The study of the skin microbiome is a relatively new field. Even so, we’ve learned a lot so far about what the skin microbiome is, how it works, and what affects it. And this field isn’t going anywhere. Skin care companies are continuing to pursue their studies to move towards a more advanced understanding of this exciting new area. But what exactly does a product need to do to earn the title of “microbiome-friendly”? Keep reading to find out!
What is the skin microbiome?
Everyone’s skin hosts a diverse ecology of teeny, tiny microorganisms. You can’t see them, but we promise they’re there! These microorganisms include fungi, bacteria, viruses, and even tiny skin mites. Although terms like “fungi” and “viruses” sound bad, the majority of these microorganisms are actually good bacteria that play a big part in keeping the skin healthy.
It’s helpful to think of the skin microbiome as an environment all of its own. All of these different microorganisms work together every second to maintain healthy, balanced skin. However, that healthy balance isn’t a given. In fact, every product that comes in contact with your skin can potentially disrupt your skin microbiome. As such, it’s important to look for skin care products that are certified microbiome-friendly — especially when searching for baby wipes, lotions, and creams for your little one.
How does a product get certified as microbiome-friendly?
As the leader in the field of microbiome-friendly testing, MyMicrobiome assesses products that come into contact with skin to discover the impact they have on the balance of microorganisms. Theirs is the first test of its kind and paves a path for a new future in natural skin care.
The test consists of four main questions:
- Is the product free from contamination, e.g. germs or fungi not supposed to be in the product?
- Are bacteria specific to the area of the body the product will be in use at able to grow unharmed?
- Is the variety of the microbiome preserved in the presence of the product?
- Is the skin balance disturbed by the product because of the suppression of protecting bacteria and the fostering of harmful bacteria?
After MyMicrobiome concludes its tests, it grades each product based on their findings. On each of the four tests, a product can receive a variety of marks, with higher numbers indicating a greater influence on the skin microbiome. If a product receives an average score of 2.0 or below, it has passed the test and will be deemed microbiome-friendly.
What kinds of products are considered microbiome-friendly?
To understand which products are friendliest to our skin microbiome, it’s important to learn the ingredients that are worst for it. Essentially, the more ingredients, the more chances a product has to disrupt the microbial balance. Likewise, more natural ingredients are better at preserving the balance of the skin microbiome than harsh chemicals and the like.
If you’re looking for microbiome-friendly skin and diaper care products for your little one, prioritize those that have minimal ingredients, clean formulations, and zero harsh chemicals. For example, NOLEO® 3-in-1 Diaper Cleanser, Moisturizer, and Rash Cream has received the MyMicrobiome distinction of microbiome-friendly due to its minimal, gentle list of ingredients. Formulated with just 5 ingredients, it’s a safe option for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, it adds back moisture and helps reinforce the skin barrier to protect the surface from future irritation.
Although the study of the skin microbiome is a new field, many experts conclude that the preservation of the natural balance of bacteria is crucial for skin health. As such, it’s important to use microbiome-friendly skin care products, especially on your little one. Since their skin develops their microbiome over the first 12 months, parents would be wise to opt for microbiome-friendly skin and diaper care products during this period.