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Immunity on the surface
Why our skin microbiome is just as important as our gut microbiome.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microscopic living things are referred to as microorganisms, or microbes, for short. Trillions of these microbes exist mainly inside your intestines and on your skin, and in fact, there are as many bacterial cells in your body as there are human cells.
Most of the microbes in your intestines are found in a "pocket" of your large intestine called the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome has been proven to have a profound effect on the health of the entire body, from brain function, weight, skin, immunity, digestion and mood.
Your skin barrier is also home to trillions of microbes that perform a symbiotic function on our skin barrier, helping to maintain pH balance and protect the skin from infection and pollution. Of the trillions of bacteria making up your microbiome, it’s estimated that 26% of that is found in your gut, while 21% is found on your skin.
Prebiotics are essential to supporting a healthy microbiome, in both the gut and on the surface of the skin. Think of a prebiotic as fertilizer. There's a growing body of research that suggests prebiotics may be more important than probiotics. Using a probiotic without a prebiotic is like trying to plant a flower in bad soil—without a healthy foundation, it will wilt and die.
Much like our gut, everyday stressors actively impair our skin’s microbiome and barrier. This includes pollution, stress, over washing, harsh or synthetic cosmetic ingredients and diet. A lot of what we’re doing to our skin in “modern” skincare regimens is damaging our skin barrier, either by stripping away natural oils or by altering the finely tuned pH balance of the skin. Most cleansers are too harsh for the skin as they use surfactants (foaming agents) to strip the oil from the skin, leaving it tight, dehydrated and imbalanced. Our skin is naturally slightly acidic (around pH 4.5) but foaming cleansers are usually very alkaline (around pH 7 or 8) which creates a breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria, upsetting our topical microbiome.
The formulas in BARRIER CULTURE actively repair the skin barrier and replenish the topical microbiome using our proprietary blend of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria on the skin, probiotics help to repopulate levels of good bacteria on the skin and postbiotics treat the skin, actively calming and conditioning.
We use two different prebiotic ingredients in BARRIER CULTURE: Inulin, which is extracted from chicory root, and a potato starch extract called Maltodextrin. The probiotic is a patented format developed in one of the leading probiotic research centres globally. Unlike living bacteria which is hard to stabilize or maintain or pasteurized bacteria doesn’t perform any action on the skin, the format we use is both viable and stable, without needing refrigeration. Our Lactobacillus plantarum extract is the first processed probiotic with an intact cell wall, allowing it to deliver the full specific properties of the live bacteria. The postbiotic extracts we use in BARRIER CULTURE CLEANSER work to treat and condition the skin, including Lactic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, and Radish Root Ferment. We use Squalane in BARRIER CULTURE MOISTURIZER as the postbiotic ingredient, protecting against pollution and everyday stressors on the skin barrier.
We also include Niacinamide in the moisturizer which activates the skin’s immune system, helping to repair dark marks, scarring and supports natural healing and regeneration. A form of Vitamin B3, Niacinamide can help build proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage. Studies show that Niacinamide can support the skin’s immunity by building keratin, our natural protective structural protein found in hair, skin and nails, to improve barrier function, protect against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation in the skin and help to prevent fine lines and pigmentation.
The result of our formulas? A healthy skin barrier with stronger defenses for 45% less pollution-induced damage.
Shop BARRIER CULTURE.