Skin Health and the microbiome.
Cultured is clinically proven to care for your microbiome
The very short version
Your skin is an amazing, live ecosystem. Your microbiome plays a key role in this ecosystem. We now know healthy skin needs a healthy microbiome. However, the health of your microbiome is being compromised by many things including your skincare regime. Cultured is dedicated to supporting and restoring a healthy, balanced microbiome. A recent clinical trial confirms that Cultured is clinically proven to care for your microbiome.
Did you know that your skin is a living ecosystem?
There is still a persistent belief that skin – the outer layer of skin- is just a collection of ‘dead cells’ acting as an inert mechanical barrier to the world. Thanks to huge amounts of research over the past decade our knowledge and understanding of skin has evolved dramatically. We now know that the skin is very much alive and very much an ecosystem that is highly biologically active and constantly adapting to its environment. It contains a myriad of interactions, chemical processes and cross-talk between cells, nerves and bacteria, all working hard to keep your skin healthy….and looking good.
Healthy Skin needs a healthy microbiome
Central to this re-evaluation of what our skin is and how it works is the ‘discovery’ of the skin microbiome. The microbiome not only provides a bacterial shield to the world, it is also integral to the skin barrier. It plays a vital role in a wide range of skin functions from hydration and UV protection to skin renewal and wound healing. It is also in constant communication with your immune system, gut and emotions.
Microbiome research is rapidly evolving and is still an area of discovery with much still unknown. What we can say with confidence, however, is that healthy skin needs a healthy microbiome. The converse is also true, that skin issues from acne, dermatitis and rosacea to sensitivity, dryness and premature ageing are all associated with a disrupted microbiome, or microbiome ‘dysbiosis’.
What characterises a healthy microbiome?
The question of what is a healthy skin microbiome is a complex area. The obvious, rather bland answer is that a healthy microbiome is one that functions as it should (and is not unhealthy). The most salient and recurrent characteristic of a well-functioning microbiome, is that it has both a balanced and diverse community of microbiota (the sum of bacteria, viruses and fungi on your skin).
An unbalanced Microbiome or ‘dysbiosis’ on the other hand tends to be associated with either less diverse or less rich microbiota. Dysbiosis often means the microbiome loses its ability to fight off pathogens, fails to play its role in the skin’s ecosystem and can itself cause inflammation and infection when one bacterial strain comes to predominate.
Broadly speaking then, we can say that a ‘healthy’ microbiome and one that functions well is most likely to be balanced with a rich and diverse community of bacteria and microbiota.
The impact of skincare on the Microbiome
Many factors impact skin microbiome ‘health’ and can lead to dysbiosis. These range from intrinsic issues such as genetics, diet, stress, antibiotics, and hormones to extrinsic aggressors such as pollution, dust and, not least, hygiene and skincare routines.
With skincare products, several issues in particular, are a cause for concern. Firstly, pH matters. Skin is acidic and the microbiome has evolved to live and thrive in acidic conditions. The use of strongly alkaline products such as soap can cause havoc with the microbiome. Similarly, skincare products contain preservatives whose job it is to kill bacteria. This clearly represents a danger to the microbiome which is a community of microorganisms. Very foamy or detergent heavy products can damage the acidic mantle and remove sebum and lipids which are the ‘food’ for microbiome communities.
Cultured and our Biomecare philosophy
The revolutionary founding principle of Cultured is that caring for your skin should start with caring for your microbiome - that a balanced, healthy microbiome is vital skin health. Our microbiome first philosophy is why we call our approach Biomecare rather than skincare. In essence, this means our products ensure your microbiome stays healthy and enjoys a rich, diverse and balanced community of bacteria and microbiota so that your skin is healthier, fitter and looks its very best. A healthy microbiome also means skin is less prone to issues such as dryness, sensitivity and premature ageing.
To achieve this, Cultured is formulated with microbiome supporting actives including prebiotics, postbiotics and ferments from the world of bio-technology that are scientifically demonstrated to deliver on microbiome and skin health.
We recently conducted a clinical trial to explore Cultured’s impact on the microbiome, the results of which we are delighted to share below.
Clinical Trial Results - Cultured cares for your microbiome
Our recently conducted clinical trial confirms that Cultured cares for and supports microbiome health. It safeguards the balance, diversity and richness of the microbiome’s bacterial community and its microbiota. In fact, Cultured significantly outperforms the volunteers’ normal skincare regimes in terms of microbiome care. The results use 2 established indices to measure bacterial diversity - the Shannon and Simpson index
Cleansing & Microbiome Health
The regime cleansers had a strongly negative impact on the microbiome and the bacterial community overall.
Whereas the Biome One Cleansing Balm kept the microbiome’s bacterial community stable and in balance and with no significant negative affect.
Moisturiser vs Serum & Microbiome Health
A similar story can be seen with the regime moisturiser which also had a strongly negative effect on the microbiome community.
The Cultured Biome One Serum, however, maintained the integrity of the bacterial community and even slightly increased it.
When comparing the impact of the volunteers’ regime moisturisers with the Cultured Serum, it is evident that the Cultured Serum is significantly more beneficial to your microbiome.
Longer Term Impact
Your microbiome plays a key role in your skin’s ecosystem and is vital to skin health. Cultured is clinically proven to care for your microbiome by supporting the balance, richness and diversity of its microbial community. By supporting your microbiome, Cultured helps deliver skin that is stronger, more resilient and its healthiest best.
Clinical Trial Protocol
A sample of 20 volunteers was recruited. Tape stripping was used to collect skin samples at different time points which were then analysed via microbial DNA extraction. These were then analysed and compared using two indices, Shannon and Simpson, which are established measures of bacterial alpha diversity or the richness (number of species) and diversity (number of individuals per species).
Volunteers were sampled (Base sample1) and then used their normal regime cleanser and moisturiser (which differed by person) and samples were taken before and after each use. The volunteers were then resampled (Base Sample 2) and used the Cultured Biome One Cleanser and Biome One Serum and the sampling was repeated after each use and compared.