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Beauty Trends

How To Improve Your Skin’s Microbiome

Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert1 month ago
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
A close up shot of a female model with freckles applying a microbiome-protecting cleanser onto her face and rubbing it in.

Let us let you in on a little secret… healthy skin is far from squeaky clean. Just like our gut, our skin has its very own unique ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that impacts how our dermis functions. What's more, keeping this balanced is essential to maintaining a hydrated, radiant complexion.   

What’s the name of this complex component, you ask? The microbiome.  

Changing the narrative towards bacteria by proving that a diverse skin microflora directly correlates to healthy looking skin, microbiome beauty is booming for the second time since 2022. Seeking microbiome-friendly formulas as the antidote to sensitive skin, consumers are turning to “barrier-protecting products over those with hash actives” reports WGSN.  

But how exactly can our skin’s microbiome be improved to unveil that all-over glow? Here, at Cult Beauty we caught up with WGSN’s Head of Beauty, Sienna Piccioni, to get the inside knowledge of this ongoing beauty trend.  

BUT FIRST, WHAT IS BIOME IN SKIN CARE 

Before we get into the nitty gritty of improving our microbiome, it’s time to recap what biome skin care actually is. Referring to the protective layer of your skin (that’s invisible to the naked eye, FYI), the microbiome houses trillions of microscopic organisms (AKA bacteria and fungi) that live on and in the skin’s various layers. In healthy complexions these microorganisms are balanced. However, if they become imbalanced, they can cause many skin concerns including redness, blemishes and pigmentation. Want to dive deeper into what our biome refers to? Read our guide to your skin’s microbiome to find out more. 

SO WHY IS MICROBIOME HAVING A SECOND BOOM 

"At WGSN, we first called out microbiome beauty back in 2017 and this trend has been accelerating ever since. We’ve seen this trend really driven by skin health narratives that are dominating across the beauty sphere.” explains Sienna. “With skin health as a core focus for consumers, skin care is taking a prevention-over-cure approach to common concerns. This second boom was accelerated by more research published about the effects of having a balanced skin microbiome, changing the perception of how we view skin health.” 

"We’ve been forecasting microbiome beauty to experience a second boom –  this time moving from just the skin care space into body care, personal care and scalp care space too as more research has come out about how the microbiome affects many different concerns such as body odour, oral care and dandruff too.” Sienna says. "We’re also seeing a more targeted approach to microbiome beauty, with skin care formulations honing in on specific concerns. A big area where we are seeing this come through is in the acne care space. We are seeing a gentler approach to acne emerging, looking to restore bacteria balance to acneic skin rather than the traditional harsh approach of killing all bacteria on the skin.” 

A close up shot of a female model with dark hair applying a microbiome-protecting cleanser onto her face and rubbing it in.

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY SKIN MICOBIOME  

So now we know why biome skin care is important, let’s uncover what can be done to bring some equilibrium back to your barrier.  

Add skin barrier formulas to your skin care: external aggressors (we’re talking UV rays, wind and pollution) take a toll on our complexion, leading to stressed out and unbalanced skin. And, while they aren’t always avoidable, all you need to do is add a barrier-protecting serum, moisturiser or night cream into your daily routine to ensure they’re not as damaging. These powerful potions not only add instant relief but continue to work hard in the background to support your complexion’s natural resilience. 

SHOP ALL SKIN BARRIER PROTECTION >>> 

Streamline your skin care routine: with new beauty products launching daily, our skin care regimes are at risk of becoming over-complicated. And while we’re not advising you to stop testing out these beauty thrills, we would suggest giving your skin a breather every now and again. By this we mean, giving your complexion a night off each week and only apply everyday essentials that include hydrating ingredients over those filled with BHAs, AHAs and other acids.   

SHOP ALL SKIN CARE >>> 

Use gentle cleansers: when it comes to your cleansers, the pH matter – as if the formula’s levels are too high it can strip your skin or become too drying. The ideal pH for the skin is just below five – this is the state which prevents the growth of pathogens getting into skin flora and maintains a good balance. With that in mind, when choosing your cleanser, it’s best to opt for pH-balancing blends that include nourishing ingredients that will comfort and hydrate… think chamomile, shea butter and aloe vera.   

SHOP ALL CLEANSERS >>> 

Take care of your gut: a healthy gut equals healthy skin. Why? Because when your gut’s health is disrupted, an imbalance called dysbiosis occurs which alters the immune response and can prompts the development of skin concerns such as breakouts and uneven skin tone. Keep your body and biome happy by introducing probiotic supplements into your routine. Promoting the growth of good bacteria, probiotics bring balance back to your gut, aid in improving your digestive system, protect against environmental stressors and in turn reduce the appearance of puffy-looking skin.  

SHOP ALL GUT HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS >>> 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR BIOME SKIN CARE  

"In the future, we will start to see microbiome skin care targeting ageing and longevity, as recent studies have found a link between skin microbiome diversity and skin ageing, with specific microbes associated with skin ageing.” predicts Sienna. “We will also see microbiome beauty being touted as a remedy to the increase in climate-related concerns, based on new research that sunscreen and microbiome-balancing ingredients have a symbiotic effect on skin resilience to UV exposure." Watch this space… 

SHOP ALL MICROBIOME PROTECTING SKIN CARE >>> 
Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.
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