05 Aug 2021
What is Flora? It is a habitat. Our body hosts the perfect habitat for many millions of bacteria. Microbiome, means where the microorganisms live. I will be discussing these bacteria living in and on our body, why they are important and also how these are altered or destroyed using simple English and try to keep it very short. More than 100 trillion microorganisms live in our gut, mouth, skin, and elsewhere in our bodies. Collectively known as the human microbiome, these microorganisms number ten times those of human cells. They are essential to supporting life, with benefits related to digestion, preventing the invasion of disease-causing bacteria, and the synthesis of essential nutrients and vitamins. The microbiome is linked to everything from gastrointestinal health to obesity, arthritis, acne, eczema and Alzheimer’s. Why am I explaining this? The lines of communication by gut microbes, may be direct and indirect, but ultimately influences the degree of skin conditions by a systemic effect on inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid levels, pathogenic bacteria, as well as levels of neuropeptides and mood-regulating neurotransmitters. In simple words the guts goes cookoo and so does the skin. The more we know about these good bacteria and how beneficial they are for our body and skin, the easier it is to have a healthier system and good skin, hair and nails. There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions. However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics will help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken. But you might ask, are we still discussing skin? Yes indeed! Conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne are all skin issues that are linked to gut health. You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular (yogurt and pickles, for example) are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha (fermented tea) or kefir (fermented dairy drink) that introduce extra probiotics into your diet. How come our skin looses it’s microbiome balance? There are various ways we can damage the balance of our skin’s good soldiers. Stress both internal and external will create havoc. Pollution, harsh products, mask wearing, air conditioning… all have a role in damaging the skin’s flora. Lack of sleep, illnesses, alcohol and a bad diet also contribute to such chaos. One thing that is also effecting absorption is mindfulness, mindful breathing and eating will help digestion and therefore less stress on the gut. It is known that when we are stressed both water and nutrients are thrown away from the organism as the body would be in stress mode and will reject absorption. If the body is not happy, the skin is not happy and most of the time problems will arise and show up as skin conditions. So does it happen only internally? Most of the work, yes!! it’s done at the gut. So skin needs to be addressed from the inside too, but externally we can help so much. Fermented vegetables, kefir and extracts in organic skincare have become a trend as they are able to nourish and protect the skin from the outside. Skin probiotics will help in balancing the skin and it’s natural healing process, making it stronger and more able to protect itself from damage. Nowadays these skin probiotics are becoming essential as we are all leading a hectic lifestyle and go through a lot of stress. Taking these little helping soldiers internally and applying them externally will only help our body to heal if needed, and to protect itself from all the damaging factors we are effected by. There is no age one should start, as I always say we must listen to our skin and body and understand if it needs a bit of help. If it feels it does, whether is skin or hair this is something one should try. Please share if you found this information useful as knowledge is key 😊, and as I always say ‘’ Your skin’s health is a journey and not a destination’’. Get to know your body, skin and love it every day a bit more. Healthy regards, Alexia.