Balancing Act: 6 Ways to Care for Your Skin Microbiome

Balancing Act: 6 Ways to Care for Your Skin Microbiome

    When it comes to achieving a healthy, radiant glow, taking care of your skin microbiome can often be the missing piece! We’ve previously shared Everything You Need to Know About the Skin Microbiome so this post is all about action.

    At Hello Joyous we know that glowing skin happens when you care for yourself, inside and out. Below we’ve outlined six easy changes you can make to your skincare routine and lifestyle in order to support a balanced skin microbiome and glowing complexion!

    1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

      While this point may seem simple, it’s really the foundation upon which all other suggestions for healthy skin are built. Unfortunately, using the best skincare products and taking all the right supplements are not enough to balance the impacts of a Standard American Diet that is full of inflammatory fats and oils, refined grains and sugars, food additives and preservatives, and inadequate micronutrients. 

      To help nourish the body and lower free radical damage and inflammation, enjoy a variety of plant-foods (at least 30 different plants per week), high quality protein from sustainable sources (animal or plant-based), healthy fats, and drink plenty of filtered water. Cooking from scratch or buying products with simple ingredient lists made up of whole foods will automatically increase the amount of nutrients and antioxidants in your diet. Keep it simple and eat more whole foods that you enjoy.

        2. Nourish Your Gut Microbiome

          There is compelling research linking inflammatory digestive disorders with skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema. The manifestation of inflammatory gut issues on our skin makes sense because it is a reflection of the health of our digestive system and if our gut is inflamed, our skin often is too. Often when the gut is inflamed the microbiome is unbalanced, which is why it is so important to nourish it for optimal skin health.

          In order to support a healthy gut microbiome, it's crucial to avoid sugar and food additives. If you currently have skin issues then it's essential to avoid common food sensitivities such as gluten, corn, soy, and dairy. While this may seem daunting at first, it's easier than you think!

          In addition to avoiding certain trigger foods, a great way to nourish the gut microbiome is by eating lots of fibre from plant sources, including beans and legumes. You can also incorporate fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, lacto-fermented veggies, kombucha, or kefir into your diet. Always make sure they are unpasteurized so that the beneficial bacteria aren’t killed off during processing. But don’t think you can skimp on the fibre if you’re eating fermented foods. The two work together–fibre feeds the microbes to build a robust microbial community!

            3. Avoid Harsh Exfoliants or Chemical Peels 

              If you grew up in the 80s or 90s you may have been taught that the key to soft skin and avoiding acne breakouts was to use harsh exfoliants (any former St. Ives Apricot Scrub users out there?!) and chemicals to remove oil and dead skin cells. Unfortunately, using products that are too abrasive actually disrupts the skin microbiome and can have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for.

              The effects can be compounded if the product contains antimicrobials or other chemicals that can kill off beneficial bacteria. We suggest using a gentle product such as our Super Natural Mask, no more than once or twice a week. It contains organic oats for gentle exfoliation and a blend of clays to absorb excess oil from the skin. You’ll also find skin nourishing ingredients such as organic comfrey root and calendula to protect your skin barrier for a complexion that truly glows!

                4. Use a Gentle Cleanser Free From SLS and Other Harsh Chemicals

                  Another essential aspect of caring for your skin microbiome is establishing a healthy skincare routine. You’ll want to look for products that are free from any hormone disrupting ingredients or harsh chemicals that can disrupt the skin microbiome.

                  It is important to cleanse each night before bed to remove pollution, cosmetics, chemicals, dirt, and oil because you don't want these chemicals sitting on your skin. Additionally, some harsh cleansers contain foaming agents such as SLS that strip the skin of its natural moisture and negatively alter skin pH making it too alkaline, which weakens the skin microbiome and barrier.

                  Cleanse with a product with gentle ingredients that do not strip the natural oils, alter the microbiome or the pH of your skin, such as our Fresh Face Cleanser, which is gentle and nourishing. This anti-inflammatory certified organic cleanser is gentle on your skin while it removes excess oil, makeup, dirt and pollution to support a balanced skin microbiome. It’s also infused with organic comfrey root, chamomile, vegetable glycerin and golden jojoba to promote a healthy skin tone that leaves your skin supple and fresh, not stripped and dry.

                    5. Maintain a Healthy Skin pH With a Natural Toner

                      Using a toner is a step many people skip because they don’t understand the importance of balancing, nourishing, and toning the skin. In order for good microorganisms to multiply on your skin, the pH needs to be in the right range to support their growth. Many skincare products, such as soaps or harsh chemicals, are too alkaline, which is not the right environment for your skin microbiome to flourish. The skin is naturally slightly acidic so you want to use a toner that does not alter this acidic pH too much.

                      Our Magical Mist Toner is alcohol-free and made with a magical combination of skin-nourishing plant botanicals that keep your skin pH balanced. Each spritz infuses the skin with antioxidant rich organic ingredients like anti-inflammatory rose geranium to calm, calendula to soothe, and witch hazel to keep the pH balanced and toned.

                        6. Strengthen and Hydrate the Skin With a Serum

                          The third important step in your skincare routine to support your skin microbiome after cleaning and toning is to replenish with a super nourishing and hydrating product. This helps to seal in moisture and support the lipid layer of the skin barrier. Applying toner before your moisturizer or serum also provides the perfect dewy surface for your serum and aids in absorption. 

                          Hella Hydrating Serum replenishes, nourishes, and hydrates the skin while sealing in moisture for smoother, softer skin. Nourish and hydrate your skin with the power duo of cold-pressed rosehip oil and hyaluronic acid. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich nutrients in this serum will calm irritation, reduce fine lines and help your skin glow, not to mention, make your skin feel hella hydrated! Hydrated skin is skin that looks naturally youthful, healthy and vibrant.

                          And don’t forget the rest of your body! You want to make sure you are moisturizing and supporting the skin barrier with products that are free from preservatives and chemicals that can harm the skin microbiome. We love to slather ourselves head-to-toe in our bestselling Ultra Moisturizing Body Butter! It’s rich in a blend of organic plant butters and extracts to nourish your skin for the perfect glow. We love it so much we wrote a whole guide on how to unlock its beauty benefits!

                          We hope you are feeling empowered to support your skin microbiome with these simple tips.