Your skin is a physical barrier that prevents harmful microorganisms and irritants from entering your body. It also helps your body retain moisture and nutrients – and sometimes, it needs help to thrive.
Underlying conditions, your lifestyle, or your work environment can disrupt your skin’s biology and affect your overall health and well-being. Your skin might have insufficient levels of the essential building blocks for maintaining a healthy skin barrier structure and function.
A healthy skin barrier and microbiome are important for your skin and overall health. Your skin barrier contains many components, including lipids (i.e., the skin’s natural oils) and filaggrin which transforms into amino acids. Amino acids are also referred to as natural moisturizing factors (NMFs).
Lipids and NMFs:
The skin of an unborn fetus is sterile. But immediately after birth, billions of “good bacteria” and other beneficial microorganisms enter the newborn’s skin. These bacteria and microorganisms make up the skin microbiome, which plays a vital role in protecting the skin throughout a person’s lifetime.
Your skin microbiome:
Symbiotic interactions take place between the inside and outside of your body. An imbalance in the skin microbiome can affect your immune system. These imbalances can be linked to psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other chronic inflammatory skin conditions. Chronic inflammation in your body can also impact your skin, which is the case in people who are diagnosed with Sjögren’s. Environmental factors like your occupation, clothing – and use of antibiotics, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers – can also affect your skin microbiome