The Importance Of Skin Microbes

Jun 21, 2021

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Last updated on November 9th, 2021 at 01:59 pm

When we mention the word microbiome, everyone automatically made the gut connection.  Now the gut is home to trillions of tiny organism that affects the body and health, but it is definitely not the only place where bacteria exist.

Microbiome refers to the mix of bacteria, yeasts, and parasites that live on the skin, in the nose, trachea, in the gut – from mouth to anus.

Did you know that this unique mix of bacteria, yeasts, and parasites are so closely linked to all sorts of health conditions? Weight, mental health, periodontal disease, diabetes, and blood pressure – just to name a few.

The Importance Of Skin Microbes 1

Research has shown us the importance of the gut microbiome. I mean most of us understand that eating probiotic-rich foods is beneficial.  But as it turns out protecting and supporting the skin microbiome is just as important.

In fact, most skin problems affect skin microbes.  This may be the result of the changes in their ecosystem, due to our modern lifestyle and the over sterilization of everything.

The skin is under constant assault from all sorts of environmental agents,  like toxic cleaners, anti-bacterial soaps, cosmetics, etc.  It turns out that our current culture’s obsession with being “clean” and sterilizing everything is doing more harm than good for the microbiome balance on the skin.

Just like the gut, when the balance of the skin’s microbiome is altered it can create a host of problems.

The skin contains millions and trillions of lymphocytes that are basically like tiny foot soldiers, they protect your body’s perimeter.  These lymphocytes then “radio” information about the impending attack on the immune system.

A healthy skin microbiome appears to actually begin during and shortly after birth, and our modern practices surrounding laboring and birthing will have big consequences.  Sometimes I wonder if the increase of skin-related disorders may be connected.

It is important to note that not one single part of the body’s microbes exists in isolation.  They all interact with each other and makeup such an important part of the immune system.

It is time to view our skin as a rich environment filled with a complex microbiome, that needs to be nurtured and protected, instead of a surface that needs to be constantly cleaned and sanitized.

How to nurture the skin microbiome?

The skin microbiome is simply the collection of microorganisms present on the skin.

Spend time outside and get dirty
Throughout human history, humans spend time outside cultivating the land.  This ensured interactions with the soil, and soil-based organisms, which are natural strains of probiotics found in the gut and on the skin.  Spending time outside gardening or camping is a great way to be exposed to a variety of soil-based organisms.

The Importance Of Skin Microbes

Use a skin probiotic spray
A lot of us take probiotics for our guts, but few of us think about using a skin probiotic.

I love using this probiotic spray after showering.

Stop over-sterilizing your home
Your microbes are supposed to interact with viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

Avoid antibacterial soaps
This is so important, in fact, triclosan (one of the most-use antibacterial ingredients in soaps) has been banned, but many other similar ingredients are still in use.

These antibacterial soaps interfere with and affect skin microbes negatively.

Sweat often
There are some research and studies that suggest sweating affects skin healthy positively by acting as a prebiotic.


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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