For some, it may seem quite strange and even unbelievable, but the human body contains millions of microorganisms that live inside of it. While some of these microorganisms are bad and can lead to the development of infection, inflammation and illness, others are beneficial for the host and contribute to a variety of positive functions.
For this reason, a healthy balance of bacteria should be maintained at all times to take advantage of the benefits that these microorganisms can offer, without being exposed to the potential risks that the “bad” bacteria may lead to.
The bacterium collection is often referred to as the microbiome. The majority of bacteria is found within the human body’s gastrointestinal tract, but this is not the only part of the body where both good and bad bacteria is present. On the outside, there are many bacteria species that lives on the skin – a collection of microorganisms that are often called the skin microbiome.
With the skin being a physical barrier that protects the body against outside harm, the bacteria that thrive on the outside of the human body helps to protect against the infiltration of pathogenic microorganisms that may lead to skin infections and other ailments.
The National Human Genome Research Institute explains that the outside of the skin contains a variety of microorganisms, including viruses, fungi and bacteria.
How The Skin Microbiome Becomes Damaged?
While it is most certainly not ideal to follow an unhygienic lifestyle, being too hygienic may also have its own set of disadvantages to serve when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacterium species on the skin’s surface.
Wellness Mama explains that many environmental factors and our lifestyle habits causes us to destroy the beneficial bacterium species that inhabit our skin – the largest organ of the human body.
Some of the most important factors that we need to consider as dangerous to our skin microbiome includes:
- Washing with soaps and body washes that contain harsh ingredients that interrupt the normal growth of bacteria on the skin – such as those that are promoted to be “antibacterial” – does not only cause harm to bad bacteria, but also destroys beneficial bacteria.
- Some face washes also contain a harsh ingredient that destroys beneficial bacteria on the face.
- Apart from face washes, it is also important to consider the ingredients of cosmetics as this may also be harmful to the skin microbiome.
- Deodorants that reduce sweat may also be harmful to the normal skin microbiome and reduce the amount of beneficial bacterium species that inhabit the skin.
According to Darwinian Medicine, we should consider the pH balance of products we place on the skin. They report that a person with healthy skin has a natural pH balance that is lower than five.
Soaps, cleansers and other products we use to clean our skin often contain higher pH levels, which then increases the pH balance of the skin. Beneficial bacteria are unable to attach and thrive on skin when the pH balance is too high; thus the use of such products can interfere with the skin microbiome.
How We Can Restore A Healthy Skin Microbiome?
Once you realize how you are destroying the good bacteria on your skin, the first step to take is to eliminate the use of products that causes harm to the skin microbiome.
Additionally, there are also many steps that can be taken in order to reverse the damage that has already been done to the skin’s microbiome and also to encourage the growth of more beneficial bacteria on the skin’s surface.
Mind Body Green explains that keeping the body hydrated remains one of the most effective ways to attend to the skin – not only through improving moisture, but also to assist with improving the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Furthermore, foods that contain high-quality protein and good fats, as well as a regular supply of vegetables, should also be considered essential for a lifestyle that promotes a healthy microbiome of the skin. The best way to promote the skin’s microbiome is to stick to food that is organic.
Only including more beneficial foods in your diet may not always be sufficient, as you may still be consuming “trigger” foods that are bad for you. Thus, try to remove any bad foods in your diet that reduced good bacteria and increases bad bacteria. Examples include gluten-rich foods and dairy products.
Switching to organic skincare products, such as soaps and cosmetics, may also help to minimize the effects that these products have on the skin.
Many studies have recently started to focus on the human body’s microbiome, a term that refers to the collective bacterium species that inhabit both the internal and external parts of the body.
While most of these microorganisms can be found inside the body, primarily in the digestive tract, a significant amount of beneficial bacterium species have also been uncovered on the skin’s surface; thus leading to the conclusion that keeping the skin’s surface healthy and maintaining a healthier balance of beneficial bacteria here allows for the external parts of the body to also benefit from advantages that “good” bacteria offers.
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