Prebiotic skincare: the expert guide to your skin's microbiome
Bacteria's often seen as the bad guy, conjuring up images of dirt, grime and sickness bugs... but did you know there's a tribe of good bacteria, too? This kind lives on our skin – alongside trillions of other tiny microorganisms – acting as a super army to protect, defend and strengthen it.
This incredible ecosystem is known as the skin's microbiome (or skin 'flora') and is one of the essential elements of a healthy complexion. When our skin's microbiome is out of whack? It can show up as everything from acne, psoriasis and eczema to rosacea, dryness or sensitivity.
That's why I was so keen to ensure our new By Sarah London Reviver Hydrating Mist was powered by the best prebiotic science to truly nurture our microbiome with every spritz.
And it's not just at the heart of our latest product. The skin microbiome is such an important part of the entire By Sarah London line-up and has been since our journey began.
Our brand was born following my sister and co-founder Lauren's treatment for leukaemia as I was searching for products to restore and revive her skin. When Lauren left hospital, her skin was repopulating with the microbiome that was previously established in infancy and early childhood. It was delicate, fragile and reacted to many natural ranges. So I took matters into my own hands, literally.
Central to my research and formulations were innovative plant blends that would actively support and promote a healthy biome. Led by recent scientific research into the role of microbial populations that occupy our skin, I continue to formulate the By Sarah London skincare collection with the primary aim of supporting the skin's microbiome and overall skin health through intelligent plant-oil blends that deliver vital nutrients, enzymes and lipids.
Read on to learn the benefits of prebiotic skincare, how our microbiome works and just why your skin will ADORE our new hydrating facial mist...
What is the skin microbiome?
Think of your skin microbiome as a bustling city or a rainforest – like a web of trees, animals and insects – it's comprised of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa and viruses) that all work together. These protect us against harmful pathogens and aggressors, support and strengthen our skin immunity, and boost the skin's natural barrier function.
What are probiotics and prebiotics?
We often hear the terms 'probiotics' and 'prebiotics' used in the context of gut health and the gut microbiome. But the same terms are used to describe the skin microbiome, too.
Those good microorganisms I talked about are known as 'probiotics' while the food that fuels them is called 'prebiotics.' There are also 'postbiotics' which refers to the 'waste' created when the probiotics feed on prebiotics. Clever stuff, huh?
How can you maintain a healthy skin microbiome?
We know that an imbalanced skin microbiome can contribute to problems like acne, rosacea and eczema as well as affecting our skin's important protective barrier function. So, how can we boost our beloved biome?
Firstly, consider your environment and lifestyle. Stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes or allergies can all cause our skin microbiome to go a little haywire.
Next, take time to pare back your skincare routine. Over-layering with different formulas and actives can compromise our skin's protective barrier and natural equilibrium. Protect it with plant oils rich in antioxidants that allow those good microbes to flourish. And strengthen that all-important skin barrier with plant-based vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks for collagen production and cell turnover. By Sarah London Hero Facial Oil is abundant in a variety of regenerative omegas, vitamins and minerals that help to balance the skin microbiome and build resilience to external pathogens.
Excessive cleansing and overly hot water can impact our biome, too. You don't want to strip away the good guys! Swap harsh soaps for By Sarah London Balancer Oil-to-milk Cleanser that whips away grime and makeup while nurturing your complexion.
What are the best prebiotic skincare products?
One of the best ways to support your skin microbiome is with prebiotic skincare formulations that nourish all that friendly flora. And thanks to cutting edge prebiotic ingredients, our new By Sarah London Reviver Hydrating Mist will care for your biome with every single spritz. Think of it as your good bacteria's BFF.
Mist it over clean skin before applying your favourite By Sarah London facial oil or veil it on top of makeup for a fresher, more luminous complexion while you're out and about. And that's not all. The innovative formulation also boosts your skin's protective barrier while nourishing with aloe vera, the finest fruit waters and crucially – Desert Rose. This remarkable plant is able to revive itself even after several years spent dry in the desert.
And guess what? The ingredient offers those same unbelievable powers of repair when applied to skin, too.
Do I also need to look after my gut microbiome?
Like skin, our gut has its own microbiome and the two are closely linked. Looking after your gut health will in turn help skin function properly for a happy, healthy complexion. Make a beeline for probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and miso; and prebiotic foods such as Jerusalem artichokes, shiitake mushrooms and raw garlic. Happy tum, happy face!
Written by: Sarah, Co-Founder, By Sarah London
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