skin scienceThe human body is capable of amazing things, but it doesn’t work alone. Trillions of active microbes – in your gut and on your body – work like an invisible army to boost your skin’s natural defense system. Welcome to your microbiome.
What is the microbiome?
The microbiome is made up of trillions of microbes found in your gut and on your skin. Your skin's appearance is a reflection of your overall health, and your microbiome is central in this equation. It's responsible for regulating, supporting, and boosting your immune system, which is directly tied to your skin's health and appearance.
In your gut, microbes digest lactose and fiber, make amino acids and vitamins, and even regulate your immune system. Your gut microbiome contributes to digestion, healthy weight, immunity, and glowing skin.
On your skin, microbes protect you from internal and external stressors. They maintain the skin’s pH, regulate immune response, and defend against pathogens. Healthy skin relies on a healthy relationship with these microbes to prevent skin inflammation, causing redness, dehydration, dullness, and loss of elasticity.
The Gut-Skin Connection
The microbes in and on your body outnumber your human cells by a factor of 3:1. And your gut and skin are home to the largest communities of these microbes.
A profound relationship exists between your gut and skin. These seemingly separate systems communicate with one another to keep skin in a state of balance; protecting you from pathogens, regulating your temperature, and retaining skin hydration.
Layers exists as a brand to honor the interconnectedness of your body's systems and how they work together to impact the healthy appearance of your skin.
Our probiotic supplement is proven to improve skin hydration, elasticity, and smooth wrinkles. And our topical products nourish your skin microbiome, so gut-skin connection is fueled from the inside and outside.
TIPS TO NOURISH YOUR MICROBIOME
It’s now clear that your microbiome plays a critical role in your skin’s appearance, but it's important to understand how to nourish your microbiome to achieve your healthiest-looking skin.
The goal of any skincare routine should be to honor and support your natural microbiome while also giving skin what it needs to stay healthy through chronological aging and environmental stressors.
What to Avoid:
• Bar Soaps that can disrupt the pH of your skin
• Drying alcohols (specially denatured (SD), ethyl, isopropyl) that evaporate quickly and disrupt your skin barrier by damaging your skin’s natural lipids and fatty acids. Even if you have oily skin, you should avoid these alcohols as they often result in your skin overcompensating for the dryness, thereby producing even more oil.
• Harsh paraben preservatives that can kill beneficial bacteria
• Antibiotic ingredients and antiseptics that kill your beneficial bacteria
What to Look for:
• Hydrating alcohols often seen on ingredient lists as cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. These fatty alcohols are emollients that keep skin hydrated and supple.
• Probiotic bacteria strains that have been shown to strengthen your skin barrier, restore pH, alleviate inflammation, and keep skin hydrated by promoting collagen, fat, and ceramide production.
Skin cannot live on skincare alone, and any brand that omits this information isn’t doing its due diligence toward the health of your skin or microbiome. Your diet should support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods while limiting refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed carbohydrates.
You nurture microbial diversity by eating a diverse range of foods, especially:
• Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi that contain healthy bacteria
• High in fiber foods like beans, legumes, fruit that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria
Prebiotic foods like asparagus, bananas, artichokes, oats, and apples that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria
• Antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, green tea, dark chocolate, red wine, olive oil, and whole grains that are broken down by the microbiome to stimulate healthy bacteria growth
Try to limit your consumption of:
• High-glycemic foods like refined carbohydrates and refined sugars can cause prolonged inflammation in your gut and on your skin, leading to premature loss of elasticity and suppleness in the skin.
• Dairy, especially cow’s skim milk, has been shown to increase acne’s likelihood. Yogurt and certain cheeses do NOT show these same results.
• Artificial sweeteners that can alter your microbiome composition
We intuitively know that exercise is beneficial in maintaining overall health. It also contributes to a glowing complexion by increasing cellular metabolism that slows skin aging and increases blood flow to the skin, improving its health and appearance.
Many exercise regimens contribute to great skin when focusing on elevating your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, 4-5 days per week. And to ensure you reap the skin benefits of exercise, you should remove makeup beforehand (or choose non-comedogenic makeup options), avoid overheating, and rinse skin as soon as possible after your workout. Always remember to apply sunscreen when exercising outdoors.