisms living in and on our skin. These microorganisms account for two important protective mechanisms in the skin.

  • They form anti-inflammatory substances, for example short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and anti-microbial peptides (AMP's), which support our immune system in the skin.
  • They form a series of naturally occurring moisture binders in the skin. The reason for this evolutionary invention is to counteract dry skin.

Man discovers the bacteria

Bacteria were first observed in 1674 by the Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. He viewed the tiny organisms through a microscope he had constructed himself. In 1861, the French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur was able to show that fermentation is caused by microbiological activity, and it became known that bacteria can cause disease.

In 1928, the British bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, which seemingly gave man control over the both invisible and ever-threatening bacterial colonies. But even then, Fleming warned of the antibiotic's side effects. Today, 90 years later, we are facing the post-antibiotic era, with antibiotic resistance and other diseases as a result. For the intestinal microbiome, an antibiotic treatment means a serious impact and it can take months before the body's microbiome has recovered properly. Side effects such as an upset stomach or diarrhea are just as likely with antibiotic courses as rashes and fungal infections of the skin.

For the skin microbiome, the exploited use of hygiene products probably also means a serious impact on our natural skin flora. Recently published research studies show that over-cleansing of facial skin can worsen, for example, the skin condition rosacea (Li et al., 2020), but also that the microbiome is affected by topical application of skin care products (Bouslimani et al., 2019).

The knowledge of the skin flora

Although since human history we humans have been colonized by microorganisms in order to survive, knowledge of our intrinsic friends has been very limited. Already during childbirth, we are colonized by our mothers' microbiome. Our bacteria then follow our journey through life, protecting our skin, our gut and yes, our whole body.

The reason why we haven't heard much about the skin microbiome is that it is such a new area of ​​research and it is only in recent years that it has been able to be researched and studied to a greater extent. The gut microbiome is also a relatively new field of research. It was only about 5 years ago that ways were found to study the trillions of micro-organisms that live and work on our skin. Thanks to modern sequencing methods that have led to a revolution in medical science, we can now understand more about which bacteria are good for us and which are not.

Just as connections have been found between several popular diseases and different compositions of intestinal flora, so too have recently been discovered connections with certain compositions of skin flora linked to skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, acne or rosacea. But there is still much to explore in our bacterial flora, in order for us to understand the connection to health and illness in the skin.

In the future, we may transplant bacteria from one skin to another to treat various skin conditions. But until we get there, both gut flora research and skin flora research indicate that a good strategy is to take good care of our microorganisms and not disturb the order unnecessarily.

Our strategy for a healthier microbiome!

We believe that the best strategy is to treat our skin flora with respect. Therefore, all our products are formulated to be as microbiome-friendly as possible and have a strengthening effect on the skin flora.

Our recommendation is that you only wash your face in the evening so that your skin can retain the good bacteria it produced during the night. After the evening cleansing, if you wish, you can apply one of our moisturizers together with one of our night concentrates to restore the balance of the skin flora. In the morning, it is enough to rinse your face with lukewarm water and then apply one of our moisturizers. If you want to explore more about our products, you can find our entire range here .

SKIN ACADEMY