Our skin serves as a barrier to protect us from the outside world. It is our first line of defense and is rich in microorganisms. It may sound scary but these microorganisms are the good guys that play a very important role in maintaining our health [1-3]. These good microorganisms – called microbiome- are found everywhere on/in our body helping us with our normal bodily functions.
The skin microbiome is formed at birth. The skin microbiome expands from top of the skin to deeper dermal layers. It is formed of various microorganisms on the skin. The skin microbiome composition and diversity can be modulated by 2 main factors: genetic and immunological factors on one side and diet and environmental exposure, on the other side.
Why this Skin Microbiome Diversity is Important?
Research shows that higher degree of diversity in the skin microbiome is associated with healthier skin. Low microbial diversity has been characterized in patients with damaged skin, compared to healthy people . Interestingly, a much lower degree of microbial diversity have been reported in Western cultures .
This is highly likely due to the increasing use of antibiotics or harsh skin cleaning/treatment routines in Western cultures, which could be related with the rise in skin allergies and other skin problems . The skin microbiome could be affected by changing temperature, moisture, pH, sebum content, UV light exposure, and even what we eat and environmental stress.
What does Skin Microbiome do?
A stable healthy balanced skin microbiome is important in maintaining skin health because these microorganisms closely interact with the skin’s biology, skin barrier, and skin’s immune system .
This skin microbiome – immune interaction in the skin is very important for optimal skin barrier function, defense against pathogens, and tissue repair with the continuous production of critical anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial compounds to maintain healthy skin balance .
1. Skin microbiome prevents pathogens to take over the space and nutrients
These symbiotic microorganisms take up nutrients and space, limiting the infectious pathogen growth when they are on the skin surface. They are abundant enough overpower the harmful pathogens you might encounter and protect your skin from them. When the skin microbiome is unbalalanced, pathogenic bacteria or viruses can breach the skin barrier. These pathogens delay healing and contribute to inflammation.
2. Skin microbiome produces antimicrobial compounds and nutrients to protect the skin.
The skin microbiome can prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria by producing antimicrobial compounds, which serves as defence mechanisms and preventing their growth. Skin cells produce basic proteins and lipids such as sapienic acid that can have antimicrobial activities . Other lipids like triglycerides produced by skin cells can be processed by these symbiotic microbes in the microbiome into free fatty acids and di- and monoglycerides to have a bioactive action against other microbes [10-11] . The microbiome also produces other structural components to prevent pathogen invasion.
3. Skin microbiome and Skin immune system work together for maximum health.
The skin is a primary immunological barrier to the external environment. The skin microbiome can help many immune-related and immune-independent properties for skin health and balance, which are not yet deeply appreciated. The skin contains a variety of immune cells (such as keratinocytes, Langerhans cells, and T cells) that can interact with microbes to protect us.
Recent research shows that the members of skin microbiome can promote protective immunity against bad bacteria by recruiting and activating these skin immune cells. For example, one of the members of skin microbiome – Staphylococcus epidermidis– can increase the skin’s immune defense against pathogenic invadors to protect the skin  .
With skin microbiome- skin immune interactions such as these are involved in both innate and acquired immunity. There is a potent capacity within the skin immune system to react and act in response to pathogenic microbes to help to maintain a strong host immunity by maintaining a balanced skin barrier. These microbiome-immune symbiosis are also vital for optimal skin barrier function and to prevent inflammation and early skin aging [8, 13].
How does the relationship between Skin, Skin Microbiome and Skin Immune System help us?
This tight relationship within the skin microbiome and skin immune system symbiosis regulates pathogen growth, skin barrier functions, skin balance (homeostasis) and immune response as well as the development of various skin diseases like atopic dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis [14, 15] . This symbiotic relationship between the skin cells, skin microbiome with the skin immune system leads to stimulation of anti-microbial peptide secretion, protection against pathogenic bacteria and production of ceramide to support the skin barrier and more —all of which provide much needed beneficial effects to the skin. Therefore, It is of great importance to understand and respect the cellular and microbiome components of the skin that works in harmony with skin immune response.
As AveSeena, our Dermoimmuno TM Beauty Method allows us to focus on this unique skin-skin microbiome-skin immune wellness ultimate balance of the skin. Our focus on the “cosmetic skin microbiome” offers unique products without using any additional bacteria such as probiotics or prebiotics.
The holistic combination of scientifically selected ingredients that are in sync with skin microbiome replenish the skin with essential components by visibly improving the quality of skin, accelerating its renewal process, improving skin barrier function and hydration, maintaining and replenishing the good microbiome on the skin for a healthier, firmer-looking skin.
Wishing you a glowing healthier skin,
Molecular Immunologist & Skincare Expert
As an Immunologist trained in Molecular Medicine and as an expert in skin care and cosmetic chemistry, Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu has spent +20 years researching skin, impact of hormones on the immune system sharing her findings in international publications with her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by scientists, doctors, editors, bloggers, celebrities and skincare lovers around the world, her deep real-world knowledge and research are invested in every drop of AveSeena.
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