Skin Barrier vs Microbiome

Yes, they’re different! While both play an important role in the overall health and function of your skin, it’s essential to understand what each is, does and how to best keep it operating at total capacity. The easiest way? A solid daily skincare routine packed with Kombucha, of course! Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of barrier vs biome.

What’s the skin barrier?

Sometimes referred to as the moisture barrier or acid mantle, your skin barrier is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting you from all the harmful nasties out there in the environment: viruses, free radicals,  bad bacteria, etc. More importantly, it keeps our body’s natural water content and essential nutrients inside so that we don’t completely dehydrate and expedite the signs of premature aging like sagging skin and fine lines and wrinkles.

Made up of corneocytes (aka skin cells) that are held together by healthy fats, lipids, keratin and ceramides, it plays an important part in how our skin looks and feels - bouncy, even-toned, luminous… all the good things we want to see. Your skin’s barrier is naturally acidic (which is why the term acid mantle is used) with a pH of around 5.5, and supporting that pH is the key to success in achieving not just a healthy, happy skin barrier but skin overall

What is the Microbiome?

Resting on top of the skin barrier is your microbiome - a balance of trillions of microorganisms that live on the skin (and in our bodies!) including healthy bacteria and NO, don’t be scared of the word bacteria when it comes to the microbiome! 

While often confused as the same thing, the microbiome plays a vital role in the health and function of your skin barrier. It helps regulate the absorption of defensive antioxidants, manages inflammation, and stops the growth of harmful bacteria in its tracks by maintaining its acidic environment (i.e. the acidic pH we mentioned earlier). Without it, our skin barrier can become inflamed and compromised, bringing about visible signs of distress like redness, dry patches, and even blemishes. Even worse, we’d be more susceptible to infections!  Look at it this way…

If you think of your skin barrier as a really nice place: a museum, fancy bar or restaurant, etc. your microbiome is the security guard keeping it safe, protected, and operating at its best!

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