What it is
Invisible to the naked eye, our bodies play host to trillions of microorganisms. Just like our gut relies on good bacteria and probiotics, our skin relies on good bacteria to help us be healthy as well. This elaborate ecosystem is called the skin biome.
The interactions between the biome and our skin were defined millions of years ago so that everyone wins. Beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms have a home and steady energy supply, and in turn, our skin enjoys healthful benefits.
Where it comes from:
Our skin biome is nurtured from the moment we're born, passed down to us from our mothers, and is constantly evolving throughout our lives by our environment, interaction with nature, and lifestyle.
The skin is the human body's largest organ, whose primary role is to serve as a physical barrier, protecting our bodies from environmental factors that could potentially harm us (toxic substances, foreign organisms, etc).
Why it's important:
The skin also serves as an interface with the outside environment and is therefore colonized by a wide range of microorganisms, most of which are harmless or even beneficial. In some cases they provide vital functions that the human genome has not evolved to complete. Furthermore, while things happening inside of our bodies can cause a specific response on the skin microbiome, the opposite is also true: The skin microbiome also functions in communicating with our body.
Modern chemistry and lifestyle shifts have undermined this ecosystem, making it less diverse and leaving us more susceptible to many challenges including sensitivity, irritation and other skin problems.