The skin microbiome unpacked by Lisa Franklin


When I launched Lisa Franklin in 2014, I did so to push skincare forward and offer the most effective at-home solutions to my clients, solutions that would address the real skin concerns I was seeing in my clinic every day.


10 years on, my mission remains the same. We often focus on what we can see and feel – the creams, serums and treatments that transform our complexion. I became aware of the importance of the vast and diverse ecosystem that resides on our skin after noticing more and more clients coming into my clinic with compromised skin barriers.


During my product research at that time, there was a growing understanding of the science behind the skin microbiome, a bustling community of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that play a crucial role in maintaining skin health.


Given the profound impact of the skin microbiome on skin health, it’s essential to support its balance and diversity, so here I share with you what I learned about this fascinating subject.


Understanding the Skin Microbiome

Just like our gut has its own complex ecosystem of microbes, our skin is home to trillions of microorganisms. These microbes form a dynamic ecosystem that interacts with our skin cells, immune system and the environment.


The skin microbiome varies from person to person and even across different areas of the body, influenced by factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environmental exposure.


Protection Against Pathogens

One of the most critical roles of the skin microbiome is to serve as a barrier against harmful pathogens. Certain beneficial bacteria produce antimicrobial peptides that can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses on the skin’s surface. By occupying ecological niches and competing for resources these good bacteria help prevent the colonisation of pathogens that could lead to infections or skin disorders.


Maintenance of Skin Barrier Function

The skin barrier, composed of lipids, proteins and corneocytes acts as a protective shield against environmental stressors and trans epidermal water loss. Disruption of the skin barrier can result in dryness, irritation and susceptibility to inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.


Studies have shown that the microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier by regulating lipid production, pH levels and immune responses.


A balanced microbiome contributes to a resilient and healthy skin barrier, promoting overall skin health.


Regulation of Inflammation and Immunity

The interaction between the skin microbiome and the immune system is a complex and finely tuned process. Certain commensal bacteria stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which help regulate immune responses and prevent excessive inflammation.


Imbalances in the skin microbiome, such as dysbiosis (an overgrowth of harmful bacteria), have been linked to inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea and dermatitis. By modulating immune activity and promoting immune tolerance a diverse and stable microbiome can help reduce the risk of inflammatory skin disorders.


Influence on Skin Ageing

As we age changes in the skin microbiome contribute to alterations in skin structure and function. Research suggests that a healthy microbiome may play a role in slowing down the ageing process by promoting collagen synthesis, reducing oxidative stress and enhancing skin hydration.


Conversely, age-related changes in the microbiome such as a decrease in microbial diversity, have been associated with accelerated skin ageing and the development of age-related skin conditions.


Support for Wound Healing

The skin microbiome also plays a crucial role in wound healing and tissue repair. Certain beneficial bacteria produce factors that promote angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and accelerate the healing process. By creating a microenvironment conducive to tissue regeneration, these microbes can enhance the body’s natural ability to heal wounds and restore damaged skin.


Also, the presence of specific bacterial species has been shown to protect against wound infections and promote optimal healing.


My Tips For Nurturing Your Skin Microbiome

Incorporate skincare products formulated with probiotics or prebiotics which helps nourish and support the growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin.


Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fermented foods which provide essential nutrients and promote gut health.


Remember, gut health is closely linked to skin health, so nourishing your gut microbiome can indirectly benefit your skin microbiome.


Limit the use of antibiotics unless necessary, as they can disrupt the balance of the skin microbiome and lead to dysbiosis. If you do find yourself needing antibiotics. W-Wellness suggests taking alongside a probiotic to help maintain gut microbiome health during antibiotic therapy. Replenishing the gut with beneficial bacteria helps to rebalance the gut microbiome and reduce the risk of developing common side effects of antibiotics.


Protect your skin from harmful UV radiation by wearing a sunscreen daily. Sun exposure not only causes skin cancers it alters the composition of the skin microbiome contributing to oxidative stress and inflammation.


Innovation and the latest technology is at the forefront of my brand philosophy at Lisa Franklin to develop highly effective skin care solutions. We never compromise on quality. Our products contain a wealth of exceptional ingredients including pro and prebiotics. No gimmicks. Our skin care products contain ingredient dosages that make a difference.


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