Changes to Your Mi­cro­biome

Women's Health (Malaysia) - - BEAUTY BUZZ -

The term mi­cro­biome refers to the land­scape of bac­te­ria in­side our bod­ies—it plays an in­te­gral role in the health of the gut, which in turn af­fects nearly ev­ery other sys­tem, in­clud­ing the largest or­gan, your skin. But wide­spread (and in­creased) an­tibi­otic use is killing off our good mi­crobe pop­u­la­tions. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tres for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, 266.1 mil­lion cour­ses of an­tibi­otics were pre­scribed in 2014—and re­searchers say at least 30 per­cent of those pre­scrip­tions were un­nec­es­sary. This reck­less pill pop­ping is bad news for the skin: Stud­ies sug­gest that changes in skin bac­te­ria play a sig­nif­i­cant role in con­di­tions such as atopic der­mati­tis and pso­ri­a­sis.

An­tibi­otics aren’t the only of­fender throw­ing off our mi­cro­biome. “Cer­tain com­mon in­gre­di­ents in per­sonal care prod­ucts, like the zinc pyrithione found in dan­druff sham­poos and some al­co­hols found in prod­ucts like ton­ers, can also kill off good bac­te­ria,” says Zir­was, who says he has seen an in­crease in ir­ri­tat­ing skin is­sues re­lated to yeast over­growth, which can re­sult from a dearth of good mi­crobes.

FOR SEREN­ITY NOW: Check your gut.

Swap­ping out pro­cessed foods and su­gar for a fi­bre-rich diet with lots of fer­mented fare (like kim­chi and kom­bucha tea) will go a long way to­ward get­ting your gut and skin in a hap­pier place. Fur­ther­more, “I have most of my pa­tients take a pro­bi­otic, a sup­ple­ment that sup­ports the growth of healthy bac­te­ria in our bod­ies. My ba­sic rule of thumb is: the more strains of bac­te­ria, the bet­ter,” says Zir­was, who rec­om­mends Now Pro­bi­otic-10 100 Bil­lion (RM109.79 for 30 cap­sules, my.iherb.com).

Bug out.

Avoid prod­ucts that to­tally an­ni­hi­late bac­te­ria—zir­was says sen­si­tive types with dan­druff should opt for

(9) Neu­tro­gena T/sal Ther­a­peu­tic Sham­poo (RM72, 11street.my), which sloughs away flakes on the scalp us­ing sal­i­cylic acid in­stead of zinc pyrithione. In fact, spread some bac­te­ria on your face: Pro­bi­otics, in ad­di­tion to be­ing taken in­ter­nally, have ma­jor ben­e­fits top­i­cally. In re­cent years, skin-care com­pa­nies have started adding bac­te­ria to prod­ucts, as in ( 10 ) Tula Hy­drat­ing Day & Night Cream with Pro­bi­otic Tech­nol­ogy (RM401.50, 11street.my ) or ( 11 ) Aure­lia Cell Re­vi­talise Day Mois­turiser (ap­prox­i­mately RM370, net-a-porter.com)—a devel­op­ment many derms, in­clud­ing En­gel­man, en­dorse. “Stud­ies show they have a calm­ing ef­fect, which can be help­ful in the treat­ment of in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tions like acne and rosacea,” she says. Re­search in­di­cates that be­sides re­duc­ing swelling and pim­ples, top­i­cal pro­bi­otics can help treat sen­si­tive skin by in­creas­ing ceramide levels (these strengthen the skin bar­rier).

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