How does microbiome help to improve skin condition?

Your skin’s microbiome could be the secret to youthful, luminous skin.

The days of just putting on an ‘anti-aging’ moisturizer and praying for a miracle are long gone. Due to the recent Wellness boom, it’s been brought to the attention of many that a healthy body and healthy skin go hand-in-hand.

These days, more people might be familiar with terms such as probiotic skincare than before. Flashback to a little over five years ago and only a certain aged demographic were regularly indulging in a skincare routine. However, today it’s understood that skincare has less to do with age and more to do with forms of skin, lifestyles, personal needs, and state of mind.

Like the gut, the skin has its special environment containing millions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up the microbiota of the skin. The positive effects of maintaining equilibrium in the gut is a well-established fact. However, there is the wrong assumption that bacteria is something to be rid of when it comes to skincare. In scientific circles, this idea is beginning to shift. Today, it is increasingly thought that the skin microbiome is the secret to improving the appearance of the skin, with the focus of treatment being that of prevention rather than cure.

What is the microbiome?

In essence, the microbiome is a population of species, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, that survive on the skin. It’s a finely tuned environment that regulates our well-being by a remarkable amount, and just like bacterias in the gut, it can have comprehensive effects.

Our skin has its microbiome, which functions around the clock to regulate the quality of our skin. Bacteria may be invisible to the naked eye, but the ecology of our skin microbiome is complex, with over 100 microbes in and on our bodies for every single skin cell. This involves bacteria, fungi, and viruses, most of which are quite healthy and harmless. The significance of the microbiome of our gut has been studied extensively. However, many dermatologists and scientists are now proposing that our skin microbiome is equally essential to our wellbeing.

Understanding your skin’s microbiome

Scientists think that there are about 1,000 different bacterial species that make our skin home. But don’t rush to wash your face to get rid of those teeny-tiny organisms, many of which are important to the overall health of your skin. The microbiome of your skin is its first form of protection. Anything that affects your skin first affects the bacteria, which means it can influence anything from how well your skincare regime is absorbed to the unwelcome breakout of acne. Furthermore, it protects the skin and allows a layer of the acid mantle to be formed.

The microbiome also talks to your immune system to ensure it does not react negatively and aggravate bad bacteria but to detect and battle bad bacteria. Overcleaning or overuse of chemicals that are harmful to the skin, along with overwashing can be harmful to the healthy bacteria in your skin. This separates the skin from its protective layer and changes the microbiota of the skin and can make the skin vulnerable and even susceptible to eczema.

Signs of an unbalanced microbiome

Subtle modifications to the environment of our skin may contribute to an unpredictable microbiome, which can create a broad range of problems. Diminished microbiome can lead to sensitive skin. Acne, which can be due to the overgrowth of inflammatory acne bacteria, and eczema, which is connected to the overgrowth of a bacterium called Staphylococcus Aureus, are the two primary indicators of an unbalanced skin microbiome.

However, those are not the only signs of unbalanced skin microbiota. A microbiome imbalance may contribute to various visible skin problems, such as dryness and dehydration, and many other complications such as saltiness, deeper fine lines, and premature aging. This is where the correct skincare, enriched with probiotics and prebiotics, fuel for the healthy bacteria in our skin, will help achieve balance to our microbiome and boost our skin’s overall health.

How our lifestyle is jeopardizing our skin

Suffering from adult acne or hormonal acne? Now, studies and brands are proposing that our habits also affect the microbiome of the skin and drag down our skin quality with it. The opposite of bad hygiene which is over-sterilization can affect the skin as well.

For a long time, humans used to be barefoot, and swim in rivers naked. Now that we’re indoors and less in touch with nature, we feel the consequences. Studies have been performed that sequenced the microbiome of indigenous peoples around the world, showing that they still have this bacterium lost to the rest of the world’s population. There are lesser incidences of acne, eczema, or other inflammatory disorders in these tribes.

Restoring our skin’s microbiome

You’ve probably taken a sip of kombucha or included sauerkraut in your salad to nourish your gut microbiome for better gut health. Skin experts now think we may be able to apply the same theory to the wellbeing of the skin.

We recognize that such chemicals hinder the normal processes of the skin. The obvious approach, therefore, is to remove them from the formulations of products and concentrate on the nutrients that sustain the microbiome of the skin. The advantages of our skin bacteria are proven by an increasing number of studies and show that a balanced microbiome helps control and treat skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. As of late, these so-called ‘healthy bugs’ have taken center stage in the world of beauty. While there is still fairly new research on the microbiome of the skin, there is an abundance of probiotic-fuelled supplements for skin treatment on the market.

Two terms that also seem to get tossed around together are prebiotics and probiotics. They are, however, two very separate things. Probiotics are just a term for healthy bacteria. The food for them are prebiotics. So if your skincare contains probiotics, it encompasses good bacteria; if your skincare contains prebiotics, on the other hand, it contains the nourishment that good bacteria consume to live and proliferate. Additionally, ‘postbiotics’ is the current buzzword in the skincare zeitgeist. Postbiotics are the by-products of probiotics, the healthy bacteria, and studies have shown that these enzymes, acids, and peptides can provide great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits for the gut.

Editor note:
OLUMES The Satin Cream contains prebiotic that is proven to restore skin’s natural microbiota even after being exposed to harsh chemicals such as antibacterial cleansers or alcohol. The Refining Lotion is packed with three sources of probiotic that helps to strengthen skin barrier against environmental attacks.


OLUMES is a clean beauty brand harnessing the wisdom of the rich heritage of Kadazan-Dusun culture that practices an age-old beauty secret using Borneo’s rich botanical treasure. Visibly improve all your skin problems with our high performance & multitasking skincare.