Why a fresh look at bacteria could boost your skin and scalp care

Increasing interest in the skin microbiome as a beauty concept is beginning to challenge perceptions about the role of bacteria in the skin. But what does this really mean for the personal care industry?

A microbiome can be described as “an ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms”. All plants and animals, from simple life forms to humans, live in close association with microbial organisms.

Some of these can be beneficial, while others can be disadvantageous or harmful. Many people will understand the human microbiome in relation to the digestive system: this has been a key health and nutrition topic for decades, and a trend in foods that act on the gut microbiome, such as live yoghurt, is well established.

Like the digestive system, the skin has its own individual community of microbiota, which changes throughout a person’s lifetime according to their age, diet, environment and lifestyle. We know that maintaining balance in the gut microbiome contributes to overall wellness, including skin health.

But does the skin’s own unique ecosystem also have an impact on its appearance and feel? Scientists, dermatologists and beauty brands have been giving this matter serious consideration in recent months and consumers are also starting to want to know more.

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