How to Restore Your Skin Microbiome

A diverse, balanced microbiome is important for a healthy body and strong immune system. This we already know, as we’ve read all about it on the packets of probiotic yoghurts and drinks. We are familiar with the gut, its requirements and its ecosystem made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes.  What we are less aware of is what the skin microbiome is. Often called the skin flora, this variety of bacteria and fungi that live on and in the skin is often overlooked, but is equally important for our overall health and radiant glow. The skin’s ecosystem needs to be kept in balance, however, like in the gut, there are many things that can throw a healthy skin microbiome off-course. It’s not always possible to avoid all of these factors, which is why it’s important to know how to restore the skin microbiome.

woman trying ESPA skincare serum

What is the skin microbiome?

Let’s begin by having a look at what the skin microbiome is. It acts as a protective shield and a first point of contact between the skin and the outside world. There is no entering the skin before passing the biome.

When it’s performing at its best, it recognises irritants and potential pathogens as things to be kept out whilst locking moisture in. Therefore, when everything is in balance, the skin biome can fight off infection, ease inflammation, and protect us from external harm. It also helps our skin to heal fast from the occasional blemish and can even shield us against UV rays. A healthy skin microbiome is a key factor to maintain a hydrated, plump, radiant complexion.

How to get a healthy skin microbiome?

Similar to a thriving rainforest, a healthy microbiome should be full of different variations of flora that live among each other. It should be diverse, yet balanced. From medications like antibiotics to stress, there are things that have been flagged to us as disruptive to the gut’s microbiome. The same applies to our skin flora.

ingredients in ESPA biome serum

Our modern lifestyles, including the food we’re eating, being over-hygienic, and using harsh products have decreased the diversity of our skin microbiome. The less diverse the biome, the more likely it is to be imbalanced. An imbalance in the skin biome can cause skin problems, from sensitive areas and uneven tones to premature ageing and wrinkles. It can also trigger more serious skin conditions such as an overproduction of sebum, breakouts, and inflammation.

So, how can we ensure that we’re keeping our skin’s ecosystem balanced, diverse and in turn, healthy? The answer is by learning how to restore the skin microbiome.

Do use gentle products

The first step to restoring the skin microbiome is to assess the products in your regime. According to Healthline, the ideal pH for the skin is just below 5. This is the pH that’s suitable for our skin to prevent the growth of pathogens. When we use products that are overly acidic or alkaline, we disrupt this natural pH balance and increase the likelihood of pathogenic bacteria getting into our skin flora.

It’s common to use harsh products these days to strip our pores and faces clean for a bare-faced sheen. However, these harsh ingredients can also remove our natural, dewy oils and destroy our skin’s eco-system.

When using a cleanser to remove daily impurities, the aim is not to leave the skin squeaky clean. Instead, use a formula with nourishing ingredients that will comfort and hydrate the skin and it’s healthy microbiome. ESPA’s Hydrating Cleansing Milk contains Sweet Almond and Soya Bean Oils with soothing Marshmallow and Chamomile to leave the skin feeling soft and supple.

Do streamline your skincare regime

With a new product emerging into the skincare world every minute, our routines are becoming complex and over-bearing. Covering the skin with chemicals and layering active ingredients is counter-productive. Often, what our skin needs is a breather. Although products with powerful active skincare ingredients are effective when targeting specific skin concerns, they are also irritants and can break down the skin’s barrier if used too much or incorrectly. Once a week, pick a night to nourish the skin with pure, hydrating ingredients and nothing else.

espa skincare tip

Use a gentle oil-balancing moisturiser to help hydrate and clarify the skin. ESPA 24-Hour Balancing Moisturiser has White Thyme to help balance and calming Lavender and Chamomile soothe, while nutrient rich plant extracts and Irish Moss moisturise and protect without clogging pores.

Do add skin barrier products into your routine

woman applying ESPA biome serum

As mentioned, daily aggressors as part of hectic modern lifestyles can all take their toll on the complexion. The result is stressed and unbalanced skin with blemishes, pores and imperfections. Although treatments designed to tackle these skin challenges straight away can provide immediate relief, our delicate skin deserves more. Prevention is the real cure, so add skin barrier products into your routine to work consistently in the background and support the skin’s natural resilience.

For example, ESPA’s Tri-Active™ Resilience SOS Skin Clearing Serum consists of a lightweight yet high-performance formula that gently but effectively rebalances and purifies, reducing the redness and visibility of blemishes and soothing stressed looking skin with moisture. At the same time, it progressively clears the complexion and fortifies the skin’s natural barrier to support the foundations that help reduce further flareups.

Do incorporate products that help to balance your skin biome

Lastly, incorporate products that will help to balance and restore your skin biome. Look out for products with anti-oxidant protection to help defend against skin stressors such as Peony and Microalgae.

ESPA’s Tri-Active™ Resilience Pro-Biome Serum has both of these essential ingredients to replenish the skin. It also contains Irish Moss Seaweed with strong anti-bacterial properties to de-congest the skin and Honeysuckle to improve uneven skin tone appearance and dullness.

In order to work at it’s full potential, the skin biome should be balanced and varied. Instead of stripping it from it’s ecosystem of bacteria and fungi, nourish it. Despite the many factors that can affect this thriving breeding ground, once you know how to restore your skin microbiome, the plump, hydrated glow can quickly be redeemed.

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.