Why Aren't Celebrities Showering?
There are 1.5 trillion reasons to be exact.
You probably are familiar with the microbiome you have in your gut, but you know that your skin has its own unique microbiome?
We have over one thousand species of bacteria on our skin that total up to 1.5 trillion colony forming units (CFUs). There are over 1,000 unique species of these bacteria which make up the skin flora.
So many different factors impact this delicate balance. The skin naturally has an acidic ph of 5.5, which protects against pathogenic bacteria and keeps its microbiome in check. Products with an alkaline ph can throw the microbiota out of whack. So, if you have been using lye soap, you may want to switch to something else.
Decreasing the frequency of showering and taking less hot showers is thought to benefit the skin’s microbiota.
When using personal care products, there are many ingredients you need to look out for:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) has been found to irritate the skin and impair skin barrier function. The surfacent strips away the skin’s phospholipid bilayer. SLS has also been found to disrupt the skin’s microbiome.
Triclosan is a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps. Antibacterial soaps containing triclosan have been found to be just as effective at cleaning the skin as regular soap.
Triclosan has not only been found to disrupt the skin’s microbiome. It has also been found to disrupt the microbiome in our gut from topical application. There have even been some concerns that triclosan may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, as a study found 1 in 10 bacteria survive when exposed to the chemical.
Our products will always be ph balanced and free from SLS and Triclosan.
The balance of bacteria strains on our skin can also have a huge effect on the skin. The 3 most common bacteria strains on the skin are Cutibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis:
Cutibacterium acnes is the bacteria that has been found to be linked to acne. Cutibacterium acnes is responsible for digesting oils on the skin and creating an acidic environment.
New research has discovered that certain strains of C. acnes result in acne and other strains do not. The transplant of beneficial strains is being studied for its effect on improving acne.
You may heard about the dangers of the bacteria Staph, there are actually multiple kinds, some beneficial and some harmful. Staphylococcus refers to the genus which contains multiple different species.
Staphylococcus aureus has been linked to inflammation on the skin and atopic dermatitis (eczema). S. aureus can also cause skin infections and when it becomes antibiotic resistant it is referred to as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most abundant anaerobic bacteria on the skin. S. epidermidis is not typically pathogenic and produces many compounds which are believed to crowd out or fight Staphylococcus aureus and Cutibaacterium acnes. There is some concern however that in disrupted skin, S. Epidermidis could be problematic, and it has been known to be “accidentally” pathogenic in other parts of the body.
Certain strains of beneficial bacteria that fight bad bacteria are being researched for their effect on reducing inflammation and improving eczema symptoms.
A beneficial probiotic that has recently been developed by Mother Dirt, known as Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria, has had promising results and has been studied by a partner company AOBiome, for its ability to hydrate and calm skin while effectively eliminating body odor. The founder of the company has not showered in 12 years.
The innovation of topical probiotics offers a hopeful future for many different skin conditions. Its exciting to see what will develop!
We will not be having any products that contain probiotics, but what are some of your favorite probiotic products other brands do?
Let us know below in the comments.
Continued Readings: Nature, Vogue, Bydrie, mindbodygreen, Well + Good, & The Guardian.