In recent years, the skincare industry has witnessed a revolutionary concept that is set to reshape our approach to healthy and radiant skin – microbiome skincare. Driven by an understanding of the skin’s complex ecosystem and the pivotal role of the skin microbiome, this emerging trend has garnered attention as the next big dimension in skincare.
To delve deeper into this fascinating subject, we spoke with Dr. Akanksha Sanghvi, an esteemed Aesthetic Dermatologist and Founder of Oprava Aesthetics. Here, we explore the concept of microbiome skincare and the transformative benefits it offers.
Unveiling the World of Microbiome Skincare
“The microbiome establishes an important role in stimulating the skin’s immune system and preventing the growth of pathogenic microorganisms,” explains Dr. Sanghvi. According to her, the skin microbiome refers to the diverse community of microorganisms residing on the skin’s surface, forming a delicate balance between pathogenic organisms and the skin’s natural microbiota. Dr. Sanghvi emphasises that microbiome skincare aims to improve skin health by restoring this balance.
Dispelling Misconceptions and Optimising Skincare Routines
“There are many myths surrounding the concept of skin, probiotics, and prebiotics,” says Dr. Sanghvi. She highlights common misconceptions such as assuming a single strain can address all concerns or that microbiome skincare is only suitable for acne or rosacea.
“Understanding probiotics and skin care is a complex process and involves understanding the science behind certain skin diseases that occurred due to the disturbance in the equilibrium of this natural flora present on the skin surface. There is no single strain of bacteria that is used to make probiotics. In fact, there are more than millions and billions of normal flora present on different areas of the skin depending on the moisture content, presence of sebaceous gland activity and genetic composition of the person,” she adds.
Ingredients and Products for a Healthy Skin Microbiome
Dr. Sanghvi recommends various microbiome-focused skincare products for different skin concerns. She suggests using probiotic cleansers containing Bifidobacteria for gentle exfoliation without compromising the skin barrier. For individuals with dry, dermatitis-prone skin, moisturisers enriched with bacteria strains like S. epidermidis and capitis are ideal.
“Probiotic Cleansers are a great alternative is for people who tend to over wash the skin which disturbs the equilibrium of normal bacteria and fungi and pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Most common content of probiotic cleansers is Bifidobacteria. This is great for people with acne and rosacea who need good exfoliation without damaging the natural oils and skin barrier,” she says.
Dr. Sanghvi also highlights the benefits of probiotic creams and serums featuring Lactobacillus, which improve ceramide synthesis, elasticity, and combat skin sensitivity. “Probiotic skincare is not only for skin conditions or problematic skin types, but also can be used as an anti-ageing factor for individuals with premature ageing of fine lines and wrinkles.
The common content used is Lactobacillus which helps in improving ceramide synthesis overall skin elasticity. Lactobacilli also helps in curing skin sensitivity by reducing inflammation on the skin. Lactobacilli is also common content for intimate hygiene wash to clean the intimate areas of the body without destroying the equilibrium of the normal flora,” she adds.
Lifestyle Factors and the Gut-Skin Axis
“Diet and stress significantly impact the skin’s microbiome health,” says Dr. Sanghvi. She emphasises the connection between gut health and skin conditions, noting that studies have revealed associations between altered gut microbiota and various skin diseases. Dr. Sanghvi highlights the importance of considering gut health when addressing skin concerns to prevent immune-mediated inflammatory conditions.
Success Stories and Personal Experiences
Dr. Sanghvi shares her observations of the transformative impact of microbiome-focused skincare in her practice. She states, “The combination of dietary changes, probiotics, prebiotics, and targeted skincare has cured many cases of psoriasis and acne in my practice.” Dr. Sanghvi highlights the significance of a holistic approach to skincare, considering both internal and external factors, in achieving remarkable results.
Overcoming Challenges and Maintaining a Healthy Skin Microbiome
Dr. Sanghvi addresses common challenges individuals face, such as not knowing which products to buy and not using the right products for specific concerns. She says, “These concerns are usually addressed by me with a thorough consultation on the present skin condition, assessing the current products used by them which could be destroying the microbiota balance, and incorporating a regime that involves the correct strain of good bacteria according to the skin condition and area affected.”
Exciting Developments and Future Breakthroughs
Dr. Sanghvi points out that ongoing research in probiotic skincare focuses on stabilising products without compromising the viability of the beneficial bacterial strains. She also highlights the potential use of a single strain of common skin commensal with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could revolutionise skincare. Dr. Sanghvi expresses enthusiasm for future advancements in microbiome skincare, including its application in wound healing, diabetic ulcers, itching, and scalp disorders.
The Bottom Line?
Microbiome skincare has emerged as a game-changer in the beauty industry, harnessing the power of the skin’s natural microbiota to unlock healthier, more radiant skin. With an understanding of the skin’s ecosystem and the transformative potential of probiotics and prebiotics, individuals can optimise their skincare routines and address specific concerns effectively. As research continues to evolve, the field of microbiome skincare holds promise for groundbreaking breakthroughs that will revolutionise the way we care for our skin, paving the path towards a more vibrant and balanced complexion.