What is the microbiome?
Just like our gut linings need a healthy level of good bacteria, viruses, and fungi, your skin does too. Your skin has millions and millions of microorganisms settled on your skin that forms your skin microbiome or skin biome. Using ingredients that upset your skin can lead to overproduction or stripping off of these organisms which adds up tremendously to damaging your skin. So one needs to make sure that the skin microbiome is maintained. This does not happen with the help of just a good skincare routine but also needs a healthy diet.
Why is it important?
Let’s look at a few pointers on the benefits of a healthy skin biome:
1. Maintains skin barrier
A healthy balance of organisms on your skin can prevent sensitising your skin with psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), pesky bumps, and acne- to name a few. We’re not bluffing, we found a study on NCBI that proves how skin disease can be prevented at large with the help of a healthy microbiome. This is because the microbiome maintains the skin barrier and fights external stressors to inhibit damage.
2. Quick healing
The microbiome is also known to catalyse the healing process and reduce inflammation. You must have noticed this by observing how some people with ‘blessed skin’ always get rid of spots and bumps sooner. It turns out that the secret behind ‘blessed skin’ is just a healthy skin biome. For those with sensitive skin, you must opt for skin minimalism to restore your skin biome and promote natural healing.
What’s the difference between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics?
Prebiotic is the food that the organisms feed on. Probiotics are the live organisms found on our skin and guts. They feed on Prebiotics. The waste that these organisms produce after eating Prebiotics is called Postbiotics which is again helpful to maintain our health.
You need both Prebiotics and Probiotics to maintain your skin biome and so it makes more sense to use them together.
You can spot Probiotic ingredients in the products by looking out for the following terms:
- Lactobacillus ferment lysate - Decelerates signs of ageing and reduce adult acne
- Nitrosomonas eutropha - Reduces oil production and clogged pores
- Bifida ferment lysate - Great to reduce dryness and create a strong skin barrier against the external stressors
- Lactococcus ferment lysate - Restores the skin’s balance
These are some of the microorganisms which are considered to be beneficial, unlike the rest who are pathogenic to your skin and health.
Sublime recommends Ilana Organics Good Skin Serum that has brilliantly paired probiotics with Niacinamide to help you get rid of pigmentation and at the same time strengthen your barrier to keep the bad organisms away from your skin. We’re totally digging this genius bottle!
You can spot Prebiotic ingredients in the products by looking out for the following terms:
- Honey - Aides the skin’s natural microbiome
- Inulin - Helps with skin concerns like eczema, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation
- Oat extract - Relieves your skin from dryness and inflammation
- Kelp- Reduces redness and irritation
Probiotics harp on sugar majorly which makes natural sugar-containing items as the best pick to nourish our microflora. It is known that Lactic Acid acts as a booster for the prebiotics, hence it helps using Lactic Acid while opting for a microbiome skincare routine.
Sublime recommends Dear, Klairs Fundamental Ampule Mist. It has Kelp extract along with Jeju Green Tea Water, Cucumber, Rice, Okra to soothe your skin and nourish your microflora.
What are the ways you can balance your skin’s microbiome?
1. Opt for a high-fibre diet
Fibrous carbohydrates that can be gained from a fibrous diet helps in flourishing the probiotics. Food like Garlic, Artichoke, Oats, Asparagus, Soy, etc can help you promote the growth of healthy microorganisms in your guts.
Read more about food that your skin needs here!
2. Snack on Probiotic-rich food
While reaching out for snacks, switch to flavored curds or just curd with a little bit of sugar. Afternoon or morning is a good time to flood your guts with probiotics. There is no fixed amount that one must consume daily so it’s a personal choice but a small cup of yogurt/curd is enough to save a day!
For someone in their mid-twenties, they must swear by supplements to ensure that they’re ageing like a fine wine and also to maintain their health.
Sublime recommends Nyumi Radiant Skin Gummies that have Hyaluronic Acid, Curcumin Extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium to improve firmness and nourish your skin.
3. Focus on balancing the microbiome in your guts first
It all starts from within. right? Skincare alone cannot do wonders for your skin if you don’t consume enough nutrition and probiotics every day. It is important to focus on an adequate diet to maintain the skin and gut microflora. Don’t just focus on skin or gut microbiome, look at it in totality since that is the only way you can truly maintain your skin microbiome.
Sublime recommends Cosmix Happy Gut that has fermented Papaya, Guava, Ginger, Mulethi to ease your bowel movements and promote healthy guts!
What can you pair with Probiotic skincare products?
With probiotic skincare, you can include Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramide. These ingredients are hydrating which gives a good environment for the skin microflora to stay balanced. Pairing it with Hyaluronic Acid can do more good to your skin since microflora also needs an apt moisture level to flourish.
Read more about Hyaluronic Acid here!
Sublime recommends Neemli Naturals Hyaluronic & Oat Amino Acid Moisturiser that not just has Hyaluronic Acid but also Oats that is food (prebiotic) for your probiotics to flourish.
Pairing it with Ceramides will further help you strengthen your skin barrier since Ceramides make up about 50% of the skin’s outermost layer. Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides are safe ingredients to apply to your skin, but you don’t know how your skin may react if they are paired with probiotics. So consult a doctor before venturing into probiotic skincare.
Read more about Ceramides here!
Sublime recommends Dr Sheth's Cica & Ceramide Overnight Repair Serum. It has Cica and Marula Oil which are great for probiotics and Ceramides further strengthens your skin barrier.
Should you focus on taking prebiotics and probiotics orally or use them in skincare?
Verdict on Prebiotics in skincare or diet:
Prebiotics can be easily found in our daily food items that are high in fibre and natural sugar content. Some of the food items to focus on daily are Asparagus, Oats, Artichoke, Chicory, Soybeans, Fruits, and Flaxseed. You can consume it for your gut health since that is the easy way out. When it comes to prebiotics in skincare, they can be easily integrated without disturbing the product efficacy and benefits.
Our verdict is you can consume it daily in appropriate proportion and also plug it in your skincare.
Verdict on Probiotics in skincare or diet:
Probiotics can be naturally found in Yogurt, curd, Kefir, Kombucha, Kimchi to name a few. As we mentioned earlier, probiotics are beneficial organisms so it is easier to consume them than to store them. But skincare science has removed this reservation. While there are products that integrate live organisms, they come with a very specific guidebook to store them for maintaining their efficacy; most of the products that you will find now in microbiome skincare, plugin organism extracts so that the product’s efficacy is maintained and you don’t need to extra careful with the storage as well. However, we recommend storing all your skincare products away from light and heat.
Another point to note is that some individuals have a sensitive tummy and may have irritable bowel syndrome or small intestine bacterial overgrowth due to the consumption of probiotics. Some of us have adopted veganism as well and for such individuals, probiotics in skincare are your best bet. A general thumb rule for skincare is to patch test before using a product so make sure you do that.
If you’re unsure of using probiotic skincare products, you can consult a dermatologist just to be careful.
Our verdict for probiotics is that you can consume them but we’d prefer to plug them in our skincare too for that flawless glow!
If you’re not really sure that your skin will be okay with probiotic skincare, you can try it first with the smallest surface of your face- under the eyes. We’d recommend Daughter Earth Probiotic Under Eye Serum that not just has probiotics to help your under eyes but also Niacinamide, Bakuchiol, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides. This is exactly what your eyes need!
Microbiome skincare is taking the skincare community by storm and we believe in this advancement of skin science. It is still in its early stages and we are sure that we will see progression in the coming years. While many of us inhibit ourselves with the thought of organisms in skincare, we hope that we’ve made it clear about the safety and benefits of the microbiome skincare routine. It’s time we go back to our ancestors who used ‘dahi’ to strengthen and nourish their skin!