All about the skin flora

The skin flora consists of tiny microorganisms that maintain the natural balance on your skin's surface. It protects and keeps your skin healthy. In recent years, this skin flora has increasingly become the focus of research, mostly under the title "skin microbiome". Here we take a look at what the tiny helpers do and how you can restore the skin flora when your skin is out of balance.

Hautflora wiederherstellen

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Strengthening skin flora should be the goal of all natural skin care. And we don't have to do much because your skin has all the important abilities to protect and regenerate. But all too often we overdo it with well-intentioned skin care and interfere with these natural processes with care products. Products that kill germs then also catch a large part of the useful and even important bacteria of the skin flora. In this way, this sensitive balance is repeatedly disturbed and endangers the health of the skin.

🔬 Bacteria and fungi used to be considered plants, hence the older term skin flora. Today we mostly talk about the skin microbiome.

A weakened microbiome can lead to all sorts of skin problems or even skin diseases. It is associated with acne and neurodermatitis, among other things. But now to the basics.

Skin flora, what is that actually?

The skin flora is created at birth. It includes all the microorganisms that are a natural part of healthy skin. This includes a variety of bacteria and fungi that densely colonize the surface of your skin. They live symbiotically with you and help rid your skin of harmful germs. It is divided into:

  • Resident skin flora: The associated germs "resident" permanently on your skin and have a protective effect.
  • Transient skin flora: These include, for example, pathogens that come from outside and actually have no place on your skin.

So the resident skin flora is protective shield your skin. Maybe you know the cleaner fish from nature documentaries, the larger conspecifics that clean the scales. This keeps them healthy. If someone were to fish out all the cleaner fish in the reef, the natural balance would be severely disturbed. Parasites would multiply unhindered. Neither can your skin do without its microscopic cleaning crew. It protects your skin and body from infection.

The preservation of the skin flora is therefore becoming more and more important, especially in medical research. The main focus here is on the use of antibiotics and disinfectants. It has been found that both not only eliminate the unwanted germs, but also reduce the good bacteria in the microbiome and thus the microbial composition cannot be improved in the long term.

If you promote the good germs instead, the skin climate improves sustainably and the bad germs have less chance of settling. Instead of sanitizing the skin with harsh ingredients, experts advise boosting the natural flora.

Restore skin flora

Ecosystems usually function better the less we interfere. Therefore, when it comes to preserving and restoring the skin flora: Less is more. What does that look like in practice?

  • Face cleansing
    Do not use aggressive agents in daily cleansing. And adjust the cleaning according to the degree of "dirt". If you haven't worn any make-up or sunscreen, for example at the morning cleaning, there is less to remove. Then lukewarm water is enough. Sunscreen and make-up, on the other hand, must be removed thoroughly in the evening. Use either a gentle cleanser or our Five Make-up Remover.
  • Cleaning the body
    Use mild shower gel and shampoo and use it sparingly. By that I mean not only the amount, but also the places you use it. Legs, for example, don't usually get so dirty every day that they always have to be lathered. Especially since the skin dries out quickly here. It is best to shower briefly and only lukewarm.
  • Care products
    Reduce your care routine to a few products with few ingredients. Good moisturizing care in the morning and in the evening as well as sunscreen< are mandatory t31>. In addition, your skin can do without most of it. So this is where the balance comes in.

The skin flora, important protection against diseases

You are surrounded by a complete ecosystem that protects you from infectious and skin diseases. What does it take to stay intact? As little intervention as possible. Experts attach increasing importance to the skin microbiome. It is therefore worth taking a critical look at your own care habits. Are they making life difficult for these important symbiotes? Then it's time to change something. Be gentle with your skin, that makes it strong for your protection.

🌟 reveals how simplify your skincare routine Check out our post about minimalist skin care, feel free to browse!

All the best!
Your Anna

Questions and answers about skin flora

Does cleaning destroy the skin flora?

Over the past year, we've gotten used to the important AHA rule, including washing or sanitizing your hands regularly. But what does that do to the skin microbiome? There is bad news and good news here. The bad first: Degreasing soaps and cleansing gels affect the hydrolipidic coat. This can contribute to dry and sensitive skin - so it affects the self-protection of your skin. It is therefore important to give it back moisture and lipids for regeneration through care.

And now the good news: You do not destroy the skin flora itself by cleaning. It does indeed effectively eliminate the transient, i.e. non-body germs that cavort on the surface. However, enough of the resident, i.e. necessary, microbes remain. 20% of these are located far down on the hair follicles. 1 Soap and hand sanitizer don't come close. This leaves you with a reservoir from which your skin flora can regenerate in a few hours.

👍 Note: By disinfecting or washing you primarily remove the foreign germs. Enough of the skinproper remains to restore your skin's protective layer.

Can cosmetics damage my skin flora?

The skin's surface is naturally slightly acidic with a pH slightly below 5. This is why one also speaks of the acidprotective layer of the skin. Now cosmetics can change the pH value and thus influence the skin flora. Because the pH value decides which microbes thrive and which die. Studies show that the skin's own pH value is not at all comfortable for many harmful germs. The useful microorganisms, on the other hand, feel right at home. 2 If care products throw your skin's milieu out of balance, it weakens it twice over: Firstly, unwanted microbes thrive better and secondly, the good ones become too weak to fight them off.

Not all care products are pH-neutral. Sometimes a deviation is even wanted, as with fruit acid or enzyme peelings. Here, the pH value must be lower for them to be effective. Other products, such as soaps, are fundamentally alkaline. They have a pH of 8 or 9.

The pH value of the skin levels out again over time. So there is nothing wrong with washing your hands with soap. It only becomes problematic with permanently elevated pH values. Skin diseases are usually associated with it.


1 https://de. wikipedia. org/wiki/Hautflora

2 Lambers et al. 2006: Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora https://doi. org/10. 1111/j. 1467-2494. 2006 00344. x

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