When it comes to the nature of our skin, how often are we asked about our skin type? As a result, we automatically draw upon the common types such as sensitive, normal, combination, oily, or blemish-prone. It isn’t to say that this terminology is incorrect, but we no longer can draw such simple conclusions about our skin.

As a complex organism, our skin isn’t as rigid or immobile as one would think. Our skin reacts to the environment and understanding this influences how we look after our skin.

With the guidance of leading dermatologists and skincare experts, we explore their advice for caring for our skin, how the microbiome plays a huge role, and the resources needed to do so.

Skin Type vs Skin Condition.

We may understand that our skin falls within a “type”—normal, combination, dry, oily, or sensitive. Still, according to experts, this only covers half of our skin’s story. “We are moving away from skin types and talking more about skin imbalances that come from a better understanding of the skin’s ecosystem and how your microbiome plays a role in regulating it,” Dr. Marie Drago, founder of Gallinée, explains.

Focusing on our skin’s conditions, versus boxing it into a type, encourages optimal results. These conditions present themselves as acne, dehydration, scarring, pigmentation, rosacea, eczema, or broken capillaries. Therefore, tailoring our skincare regimens around improving or balancing our conditions will help to improve our skin’s health. Erika Fogeiro, the founder of Combeau, explains that many factors play a role in the overall health of our skin. “Our skin moves through different states of dependencies that include our hormonal cycle, stress levels, sun exposure, or sleep levels,” she says. “The skincare market is often focused solely on skin types that can be harmful, as many of us have more than one concern. You may have acne but may also be dehydrated.”

Gut-Skin Microbiome

Therefore, we need to look further than just topical treatments and center around an internal approach to re-balance our skin. “With the understanding of our skin microbiome, we also understand that skin health is also strongly linked to the health of our gut microbiome.” Dr. Jess Braid, Co-Founder of Adio Health, tells us.

Fogeiro has further researched how fundamental understanding our gut truly is. According to Fogeiro, not only is it the blueprint for producing and regulating essential hormones and neurotransmitters like cortisol, but the gut also has a significant impact on inflammation. Without acknowledging our gut microbiome, we may fail to acknowledge our skin’s microbiome. “If there is dysfunction in your gut’s microbiome, it will impact your skin’s microbiome,” she says. “In taking care of your body holistically and your gut health through nutricosmetics, you’re taking care of your skin’s balance.”

Nutricosmetics

So, what does tending to our gut microbiome look like? It proportionately considers the health and composition of our lifestyle patterns and nutrition. “Nutricosmetics refers to a category of supplements that aim to address the health of our skin, hair, and nails. They could include things such as antioxidants, collagen, anti-inflammatories, and even supplements that target blood sugar support and the microbiome directly,” Rhian Stephenson, founder of Artah, explains.

Nutritional supplements can support and enhance the essential mechanism that optimally helps the body and skin function. Increasing your collagen levels helps to improve moisture levels and elasticity. Coenzyme Q10 has proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and supplementing Zinc helps to support the critical maintenance of the skin.Shifting from the traditional approach to our skin, we should adapt our approach to see our skin in its full complexity. “We shouldn’t see our skin or body like a machine with parts anymore, but like a living and breathing ecosystem where all parts are interconnected,” Dr. Drago says. “It means that sometimes your skin concerns come from external elements and can be helped with a topical approach, but also that problems can come from stress, gut problems or anything else internal, and that is where supplements can help.”

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How do you change the microbiome of your skin?

Here's how to restore your skin for a healthy microbiome: Avoid Harsh Cleansers – Generic and even name-brand cleansers use surfactants that remove the key defensive components of your protective skin barrier. ... Eat a Healthy Diet – While the gut and skin microbiome are different in nature, they are still interconnected.

What does the skin microbiome do?

The skin microbiome contributes to the barrier function of the skin and ensures skin homeostasis. The secretion of protease enzymes by skin microbes is involved in the desquamation process and stratum corneum renewal. Sebum and free fatty acid production are involved in pH regulation