Your skin loves you .... LOVE IT BACK!
Our skin is literally teeming with a vast universe of microbial life that scientists are just beginning to understand! The benefits of a healthy skin biome include preventing pathogenic organisms from colonizing the skin surface, either by competing for nutrients, secreting chemicals against them, or stimulating the skin's immune system. Finding ways to nourish, maintain and replenish a healthy biome by supporting the host of microbes that abound on our skin will not only revolutionize the way we live, it may even positively impact our overall health.
Just like in our gastrointestinal tracts, having a healthy, diverse population of beneficial bacteria thriving on our SKIN is vital to over good health.
"Compared with healthy individuals, atopic individuals had lower environmental biodiversity in the surroundings of their homes and significantly lower genetic diversity of gammaproteobacteria on their skin."
We are even learning that the microbial diversity in our environment has a direct impact on our skin. Modern “hygienic” living and the use of sanitizers decreases the biodiversity of our skin surface. One study found that teens living with less biodiversity in their environment were more likely to suffer from allergies.
Our skin microbiome needs and deserves daily support to be strong and resilient! Loads of beneficial bacteria live there, about 1 trillion to be exact. These bacteria do all sorts of wonderful things for us like controlling dead skin cell build-up inside our pores and keeping levels of potentially problematic microbes like yeast, parasites and other bacteria in check.
Maintaining and nourishing healthy skin flora is important for supporting your immune system. Environmental pollutants, antibiotics, synthetic chemicals and even psychological/emotional stress impact the health and diversity of our skin biome as well as our overall health. Synthetic chemicals include parabens, phthalates, detergents, artificial fragrances, formaldehyde releasers, polyethylene glycols - all of which are found in a majority of conventional skin “care” products today.
Of particular concern are sunscreens containing oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate which not only disrupt skin flora but may disrupt hormones and speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. (See National Institutes of Health’s Photocarcinogenesis Study of Retinoic Acid and Retinyl Palmitate.)
How is washing your skin altering our it’s microbiome?
Constant washing of the skin is a modern practice, completely out of sync with the biological needs of our skin. Add to this the overuse of synthetic, surfactant based cleansers (foaming cleansers) and products which contain synthetic fragrance and other irritants can strip the skin of its natural oils. Over washing can also damage the protective external layer of skin, the stratum corneum.
Damage to the SA makes it harder for skin to retain moisture. Constantly removing our natural skin oils surrounding the layers of keratin disks which make up the surface layers of our skin can lead to dryness, flaking, tightness and irritation.
Frequent washing has been shown to disturb the skin barrier resulting in irritation and changes in the microbiome. Cosmetics, hygiene products, makeup and moisturizers have also been implicated in modifying the skin microbiome.
An impaired skin is more likely to be colonized by pathogenic bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and Candida. This often leads to scaling skin, dryness, itchiness, and dermatitis, conditions provoked by microorganisms and allergens penetrating this corneal layer.
"New research has shown that the pH of our skin is incredibly delicate, and harsh cleansers strip natural hydrators and barriers of the skin, flaring inflammatory conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. The trend seems to be to clean smarter, not clean harsher". Rachel Nazarian, MD, an NYC-based dermatologist .. I believe that this trend will push oil cleansing to the forefront of the skincare industry.
THE PH OF OUR SKIN. What we know now is that beneficial bacteria thrive when the skin maintains a slightly acidic pH of 4.0-4.5.
Many conventional facial cleansers contain harsh foaming surfactants which alter the skin's pH making it too alkaline. upsetting the delicate balance of the skin's microbiome. The effect is similar to taking antibiotics where all the bacteria in the digestive tract are wiped out with no distinction between good or bad.
So now you're thinking: "If I want to stop using foaming face wash what can I use?!"
The Oil Cleansing Method really is the answer. There is nothing new about using oil to cleanse dirt and debris from the skin and flush build-up out of the pores. Many ancient cultures, including the Romans and Egyptians, cleansed their skin with oils for thousands of years before an alchemist discovered “saponification” - the process of changing those same oils into “soap.
Skin of all ages benefit from oil cleansing. Those living in dry climates and those with more mature skin (over 40) not prone to major acne outbreaks benefit the most. Cleansing with the right astringent oils can help support, maintain, and nourish strong resilient skin better able to withstand the ravages of the environment, air borne toxins, aging, stress, UV damage and help it heal more quickly from injuries.
And while Oil Cleansing is not practical or convenient for the whole body incorporating it into facial skin care is easy and detailed throughout my website. If you need more details … HOW TO OIL CLEANSE
The human being is comprised mostly of non-human microbes. The Oil Cleansing Method supports the Human Microbiome by nourishing the symbiotic creatures living in and on our bodies largest organ.
Join me in discovering the many benefits of Oil Cleansing and join the OCM Revolution. I can offer advice, guidance, tips and tricks along the way. Please reach out to me questions!
The skin microbiome: impact of modern environments on skin ecology, barrier integrity, and systemic immune programming., 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28855974
Microbiome and skin diseases. 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23974680
The human skin microbiome.2014 https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00004342-201409000-00023&isFromRelatedArticle=Y
Microbiome in healthy skin, update for dermatologists, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6084363/#jdv13965-bib-0094