Your skin is the largest organ on your body. It provides the perfect protection from the outside world as long as it remains intact. Did you know that your skin is colonized by a diverse collection of microorganisms? This is called the skin’s Microbiome. This “ecosystem” is composed of 1.8 m diverse habitats of microorganisms.
Your microbiome helps to protect against invasion by more pathogenic or harmful organisms. The goal in skin care should bring balance to your skin’s microbiome. Disruptions in this balance can result in skin disorders or infections. Hormones, medication, cosmetics, soaps, hygienic products, and moisturizers are potential factors contributing to the variation of skin microbiome.
How you can help keep your Microbiome balanced:
BATHE LESS OFTEN
Ok, this may sound a little farfetched, but take a look at this article, The great unwashed by the New York Times. According to Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of the dermatology division at the University of California, San Diego,
“Good bacteria are educating your own skin cells to make your own antibiotics. . . and they produce their own antibiotics that kills off bad bacteria.”
When our skin feels overly dry and reactive or we get eczema flare ups, it may be because we are constantly washing away the beneficial bacteria.
USE NATURAL PRODUCTS FREE OF TOXIC AND HARMFUL INGREDIENTS
Chemicals abound in our skin care products today. There are 1,136 ingredients that are banned for use in cosmetics sold in the European Union. In the US, the FDA has only banned 11 ingredients for cosmetic use. That’s scary and the truth is, we really need to do our own research when it comes to what product we are putting on our skin. Chemicals in skin care can be harmful to the balance of our Microbiome.
Using a weekly homemade mask can be very beneficial for restoring the microbiome. Try this homemade probiotic honey face wash. You could leave this on for 10-20 minutes and then rinse off. You could also apply yogurt or kefir as a mask or use this yogurt & avocado face mask recipe by Dr. Axe.
USE ESSENTIAL OILS
Instead of using harsh products or prescription drugs for skin conditions, try a natural approach with essential oils. Essential oils are an efficient and affordable alternative, providing gentle support for your skin’s health without disrupting the microbiome.
Some of my favorite EO’s for skin health
Acne prone – Melaleuca (try adding a drop to your cleanser), Clear Skin roll on blend (perfect for spot treating acne flare ups), Lavender & Frankincense (helps to calm inflamed skin).
Aging skin – Frankincense, Sandalwood, geranium and Anti-aging blend.
Dry skin – Cedarwood, Lavender, Myrrh, Women’s blend and Anti-aging blend.
Sensitive skin – Arborvitae, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Marjoram, Melaleuca. *always dilute oils with a fractionated coconut oil or jojoba for sensitive skin.
Eczema – Geranium, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Arborvitae.
Rosacea – Women’s blend, helichrysum, clary sage, rosemary.
(PS, some of these blends are brand specific. Contact me to know more about these blends.)
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