5 Ways to Care for the Skin Microbiome

It is important to nurture skin for overall well-being.

By being outdoors, a healthy woman is nurturing her skin microbiome.

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The saying, “Beauty is skin deep,” rings true when it comes to reflecting good health. Clear and glowing skin represents good inner health and this is due to a happy and well-nourished skin microbiome.

Skin, the largest organ in the body, has its own microbiome that communicates with the gut microbiome and immune system, according to mindbodygreen. Your skin is home to microbes, but don’t feel squeamish; the skin flora hosts trillions of bugs, including 1,000 bacterial and 80 fungi species and this is perfectly natural.

In fact, these bugs help protect against the growth of pathogens, abate inflammation, reduce oxidative damage, assist in healing wounds, and safeguard from allergens.

If your skin microbiome is out of whack, you will know. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, rashes, and accelerated aging are all signs that your skin microbiome may need some TLC. Here are five ways to help maintain and repair an imbalanced skin microbiome.

Keep Away From Harsh Skin Products

Using microbial hand sanitizers may help protect against illness, but they are also damaging to your skin microbiome. In fact, skin sanitizers are so harsh, they may impair your skin microflora and could contribute to antibiotic resistance. This, plus too much hand washing, can result in skin sensitivities.

Check the ingredients in your soap, body cream, and shampoo. Instead, go for natural aloe vera or coconut-based products.

A woman uses natural aloe vera on her skin.

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Keep to a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy food and avoiding sugar and refined grains does wonders. It is also good for your gut microbiome. Digestive issues can result in skin problems such as eczema and rosacea, according to the blog joyous health.

The key here is to eat a wide variety of whole foods. Try to include 30 different plant foods in your diet a week, plus healthy fats, and drink lots of filtered water.

Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is good for the gut and skin microbiomes.

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Spend Time Outdoors

Going outdoors and exposing yourself to a diverse microflora, recommends joyous health. Simply breathing the air outside, plus touching trees in the forest, rocks, and soil allows for exposure to foreign bacteria. With more exposure, your immune system is better adjusted to cope with the unknown.

This is also why it is so important to let children play outside and explore nature as opposed to keeping them inside in a sterile environment. Take off your shoes and do some grounding, be it a walk on the soft grass or along a sandy beach.

Earthing, or standing barefoot on the ground, is healthy.

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Exercise Until You Sweat

When you work out, you sweat, which is good for your body. Exercising increases blood flow to the skin, offering oxygen and important nutrients, according to mindbodygreen.

In addition, when you eat a healthy diet, your sweat becomes a prebiotic, providing beneficial bacteria. Work up good sweat and imagine that your perspiration is providing food for the skin microbiome.

A woman works up a healthy sweat at the gym.

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Do Dishes by Hand

This is an easy one. By simply having contact with the food on plates exposes you to a variety of microbes. When you have the time, say no to the dishwasher and dish gloves, then scrub those plates for the sake of your skin health.

Doing dishes by hand, without dish gloves, is good for the skin microbiome.

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Stay Calm

It has been proven that stress can alter the gut microbiome, and yes, it affects the skin microbiome as well. When you are chronically stressed, your immune system becomes weakened, according to The Wellnest.

It all starts when the cortisol hormone is elevated, compromising your immune system. And since your skin microbiome is an immune system, you may be affected by atopic dermatitis, acne, or psoriasis. Chill out by trying to include yoga or meditation in your life. It is good for your mind and for your skin.

A man meditates outside on a yoga mat.

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