What is the Microbiome Movement in Beauty?

Gaining more and more attention among beauty lovers, the skin's microbiome is the new frontier in achieving a youthful complexion.
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With the significant growth of the beauty universe in recent years, it is natural that some trends become popular in the market, gaining more prominence than others. Now, it's the microbiome movement's turn in the spotlight. The beauty  trend is a technique that aims to strengthen skin health by looking at biology.

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"Microbiome" is usually associated with intestinal microbiota—a set of microorganisms that live in the intestine and have numerous functions, from boosting immunity against the proliferation of harmful agents to the absorption and production of nutrients and vitamins. However, the intestine isn't the only structure in the body that has microbiota. Countless areas of the body have this set of beneficial microorganisms, including the mouth and skin.

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According to dermatologist Dr. Paola Pomerantzeff, the skin has a small ecosystem of bacteria that has many functions, such as controlling the colonization of potentially pathogenic organisms, modulating the immune response, and helping to maintain the skin barrier. Thus, the skin microbiota is an integral part of skin health, playing an especially significant role in combating the emergence of conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.

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The microbiome movement is gaining traction around the world as more learn how to care for the skin's microbiota.

“Taking care of the skin's microbiota is especially important now, because, due to our modern lifestyle with hot baths and unbalanced diets, this delicate ecosystem undergoes constant aggressions that impair its balance, which can result in drier, inflamed skin, in addition to causing the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria that can cause skin diseases,” explains dermatologist Dr. Claudia Marçal.

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One of the best ways to care for the skin microbiome is by using cosmetics formulated with probiotics in your daily skincare routine. “Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, are capable of giving health benefits to the skin by helping to balance the skin microbiota, strengthen the skin barrier to promote tissue repair, reduce sensitivity, control acne and dermatitis, fight the action of free radicals, and prevent premature aging,” highlights Isabel Piatti, Executive Consultant in Aesthetics and Cosmetic Innovation and advisor to the Technical Committee for Innovation at Buona Vita.

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In addition to the use of products with probiotics, it is important to take some precautions to prevent the cutaneous microbiota from being damaged. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Beware of excessive use of soaps. “Cleaning this skin too much, without replacing the moisture, can cause dryness at first and then the production rebounds with more oil. In addition, our skin has a microbiome, a 'population' of good bacteria that protect us against diseases and other problems, such as dryness and skin sensitivity,” says Dr. Daniel Cassiano, dermatologist at Clínica GRU Saúde and a member of the Society Of Dermatology. “The presence of these microorganisms keeps the skin's pH in balance. But using soaps and cosmetics that reduce these bacteria too much can leave the skin unprotected and susceptible to skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and acne.” It's reccomended to use products that clean deeply without drying the skin, and avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or soap.

  • Invest in a balanced diet. In addition to contributing to the health of the skin and the maintenance of the cutaneous microbiome, a healthy diest also helps in the balance of the intestinal microbiota, which, because it has a direct impact on inflammation and the modulation of immunity, is also related to skin health.

  • Increase your oral consumption of probiotics. They can be found in fermented foods, such as kombucha and miso, and some cheeses and yogurts. “It is also worth investing in prebiotics, natural components present in foods such as oats, garlic, onions, berries, and bananas that, when they reach the intestine, promote the growth of probiotics, or beneficial bacteria,” recommends Dr. Marcella Garcez, medical nutritionist and director of the Brazilian Association of Nutrology.

  • Avoid sugary, deep-fried, and ultra-processed foods rich in salt, refined sugar, and saturated and trans fat, as they favor the proliferation of harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and reduce immunity.

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