Your skin is a powerful physical barrier that prevents harmful microorganisms and irritants from entering your body.
It also retains moisture and nutrients inside your body. Your skin is a powerful ecosystem that protects you when it is in balance.
Sometimes, your skin needs help to thrive. Lifestyle or work conditions, for example, can disrupt the normal symbiosis of your skin. Or, your skin may have a lower amount of the essential building blocks for maintaing a healthy skin barrier.
A healthy skin barrier and skin microbiome are important not just for your skin but your overall health. Your skin barrier contains lipids (e.g. sebum, the skin’s fats) and amino acids. Amino acids are also referred to as some of the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF).
Lipids and natural moisturizing factors:
The fetal skin of an unborn child is sterile, but immediately after birth, billions of ‘good bacteria’ and other beneficial microorganisms enter the skin. Together, these microorganisms make up the skin microbiome, which plays a vital role in protecting your skin.
Your skin microbiome:
Symbiotic interactions take place between the inside and the outside of your body. An imbalance in the skin microbiome can affect the immune system and can be linked to psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis, and other similar chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
In addition, environmental factors (e.g. your occupation, clothing, use of antibiotics, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers) impact your skin microbiome.