First off, if you're dealing with rashes, fungal infections on the skin, sensitive skin, dermatitis, itchiness, acne, boils, hives, eczema, psoriasis, and many more you'll want to look at two things – the products you're putting on your skin and the bacteria living there.
You may have heard about the gut microbiome, but did you know that the skin has its own microbiome?
What does that even mean?
The gut microbiome is only one home for the bacteria. Your skin has bacteria growing all over it. Your body has methods in place that keep most organisms from growing on you. From dead skin cells shedding to sweating. This is important as it’s part of our immune system. The sweat glands determine what organisms grow where on our body and your diet determines what type of sweat comes out and what type of organisms feed off of that.
There are a lot of components when it comes to skin health and there is crossover between gut health and skin issues. Eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, hives, itching, flaky skin, fungus, etc are just a few problems people are dealing with. These are all skin issues that are related to what is going on inside your body. You have to make sure your body is digesting properly so you can take care of these issues.
When looking at the skin itself there are so many types of bacteria that grow and when your immune system isn’t working properly this is when you get bacterial and yeast overgrowth, which results in many skin problems. Therefore, you want to make sure your largest organ (the skin) is working properly.
You can check out the textbook “The Bacteriology of Humans, an Ecological Perspective” if you want to nerd out on the science.
The skin itself generally has a low pH, low moisture content, various immune cells, and enzymes that break apart any organisms that may be hanging out there. Even then, there are some bacteria that end up sticking around. They generally cluster around sweat glands and near the hair follicles.
There are good bacteria that live on your skin and you want them there!
Bacteria on your skin can eat: glucose, ribose, fatty acids, glycerol, lactic acid, amino acids, urea, biotin, phosphate, thiamine, and micronutrients. These nutrients come from your sweat so you need to take care of what is inside your body so your sweat is as clean as possible. This fosters the growth of the best bacteria for optimal skin health.
Something you can do right now to help make your skin a happy home for good bacteria:
1. Use sesame, shea butter, olive, or coconut oil all over your skin when you get out of the bath or shower. This feeds the good bacteria, your skin cells, and improves the functioning of your immune barrier at the skin level.
2. Make an herbal infused oil. In the videos below I teach how to do this with chaparral, which is a desert plant. So if you don't live in the desert, substitute fresh rosemary which you can find at more natural foods stores or order dry chaparral from an herbal company like Mountain Rose Herbs.
3. STOP USING ANTIBACTERIAL PRODUCTS. I'm yelling this because this product is highly overused and unnecessary in most situation. When your body is healthy and your skin microbiome is flourishing you are protected from pathogens on the skin. Continually using antibacterial soaps and gels will start to break down your own immune defenses. If you are finishing up in the bathroom on an airplane or around someone who is sick, please opt for a coule drops of lavender essential oil instead.
4. Sunbathing from time to time, not to burn, but just to soak in the sun for about 10 minutes on each side will help kill off microorganisms that should not be there.
5. Exfoliation using the skin scrubby in my store. Soak in the bathtub for 10 min and use the scrubby without soap to remove the layer of dead skin cells. Once dried off, cover yourself in oil and put on a bathrobe to let it soak in.
If you are struggling with noticeable skin issues such as fungal nails, spots, blemishes, bumps, and more, please watch the following videos, This Natural Sunscreen Doubles as an Anti-Fungal for the Skin.
You can view the second video This Natural Sunscreen Doubles as an Anti-Fungal for the Skin Part 2 Decanting
Use clean, natural products that won’t mess with your bacteria so you can keep your skin glowing and beautiful!