Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - BEAUTY -

Cleanse Gen­tly

‘Lay o the harsh soaps, ag­gres­sive scrubs and loofahs – any­thing that leaves skin with a squeaky-clean feel­ing,’ says Bowe. They com­pro­mise skin’s bar­rier and neg­a­tively im­pact the mi­cro­biome, lead­ing to con­di­tions such as rosacea and acne. Use a gen­tle cleanser, and limit ex­fo­li­a­tion to once or twice a week.

Avoid Heat

Sci­en­tists agree that in­tense heat (from, say, a steamy shower or hot yoga) may de­stroy healthy mi­crobes. Heat can also dry out skin, which cre­ates a breed­ing ground for cer­tain bad bac­te­ria, says Bowe. Al­ways use a mois­turiser af­ter cleans­ing, and skip heat­ing masks and de­vices if you’re prone to dry­ness.

Ap­ply a Topi­cal Pre­bi­otic and/ or Pro­bi­otic

Both are great for skin but serve dier­ent func­tions. Pre­bi­otics sup­port the health of the mi­cro­biome by pro­vid­ing it with ‘food’. Pro­bi­otics help bal­ance skin’s sur­face pH (which keeps bad bac­te­ria in check) and can in­crease nat­u­ral pro­duc­tion of ce­ramides (lipids that pre­vent mois­ture loss).

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