Having a good skin care routine has become a priority for billions worldwide. And whether you’re following a beauty guru’s tips or your dermatologist’s advice, it’s important to be well-informed about what it means to take care of your skin. A critical component most aren't aware of when selecting skin care products? The skin's microbiome.
What is the skin microbiome?
Your skin houses colonies of microorganisms that heavily influence how you experience physical and mental health. These little “bugs” are responsible for many minuscule conditions people face. If you want to start taking better care of your skin, start with them.
You have over one hundred trillion microorganisms living in, and on, your
body that makes up a unique system called the microbiome.
Your body has two primary microbiome systems, one residing in your gut
and the other, on your skin.
The gut microbiome is responsible for sustaining your digestive and immune systems, supported by bacteria that help control digestion and your inflammatory response. Your skin's microbiome resides on the outermost layers of your body and the upper parts of your hair follicles.
The microorganisms in each system directly impact your internal and external health by performing various functions. For example, the gut microbiome contains bacteria called bacteroidetes that colonize your gastrointestinal tract. They also support your oral cavity and stomach, protect you from pathogens, and help prevent inflammation.
In the skin's microbiome, there are bacteria called actinobacteria. They also provide essential protection against pathogens while positively impacting skin care through complex chemical structures and biological activities.
Various internal and external factors affect your body’s microbiome systems. Your body’s inherent age, genetic makeup, and overall health are contributing factors that impact the strength of your microbiome systems. Extrinsic factors such as your diet, climate, and personal hygiene also impact the microbiome. The composition of your body’s microbiomes can change based on these factors, and your health will reflect these changes accordingly.
And one of the easiest places to see its effect on the body? Your skin. Skin serves as a physical barrier that protects your body from external threats and retains water without which you would quickly die. As soon as it is negatively
affected, it becomes evident that something is wrong. One example we’ve all experienced is the formation of red spots or pimples.
Sustaining this protective barrier and keeping it healthy by protecting the skin's microbiome is thus incredibly important not only to its external appearance but for internal bodily health as well. Developing infectious lesions and leaving them untreated can lead to further and more permanent complications for your skin.
Maintaining the skin's microbiome is especially crucial for those with sensitive skin
People with sensitive skin are more prone to reactions from threatening, pathogenic microorganisms that trigger suffering from skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema.
We all know we should strive to be healthy. It’s why we sometimes feel a little guilty when we don’t drink the recommended daily liter of water or stick to a balanced diet. Fully understanding the science behind why we should be drinking that water is vital if we are seriously committed to taking care of ourselves. Learning about microorganisms' essential role in personal care and wellness can widen your perspective.
Every person is different, but we all possess unique bodily flora that affects our
experience daily. Your microorganisms defend your body against foreign agents that constantly battle for skin colonization supremacy, but thanks to the active microbiome system, you don’t need to stress about them. Especially since
stress negatively impacts the skin's microbiome!
Your microbiome and skin care
Parabens and triclosan, for example, are common antibacterial preservatives used in skin care products that can alter the skin, gut, or oral microbiome. Recent studies appear to indicate that parents who focus on rigid hygiene routines that utilize abundant quantities of antimicrobials may be negatively impacting their children’s microbiomes and thus sensitizing them to later onset of allergies and possibly even inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eczema.
So now that we’ve learned about the skin's microbiome, we realize that keeping it
balanced is incredibly important for your health. Without proper balance, your body is susceptible to threatening bacteria and pathogens that can harm you. And that’s the last thing you want!
So how do you maintain that balance? By taking care of it. Enter microbiome skin care products. In recent years, it has seen an increase in visibility and interest. People are actively maintaining their skin through focused regimens to sustain skin cells, and sharing their methods with others.
Skin care products utilize various active ingredients that enhance the appearance of your skin by moisturizing it and preventing skin conditions such as acne.
They contain preservatives that play a crucial role in impacting the skin's microbiome. These ingredients prevent skin care products from going bad due to bacterial growth or chemical alterations occurring inside the container that may hinder the effectiveness and safety of a product’s formula.
But with the rising popularity of skin care, you need to be more aware than ever before of what you are putting on your skin: numerous skin care products available today contain ingredients that can negatively impact your skin’s microbiome.
And you wouldn’t realize it until it’s too late.
Despite today’s widespread use of skin care and hygiene products, the impact of antibacterial preservatives on the skin's microbiome diversity remains poorly studied.
Irrespective of one’s genetics and diet, a significant part of the skin's microbiome diversity may be affected by our personal hygiene and skin care routines, as well as our exposure to cleaning product chemical residues on mattresses, furniture, and clothing.
Many of the traditional preservative ingredients present in our personal skin and hygiene products appear to have a half-life of 0.5 to 1.9 weeks, despite regular showers or baths. Thus, a single application of a skin care product has the potential to alter the skin's microbiome and chemistry for extensive periods of time.
Microbiome skin care products at Codex Labs
Those suffering from these conditions can easily recognize them by the respective seals of approval from each organization appearing on their packaging.
At Codex Labs, we went back to basics, studied the microbiome, and realized that the key was already living on our skin. Our products rely on biotech ferments of lactobacillus, already present in the skin's microbiome, to maintain balance and diversity.
Our flagship patented preservative technology, PreservX®, utilizes blends of nature-identical chemistries to provide broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in your skin care products that also support your microbiome. By utilizing the efficacy associated with lactobacillus bio-ferments, we help treat individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin. And this patented preservative system that prevents harmful microbial growth inside your skin care product’s container also happens to be made of food-grade ingredients, a further testament to its safety profile.
Our clinically tested microbiome skin care products have been shown to help maintain the microbiome due to the bio-ferments and plant-based ingredients from which our formulas are made. Hence, people can confidently use our products knowing that they have been specially formulated to be gentle on their skin. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin!
The Psoriasis and Eczema foundations have certified many of our products, including our Bia Hydrating Skin Superfood and Antü Skin Barrier Moisturizer.
Why you should maintain the microorganisms that reside in your skin’s microbiome
If you’ve been following the larger skin care community, you’ve heard
the saying, "your skin is alive". While it might remind you of the title of a scary movie, this is a fact. Think of the microorganisms colonizing your skin’s microbiome as a kind of “natural” active skin care composition that influences both the appearance and health of your skin. In other words, these live microorganisms feed off your sweat and oil as if they were little vampires. And you want them to -- in moderation, of course.
Just as there are good, healthy microorganisms supporting and sustaining daily
skin functions, so too are there unhealthy microorganisms that can negatively affect it. Luckily, good microorganisms do a great job at keeping the bad ones, known as pathogens, in check.
Unfortunately, pathogens can overwhelm these helpful microorganisms if left unchecked, thereby causing the microbiome to become unbalanced.
This lack of balance and diversity is what causes the skin’s protective barrier function to degrade, resulting in a loss of moisture and hydration, inflammation, and dry, flaky skin.
How to balance the skin microbiome
Keeping the skin’s protective acid mantle layer strong and healthy will help prevent skin disease and degradation caused by uncontrolled pathogen growth. Naturally, the body can sufficiently sustain this balance. But a little help never hurts.
And here is where our PreservX® system comes to the rescue.
It supports the helpful bacteria that contribute to proper microbiome balance by limiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria. As seen previously, our focus on using biotech-derived ingredients is integral and unique to our products as we are focused on maintaining microbiome diversity.
Of course, maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding harsh soaps or smoking,
which damage the skin barrier, help too. Less is more in skin care as far as your microbiome is concerned: fewer products means less garbage, which is also good for the planet!
Another critical habit to ingrain into your daily skin care routine is making sure your skin is sufficiently hydrated. Sustaining the colonies of microorganisms residing on your skin requires that you drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin. Beyond drinking water and moisturizing your skin, you should also use creams, serums, oils, or other beneficial products that help lock in moisture present in your skin.
But be careful here too. Using the right products for you and your skin is vital. A hydration-focused product will be marketed to promise certain health benefits but fail your skin microbiome. To hydrate, these products will always contain water-based ingredients. And this means accounting for the microbial growth inside the product’s containers, such as jars or bottles.
And the solution these companies turn to? Preservatives that can negatively impact your skin’s microbiome with prolonged use! Preservatives are important to kill bacterial contaminants and increase the shelf life of skin care products.
But as we saw above, preservatives can also harm your skin’s microbiome.
So what to do? You can turn to Codex Labs once again. Our patented PreservX® system does not negatively impact the microbiome because it consists of biotech fermentation products based on lactobacillus, so our water-containing products will actually support your microbiome.
And we only use ingredients designed to have minimal impact on the skin microbiome, maintaining and supporting rather than harming it as is evidenced by our products being MyMicrobiome certified.
And because it’s a “patented” technology, you won’t find this unique solution in our competitor’s microbiome skin care products.
As skin care continues to be a hot topic, we must continue to educate ourselves.
While fads come and go, your body will remain with you during your lifetime,
so you want to make sure you’re knowledgeable on how to properly take care of it.
Educating yourself about the crucial roles that the skin and gut microbiome play in your daily health is a great first step. Learning how to help your body’s systems stay healthy will lead to a happier life.
At Codex Labs we rely on biotech-derived, plant-based solutions that focus on supporting your skin's microbiome. Our PreservX® technology ensures sustained, contaminant-free product use that allows your skin barrier processes to run smoothly. Those diverse colonies of microorganisms are not going anywhere, and will even thrive!
Take a look at our award-winning products and get started on your microbiome skin care journey now.