5 Simple Ways to Support Healthy Skin Microbes
Your skin is your largest organ and it’s the piece of you that makes direct contact with the outside world, so a key component for feeling your best and living a SuperLife is maintaining healthy skin and healthy skin microbes.
Your skin contains thousands of microbes, making for one complex ecosystem! Healthy skin creates an environment for the good microbes to thrive and keeps bad microbes out.
Ultimately, there are some very simple ways you can support healthy skin microbes and keep your skin looking and feeling its best. These include:
- Stay hydrated with quality water (the foundation of healthy skin)
- Support healthy skin and create natural sun protection with the foods you eat
- Take care to avoid chemicals in your skincare products, as they will destroy the healthy balance of your skin
From there, try these five simple suggestions for supporting healthy skin microbes.
It may take a few minutes to figure it out the first time, but many of these are simple, easy habits you can add to your wellness routine.
1. SUPPORT YOUR SKIN’S pH LEVEL
PH is critical to the livelihood of good flora throughout your body, including your skin! Out of balance PH can affect the make-up of flora, enzymes, and other bioactive compounds, so it is important to balance the PH in your own skin.
Your skin is actually acidic naturally. We’re all bio-individuals so there is no exact number. 5.5 is commonly used as point of reference.
This pH level creates an environment for good bacteria to thrive while keeping bad bacteria from growing on your skin.
Your skin’s natural antimicrobial properties work better in an acidic environment as well.
While there are mechanisms in place to auto-balance the PH of your skin, your environment (smoke, pesticides, off-gassing, and many other harsh forces) often makes this more difficult. Every day you are exposed to many new toxins, which creates a volume issue. How many can your body handle and clear out every day? How much can your skin handle before it loses it’s ideal pH level?
I like to be proactive and tip the balance towards heath using apple cider vinegar, which is naturally acidic.
This is something you can use 1-2 times per week on non-irritated skin with no sign of sun burn, abrasion, open cut, etc. Preferably use the apple cider vinegar shortly after coming out of a swimming pool, sauna, or steam bath. Take a small cotton towel dipped in a mixture of one part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water (note, apple cider vinegar is very acidic, so you do always want to dilute it.)
Dip a cotton towel in the apple cider vinegar mixture and brush the towel across your entire body, repeating the process once more to be sure you have covered all your skin. Allow for this liquid mixture to sit on your skin for about one minute then remove. Rinse it off with water or a damp towel.
SOME NOTES ABOUT BUYING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
I suggest using Braggs, a company which makes excellent apple cider vinegar and other high quality products. Whatever brand you choose, look for apple cider vinegar that is organic, unfiltered, and unprocessed.
Good apple cider vinegar is actually murky and brown and you can see the “mother,” a string-like substance floating around in it. The “mother” is a good indicator that the product is alive, high quality, and has been processed properly.
2. LOOFAHS, BRUSHES, & SPONGES
My second tip for a healthy skin is to use a loofah glove, dry brush, or sponge. These have become an integral part of my health practices.
They are powerful tools for keeping skin clean and vibrant.
The ritual for using these tools takes no more than 5 minutes daily and is typically performed shortly after waking up or shortly before going to bed since the process can revitalize you or relax you depending upon the time of the day. Use the glove or brush on dry skin by brushing in the direction of your heart, meaning if you start from your legs or arms, go from your feet up toward your heart or from your hands up your arms toward your heart. It is believed this best stimulates your lymph fluid.
This motion also goes against your body hair, which helps remove more dead cells, old body hair or anything else stuck on your skin.
Loofah gloves or a dry brush are just two options, as you can also find other organic materials such as sisal. If you are used to softer synthetic sponges, proceed slowly and cautiously since the loofah can irritate skin initially. Don’t worry, this isn’t harmful, you just need to take it slow and make the transition, which will result in great benefits to both your skin and your lymph system.
3. SALT SCRUBS
This can be as easy as purchasing decent quality salt granules, mixing them with water and oil, and scrubbing parts of the body with them. This usually works extremely well on parts of the body that have thick skin, such as the elbows, knees, back, and feet.
This can be done once per week and if you have the time, I recommend doing it just before applying the apple cider vinegar mixture suggested above.
You can purchase commercial brands or make your own blends at home.
Salt scrubs get rid of dead cells, toxins, and your skin’s own excretions and other debris. Salt scrubs also tone your skin and allow for better blood and lymph flow in the top layers of the epidermis. The end result? MUCH CLEANER AND HEALTHIER SKIN!
Note: I’ll add essential oils, such as a few drops of lavender essential oil for relaxation, which also has antibiotic and other therapeutic properties.
Hydrotherapy is another good practice to implement for your skin, but it also is a powerful therapy that benefits the body in many ways beyond simply promoting skin health. There are expensive tools that can be purchased for hydrotherapy, but I don’t think you need them.
I believe in keeping things as simple and affordable as possible. One way to implement hydrotherapy is to heat the water in your shower to as hot as you can handle and let this water hit every part of your body continuously for 1-2 minutes. Next, turn the water to as cold as you can handle it for the same amount of time. Alternate these steps 3 times, using both hot and cold water. Finish with a cycle of hot water if you are about to relax and/or go to sleep. Finish on a cycle of cold water to feel invigorated. A good filter on your water is also beneficial. Here’s a flashback video to when I first started talking about it.
5. INFRARED SAUNAS
The general idea is to sweat, which can also be achieved by steam baths or through exercise, of course. Infrared saunas are a good alternative for those who can’t handle the extreme heat of orthodox saunas or are unable to exercise.
The goal here is to either find a place that uses far-infrared panels. These panels stay cold while emitting infrared rays that will heat the body without heating the local air.
This is more of an optional alternative than my previous recommendations, yet it is still worth a try if you have the opportunity or money.
Use the five simple tips to support healthy skin microbes and maintain the overall health of your largest organ with back-to-basics simplicity.
“Skin care” (analysis), Health-Cares.net, 2007, webpage: HCcare