Skin Microflora and Probiotics

There are approximately 1000 species of microbe living on your skin. Many are beneficial but some are just neutral.

If you weighed the DNA in your body it would only be 46% human. The rest would be microbial DNA.

The importance of microbes is well recognised in gut health but there is also an intricate relationship between skin and the natural microbes that are found on (and in) the skin. It is clear that this relationship is crucial for the normal functioning of the skin and is key to minimising the effects of ageing.

Your skin maintains some control over the ecosystem on its surface by regulating the pH, secreting peptides and providing a food source in the form of sebum. pH plays a key role in the activity of the skin’s flora and as a natural defense against harmful microbes. We closely follow the Human Microbiome Project and have used the findings in developing our range. We understand that the skin needs the beneficial microflora to function optimally. Our goal is to boost the numbers of the beneficial organisms to make sure that the harmful, infectious microbes can’t colonise on your skin. This is in contrast to the “kill them all” approach of many products on the market.

Many brands pay attention to the pH of their cleansers but, because most emulsions become less stable at low pH, moisturisers are often not in the optimal range. We have taken great care to keep the pH of all our products consistent at 4.5.

We also use prebiotics to selectively feed beneficial microbes. These include fructo-oligosaccharides and inulin. These are long chain sugars that opportunistic bacteria cannot use as food. This favours the symbiotic (good) microbes and means that your skin does not have to spend as much energy defending against invading bacteria and fungi.

This new understanding of the microbial ecosystem on skin will shape skincare in the future and we’ll be following the new research closely.