Microbiome is currently very topical, we hear so much about gut microbiome which is basically the entire collection of microorganisms in our gut, the skin microbiome is simply all of the organisms present on our skin. The term “microbiota” describes these organisms in both our gut and our skin.
Antibacterial hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial soaps present problems for our skin and when our hands are put into our mouth after cleansing our hands the microbiota is also negatively affected in our gut. Many skin problems from acne through to eczema which affect the skin microbiome can be attributed to our new modern lifestyle.
Our skin is constantly bombarded by harsh cleansers, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, medications, home detergents, washing powders and gardening chemicals.
It’s simple, our skin has over a trillion organisms at any given time. There are thousands of species of bacteria, viruses and fungi, these all serve a purpose and are vital for proper balance, so when this balance is altered, it can create problems.
Our obsession with being clean may come at a price for our microbiome. A robust skin microbiome protects us against infection and inflammation. This certainly makes us rethink the overuse of antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps on the skin. In this modern world we need to rethink our fear of getting dirty, when you think about it, food comes from the ground and whilst rinsed, it should not be washed. The problem with food is all to often it has been irradiated and washed. Spending time outdoors camping, playing sport and gardening to get natural exposure to a variety of soil-based organisms is great for the surface microbiota on our skin.
Through laundering our clothes, regardless of washing powder, we often share some of our microbiota with people living in the same home. Natural fibres like cotton and nylon will hold a more natural balance of bacteria whilst synthetic fibres harbour bacteria outside of the balance of the normal ecosystem. If someone in your home has skin issues it may be worth washing their clothes separately in a gentle, natural washing powder/soap and drying the clothes in the sun as this will reduce and balance the bacteria naturally. Sweating can also contribute to healthy skin bacteria, by serving as a prebiotic either through exercise or sauna.
The bottom line is that our skin could benefit from us dropping all antibacterial and harsh synthetic skin products.
At Au Natural Skinfood we know that prebiotics are found in Manuka Honey. These prebiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria on our skin and help to manage bad bacteria. NZ Manuka Honey is also well known as a natural humectant, trapping in moisture and helping to eliminate transdermal water loss. NZ Manuka honey has many healing properties. With this knowledge our team at Au Natural decided to use this key ingredient in concentrated levels in all our essential products. Our products are carefully designed to strengthen our skins barrier function so that we can use our own skins natural defence system to fight environmental damage and common skin complaints. Our products are designed with this philosophy, to suit all skin types and ages.
TIP – I have for some years now used soap berries for my washing, I take a handful and put in a recycled jam jar and cover with boiling water – a jelly will form on the top and I use this for stain removal. After using your soap berries, you can put the shells on your pot plants to protect them and hold in moisture, they also look great. Our clothes have never been so clean it’s great for our skin and great for the planet! I buy my soap berries from That Red House, but there are many New Zealand sites that sell them too.
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