10 ways to improve your skin’s microbiome

Get glowing skin by learning about your skin's microbiome

10 ways to improve your skin’s microbiome

Improve your skin’s microbiome and restore balance to the skin’s good bacteria with these 10 helpful tips. 

Your gut microflora isn’t the only bacteria that needs regular TLC, your skin is home to millions of beneficial bugs that need constant nourishment to help them thrive. These bacteria are made up of lots of different species whose overall make up depends on a whole range of factors including your environment, daily stress levels, and exposure to chemicals.   

A happy microbiome leads to healthy, glowing skin on the outside but when levels of these helpful bacteria go off kilter, your skin suffers. Spots, pimples and blemishes along with skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and mild acne are just a few of the symptoms that can arise. For optimum skin, you need to create a balanced environment where the good guys outweigh the bad so that your body’s immune system response is as strong as ever. Try these steps to improve your skin’s biome and keep your skin’s ecosystem in check.  

1 Boost skin with botanicals 

Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help better health, and there are so many helpful botanicals that can improve your skin’s microbiome. Traditionally, herbalists have used the  unique power of herbs like burdock root as a key weapon to support healthy skin. Earthy burdock root, one of the main ingredients in HRI Skin Complexion, is a rich source of inulin, a plant fibre that plies skin with the goodies it needs to build a healthy skin microbiome.   

2 Eat prebiotic foods 

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and wising up to the importance of the bacteria that reside on your skin will help to keep skin glowing.  

The idea is to stop pathogens from entering deep within where they can cause a chain of reactions that damage skin health. Loading up on prebiotic foods is one of the best ways to improve gut microbiome. Prebiotics, (or fibre-rich foods that help to feed probiotics), can be found in a range of foods such as oats, asparagus and banana, so make sure these feature highly in your everyday diet.   

3 Use gentle products  

The skin barrier is very delicate so while it’s important to keep skin clean, using harsh cleansing products will only strip your skin of its natural defences and do more harm than good in the long run. It’s always a case of trial and error when seeking out perfect products for your skin type, but a golden rule is to cast aside abrasive scrubs and try to choose products that are free from parabens and other chemicals to keep the skin microbiome primed.  

4 Avoid vigorous scrubbing 

It’s important to exfoliate skin regularly to slough away dead skin cells from the surface so that your complexion remains healthy and glowing. However, roughly buffing skin will be aggravating and it’ll damage the epidermis and kill off the good bacteria that live in the skin. The key is to use products formulated with fine grains rather than big particles, as these can damage skin.  

5 Keep skin moisturised 

Nursing the skin environment will ensure that pesky skin symptoms are a thing of the past; and it encourages the growth of beneficial bugs while weakening bad bacteria, according to research. In practice this means moisturising daily to restore skin health. You might want to try using probiotic-based skin products topically as these are specifically designed to help nurture the skin microbiome. Probiotic buys act as a skin ‘reset,’ working on rebalancing skin with good bacteria so that it looks nothing less than luminous and super-dewy. You can find out more about protecting the skin barrier here 

6 Add fermented foods to the menu 

You can’t achieve optimal skin health without good gut health, and one of the easiest shortcuts to improve digestive wellbeing and therefore improve your skin’s microbiome too, is to fill up on fermented foods. Layering sauerkraut into your sandwiches, nibbling on kimchi as a side dish and snacking on probiotic-rich yoghurt will help to promote good gut health, so try to include fermented foods as part of your regular diet.   

7 Spend time in nature 

Nature isn’t just a powerful tonic for your soul, getting your hands dirty in soil, laying on a lawn of freshly mowed grass and breathing in fresh air will all improve skin microbiome. Mother Nature is home to a variety of different bacterial species and when you spend time in green spaces, these beneficial microbes are automatically transmitted onto skin.  

8 Sweat it out 

We all know that regular exercise is good for bodies, but working up a sweat can also help to improve skin microbiome. Perspiration actually contains anti-microbes, which protect your body from germs and help to strengthen skin microflora.   

9 Minimise stress 

Stress is bad for our health on all accounts, but feeling frazzled on a regular basis doesn’t only impact us on the inside. When our body feels like it’s constantly under threat, it sets off an inflammatory response that can disrupt skin microbiome. Next time you feel stressed try breathing in slowly for a count of four and then exhaling for four. Repeat this cycle until you feel calmer.  

10 Load up on antioxidants 

We are what we eat, and your body naturally loves all the goodies from brightly coloured fruit and vegetables because these contain antioxidants – special agents that help to protect your body against harmful free-radical damage. Consuming around seven to nine portions of brightly hued fruits and vegetables will help to prime your body with the nutrients it needs to support a healthy skin microbiome, so make tomatoes, kale, peppers and blueberries centre stage.  For a quick shortcut, take HRI Teen Skin to fuel up on antioxidants, while nourishing your skin with live cultures.

These 10 ways to improve your skin’s microbiome will help to create a balanced environment where your body’s immune system response can flourish. Happy, glowy skin from the inside is just a few steps away.