Our life, as well as our health, strictly depends on coexistence with the diverse microscopic populations that we carry with us, in a relationship of mutual help and support.
All our skin and mucous surfaces are colonized by specific "consortia" of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, different from site to site. The ensemble of these populations is called MICROBIOTA.
There is a specific Microbiota for the gastrointestinal system, a Microbiota of the genitourinary tract, a Microbiota of the respiratory tract and a typical Microbiota for the skin, which changes according to the skin’s area, to the changes of pH, sebaceous secretion, skin thickness, hydration, exposure to light and air and more.
The Microbiota of the skin is significantly influenced by the environment: the Western lifestyle, compared to a rural living, shows a decrease in both load and biodiversity. This seems to be caused, in addition to stress, by eating habits, pollutants and the usage of detergents both for personal and home hygiene.
The topical use of cosmetics, cleansing and hygiene products can, in fact, alter the hydrolipidic film and therefore, disturb the diversity of the resident Microflora.
Skin acidity, that should remain between pH 4.5 and 5.5, is essential for our skin health, but can be easily altered by the use of cosmetic products, especially soaps or detergents with the risk of damaging the epithelial barrier and the skin Microbiota.
Still to be explored are the effects on the Microbiota of all the preservatives and surfactants used and their most frequent combinations. Also, the maintenance of the right composition of the Microbiota is associated with the improvement of many clinical parameters: from the right hydration or dryness of the skin, the depth of wrinkles, as well as the formation of skin spots.
Skin-care products that respect, protect and rebalance the skin Microbiota represent a new trend and the new frontier of dermo-cosmetics.
Therefore, to keep "friends and allies" our bacteria and, consequently, maintain the our skin healthy and glowing, we must pay attention to the quality of the products we use, selecting those that most respect the pH and the hydrolipidic film of our skin and have preservatives not too aggressive.
For further information: listen to my lecture on Skin Microbiota held at the cosmetic fair Experience LAb.