10 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SKIN MICROBIOME
8th January 2019
Of course, we would like to tell you Gallinée products are the answer to everything, but actually a healthy skin microbiome is not only linked to good skincare products.
So to get a skin that looks vibrant, nourished and healthy it starts very simply :
1 – Clean doesn’t mean sterile.
I love to wash, because who doesn’t like to feel clean? But you can get rid of dirt without removing everything alive on your skin. So avoid heavily antibacterial components, like alcohol, triclosan, or classic soaps.
2 – Watch your pH.
Your skin acidity level is naturally around pH5. below that it is too acidic, above that, it’s too alkaline. And both ways it damages the skin barrier and the microbiome living on it. Your skin will eventually get back to its ideal pH, but it is going to take some time to rebuild.
The main culprits? Natural soaps, that are made by mixing caustic soda and oils. Caustic soda is by definition a very alkaline component. Keep it for washing your hands.
Don’t hesitate to ask your favourite brands for the pH of their products! This is information I would love to see displayed more clearly.
3- Don’t boil it.
Your skin bacteria are usually happy around 25degrees, the temperature of your skin. They don’t like harsh conditions. So, avoid scalding hot water. A recent study showed that seasons were actually quite a big factor in the health of the microbiome.
4- Don’t rub it.
As much as I love a good dry brushing or a heavy scrub, your bacteria really don’t, as they get physically removed. They will eventually grow back but in the meantime, it leaves skin fragile and prone to sensitivity. Plus it makes wrinkles on the face.
5- Feed it from the inside.
Your gut microbiome can influence the state of your skin, so inflamed gut will trigger inflamed skin. Check the rules for a healthy gut microbiome.
And now for the product part!
6 – Go minimal.
The microbiome and our skin is a very complex environment, and everything we add to it has the potential to inflame it. So imagine the number of single ingredients you put on your skin every day.
Try to source multitasking products with a low INCI list. Do we really need all that perfume/texturants/colourant to make your product good? We would, of course, recommend our multitasking marvel, the cleansing bar.
7 – Watch preservatives.
Preservatives have one function: kill bacteria. It is useful so nothing green grows in your tube, but once applied on the skin it will impact your microbiome. Multiply it by the number of products you apply every day, it all adds up!
Problem: how to tell if a product is loaded with preservatives? Usually, very long shelf life (so products with no expiry date), long PAO (the little open pot symbol) and products where you dip your fingers in (so jars).
Good to know: products with no water (so 100% oil or solid / powder ) can have no preservatives.
8 – Watch the rest too.
That’s where it gets interesting: a lot of ingredients used in beauty products have a potential impact on the skin bacteria: fragrances, surfactants (we are looking at you SLS!), sun filters (controversial, we know), alcohol, etc… It doesn’t mean we should stop using everything, but just that less is better.
9 – Use products with probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics.
Of course! That makes a lot of sense to help stimulate and feed your good skin bacteria. Postbiotics are a useful addition as they will create the right environment. We would suggest the Gallinée range, as we are a bit proud of it. One note: Not all pre and probiotic products are created equal. Look in the ingredient list to see if there is any and where it is in the list (the INCI list is in order of concentration).
10 – It’s complicated.
The science around the skin microbiome is progressing every day. It is also immensely complex and a lot of factors enter in the equation. So this list is going to evolve in the future, and it’s a good thing!
Next step? Try our Youthful Serum: a concentrated cocktail of probiotics, prebiotics and lactic acid, it feeds your skin and its microbiome for a radiant youthful look. With a pH matching the one of the skin, and no oil, no perfume and no colourant, it’s just pure efficacy.