August 02, 2022

    What Exactly is Skin Microbiome? Do topical microbiome products really work on my skin?

    What Exactly is Skin Microbiome? Do topical microbiome products really work on my skin?


    Dr. Zach Bush , specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care12.01.20

    Under a microscope, the skin looks a lot like a coral reef, millions of unique microenvironments in the nooks and crannies created by the constantly changing terrain of sloughing skin cells. 

    Just as with the coral reef, many thousands of species can coexist, each within its ideal terrain to achieve the beauty and cooperative life that you would expect on the snorkeling expedition.  The skin terrain is dominated by many variations of strep and staph species as well as hundreds of other lesser-known species.  These microbes, each species with their own niche role, provides the frontline defense to your body both on the skin and in the gut.  The relationship between a healthy gut and healthy skin is intertwined on many levels, including in the importance of the microbial diversity present in both regions. To Have beautiful skin, you must also have a beautiful gut!

    So, the question is: do beauty products for the microbiome work?

    Topical probiotics are not able to deliver a balanced or diverse microbiome to the skin.  As such, I try to avoid these products and instead focus on those that will bring about a healthy gut. In another blog, this is explained. Here is the link for more study on this subject:

    Included in these are wild-fermented vegetables, outdoor exposure through gardening, hiking, swimming in fresh and seawater environments, and lots of physical touch with other people and animals.  A dog can introduce an enormous microbiome diversity into the home, and it is socially acceptable for that direct microbiome transplant experience of the dog kiss every day.

    Our lab has also pioneered the use of the communication molecules made by the microbiome to support cross-species cooperation, diversity, and increased metabolism via ION Biome products.  (What does Ion Biome do? Effectively, Ion Biome provides your body with a gut “stimulus” that you have been lacking due to stay at home orders. ION*Gut Health was designed to support the body's production of beneficial enzymes through redox signaling (cellular communication).)These sterile liquid supplements support, rather than micromanage biodiversity and nutrient production in the human body, as well as support the rapid repair of the gut and vascular barriers which can be damaged by common elements in our diet like glyphosate (RoundUp) herbicides (weed killers), alcohol, gluten, and some pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, the above chemicals are in our food sources, as GMOs. These have caused every manner of gut and skin disruptions including a 500% or better increase in childhood eczema.

    The Importance of Your Internal Microbiome

    The human gut microbiome and its dysfunction or loss of balance are now understood to be a root cause event for almost every chronic disease epidemic that we have today.  From skin conditions like eczema, acne, and psoriasis, to immune disorders like autoimmune diseases, to mood disorders, and even to cancer.  

    The human gut is now understood to be capable of containing 20,000-40,000 species.  If we take the same 3 or 5 species in our probiotic, which contains billions of copies of those few species, we overwhelm the terrain of the gut with that monoculture.  Just as destroying the massive biodiversity of the great grasslands and forests of the world to plant corn, soybean, and wheat has deeply damaged our planet, so can the probiotic plant that monoculture.  The science journal Cell recently published two back to back articles featuring studies in both rodents and humans that demonstrate the negative impact of probiotics on gut microbe diversity. 

    Following two weeks of antibiotics which eliminated about 80% of gut biodiversity in both studies, the groups were randomized to placebo, probiotic, or oral consumption of their own fecal material obtained before antibiotics.  The oral fecal transplant groups recovered to normal in 20-30 days, the placebo groups recovered completely by 30 days, and the probiotic group in the rodents had the same level of suppression of the microbiome diversity as the antibiotic had even followed out to 50 days.  The human probiotic group had slow improvement in microbiome diversity, but even at 6 months had not returned to the pre-antibiotic baseline. 

    Amazingly, physicians are doing as much harm with our probiotic Band-Aid to the microbiome as we are with the antibiotic injury that we are trying to fix.  

    We here at Private Label skincare Florida are asked every week about adding this type of ingredient to our client’s products, we do not recommend any of them, and try to find better alternatives as seen in our blogs.  We want to create solutionsguit and not problems, and are working constantly to improve the products of our client’s end users. We wish to protect our client’s customers, so we can all win!  Call us today to let us help you make informed decisions about the ingredients in your products to protect your client’s skin and hair care.

    About the Expert

    Zach Bush MD is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and our food production systems. Dr. Bush founded Seraphic Group to develop root-cause solutions for human and ecological health and extend his passion for educating the world on topics such as the state of our soil - including the need to eradicate toxins such as glyphosate from our farming chain - and the importance of gut/brain communication as a vital part of our overall health/wellbeing.

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