What Affects Our Skin Microbiome_

What Affects Our Skin Microbiome?

The skin microbiome can be affected by various intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Some of the key factors that impact the skin microbiome include:

Skin Disinfection: Excessive use of skin disinfectants and antimicrobial products can disrupt the balance of the skin microbiota, leading to a reduction in the number and variety of microbes that colonize the skin

Cosmetic Products: Certain cosmetic ingredients may promote or inhibit the growth of specific bacteria, and excessive use of cosmetics can reduce the diversity of skin microbes. For instance, the lipid components of moisturizers can provide nutrients and promote the growth of lipophilic bacteria, potentially disrupting the microbiome and causing skin issues such as inflammation, dryness, and irritation

Hygiene Routines: Modification of hygiene routines, including frequent washing with harsh cleansers, can alter the skin microbiome, depending on the products used and the location on the body. Over-washing or using harsh cleansers can strip the skin of its healthy bacteria, leading to an imbalance in the microbiome. Frequent washing the face with a generic cleanser, which kills bacteria, has been reported to disturb the microbiome returning to its natural balance, if this is repeated several times daily over a longer time-span, it disturbs the skin barrier resulting in skin irritation.

Gut-Skin Axis: The gut microbiome can impact skin health through the immune system and the production of bioactive compounds. Disruptions in the relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system can potentially promote the development of skin diseases

Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle habits, such as diet and environmental exposures, can also influence the skin microbiome. For example, ingested compounds and chemicals can have an immediate impact on skin appearance and health through their influence on the gut microbiome and subsequent systemic effects

In summary, the skin microbiome is influenced by a range of factors, including skincare practices, cosmetic products, hygiene routines, and even internal factors such as the gut microbiome and lifestyle habits. Understanding these influences is important for maintaining a healthy and balanced skin microbiome 1–5.


1.        Habeebuddin M, Karnati RK, Shiroorkar PN, et al. Topical Probiotics: More Than a Skin Deep. Pharmaceutics. 2022;14(3):1-22. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics14030557

2.        Byrd AL, Belkaid Y, Segre JA. The human skin microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2018;16(3):143-155. doi:10.1038/nrmicro.2017.157

3.        Huang MCJ, Tang J. Probiotics in personal care products. Microbiol Discov. 2015;3(1):5. doi:10.7243/2052-6180-3-5

4.        Holland KT, Bojar RA. Cosmetics: What is their influence on the skin microflora? Am J Clin Dermatol. 2002;3(7):445-449. doi:10.2165/00128071-200203070-00001

5.        WebMd. What Is the Skin Microbiome? Published 2023. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/skin-microbiome

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