The skin microbiome


The skin is the largest organ in the body and similar to most other systems, has its own microbiome. This interface between the inner and outer worlds is teaming with 1 trillion microbes, 1000 of which are different kinds of bacteria. This microbiome permeates to the subcutaneous fat layer and can communicate with the immune system. The microbiome varies depending on location and differs with gender, hormonal changes and environmental stresses. Some of the same bacteria found on the skin can also be found in the gut microbiome.


A healthy skin microbiome protects against infection, aids in healing wounds and limits oxidative damage. It also protects the body from UV radiation and allergens. To aid with healing infections, the good bacteria in the skin microbiome works to crowd out other pathogens. This microbiome is relatively acidic with a pH around 5, which also inhibit pathogen growth and regulate oil production.


As these microbes are found deep inside the fat layers of the dermis, the skin microbiome and the immune system can communicate with each other. When there is an imbalance in the skin microbiome, the immune system can release various antimicrobial peptides which help to restore balance. And vice versa, the good bacteria in the skin microbiome can stop inflammatory compounds from being released by the immune system. This goes to show that a compromised immune system may show up in the skin as well.


An imbalanced microbiome is associated with various diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, acne, dandruff, skin users, rosacea, yeast and fungal infections and poor wound healing. The excess use of antimicrobial hand sanitizers, harsh chemical soaps and surfactants disrupt this delicate system, creating, sometimes chronic imbalances.


Enter, hydrosol. The skin saving, microbiome-loving skin tonic. This living herbal water is also naturally acidic and helps to restore the skin microbiome. Hydrosols help to balance oil production, relieving oily AND dry skin conditions without affecting the microbiome of the skin. Our skin can also absorb the nutrients and minerals that are found in the hydrosol which help to repair environmental or oxidative damage. Microparticles of essential oil are suspended in this milky tonic, which aid in it’s healing properties.


Hydrosols can be used often and liberally, mist directly onto affected area. For wound care, acne or infection, hydrosols such as rosemary and lavender are an excellent choice due to their potent antimicrobial properties. For dandruff, chamomile or calendula help to soothe and hydrate the skin. For rashes, rose geranium. For insect bites, cedar wood. Poison oak, mugwort. For gout, juniper. Each hydrosol has it’s own unique properties and many of them can be used for mulitple ailments. Have questions about which one to try? Send us an email info@garaskincare.com, we’d be happy to help you.


           © 2019 GARA // OJAI, CA
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