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The Skin Microbiome

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Skin conditions have increased drastically over the past 60-70 years, coinciding with numerous environmental changes including the introduction of synthetic skin care ingredients.

Commonly used skin care ingredients, alongside other factors such as antibiotic and steroid use can disrupt the skin microbiome!

Dysbiosis of the skin microbiome is associated with numerous conditions including…

- Acne

- Rosacea

- Dermatitis

- Psoriasis

- Athletes foot

- Skin cancer

- Eczema

- Folliculitis

When comparing the Western skin microbiome in healthy individuals, diversity is significantly reduced versus individuals with no exposure to Western practices. Skin microbiome diversity is even further reduced in Western subjects with a skin condition.

The role of environmental factors in skin conditions is exemplified by a comparison to those living in rural Papua New Guinea and Paraguay where the common Western condition of acne is absent…

One mechanism by which synthetic skin care products disrupt the microbiome is by increasing the pH. Optimal skin pH is mildly acidic and synthetic skin care including moisturisers commonly increase skin pH (make alkaline) which disrupts microbial populations and reduces skin hydration! (Wallen-Russel, 2018)

Non-synthetic skin care products to support the skin microbiome include Weleda skin care, Caroline's cream, aloe vera gel and jojoba oil!


Wallen-Russell, C. (2018). The Role of Every-Day Cosmetics in Altering the Skin Microbiome: A Study Using Biodiversity. Cosmetics, 6(1), 2.


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