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What is a microbiome? Skincare and the science of bacteria

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few years about skincare products that balance the microbiome to promote healthier skin. At Dermala, we make skincare products that use probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics to treat and prevent acne. But what exactly does that mean, and how does it work?

Have no fear! Whether you’re just getting started with skincare or a seasoned pro, we’re here to clear up (pun intended) any confusion about what the microbiome is and how microbiome skincare works.

Everything you need to know about microbiome skincare
What is the meaning of “microbiome”?

The term microbiome itself can be used to refer to any group of microorganisms (think bacteria, fungi, and viruses) living together in a given habitat. 

When we talk about the microbiome in relation to skincare, we’re talking about the microbiomes that exist on and in your body, like those on your skin and in your gut. 

Many of these microbes are either harmless or have a symbiotic relationship with your body, meaning they actually help you. Some, of course, are harmful. And some are usually able to coexist with the other microorganisms, but can cause trouble – like inflammation and infection – when they start to outnumber other microbes in your microbiome. In the case of pimples, we’re usually talking about bacteria, like C. acnes, the bacteria most associated with the formation of acne.

What does the microbiome have to do with skincare?

Modern, microbiome-focused skincare aims to support skin and gut health to not only treat current breakouts, but also stop new ones from forming. This is in contrast to traditional acne solutions, which focus on treating only one or two symptoms of acne after blemishes have already formed.

For example, knowing that bacteria like C. acnes can cause acne when it overgrows, we can treat and prevent acne by introducing more good bacteria that can keep C. acnes in check through topical solutions like toner, moisturizer, and acne-fighting pads

But skin health doesn’t end with the skin microbiome. Acne can also be caused or worsened by inflammation in the gut, caused by the overgrowth of certain bacteria, which is why we also use probiotic supplements for a one-two punch that helps heal acne-prone skin.

Does microbiome skincare really work?

Yes! While not all skincare companies that claim to balance or work with the microbiome are equally effective, this is simply microbiology (and we should know, our founder is a virologist and microbiologist). Dermala is an FDA-approved solution and our Scantily PAD Acne Treatment Pads outperformed equivalent over-the-counter treatments in every metric in an 8-week clinical study performed by an independent clinical research organization. These solutions, when formulated correctly, can stop acne at the root. 

Basically, we use our patented SE Microbiome Complex® (a proprietary formulation of naturally occurring prebiotics and postbiotics), SE Sugar™ Complex, and other powerful ingredients backed by science to support a healthy microbiome. Dermala’s pre-, pro-, and postbiotic-focused products are designed to kill C. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria, while promoting the growth of healthy, acne-fighting bacteria. The result is clear, healthy, acne-free skin. (And if you don’t believe us, you can check out our verified reviews!)

And that’s how bacteria can change your skincare routine.

If you’re ready to kick skin woes to the curb, from cystic acne to scarring, we’re here to help. Find the product that’s right for you by taking our skin quiz or go your own way with our individual products.


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