Building a strong barrier
The Skin Microbiome
The human skin is the body’s largest organ and the primary interface between our bodies and the surrounding environment. It is crucial in maintaining our physical well-being. As a barrier tissue, our skin plays a vital function in maintaining our health by carefully controlling the passage of important substrates and defending us from external dangers. Each of us has a unique skin microbiome – home to millions of naturally occurring bacteria, fungi, and viruses. A balanced skin microbiome is essential for maintaining a strong skin barrier. The skin microbes also secrete several molecules that help keep the skin healthy. The skin microbiome is involved in ensuring optimal barrier function and skin homeostasis and protecting the skin from potential pathogenic microorganisms.
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“Leaky skin” refers to the degradation of the skin’s barrier function as a result of a dysbiotic skin microbiome. This microbial dysfunction compromises the integrity of the skin barrier, rendering it vulnerable to infiltration of external pathogens into the body. Leaky skin can also drive activation of the body’s immune system. This activation subsequently triggers systemic inflammation, which expedites the aging process and increases the risk of health issues that extend beyond the skin. Aging of the skin is also affected by leaky skin. Aging leads to a degeneration in the skin’s natural barrier function. Leaky skin accelerates skin aging due to its negative impact on skin function. Restoring and maintaining a healthy skin microbiome can help mitigate the effects of aging and promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin.
Leaky Skin and Aging
As we age, our skin undergoes various changes: thinning epidermis and dermis layers, reduced collagen and elastin production, decreased oil production, and the inability to hold in moisture.
Aging causes a decrease in the skin’s natural and protective barrier function. The skin microbiome undergoes changes as well, leading to a disrupted and dysfunctional microbial community, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Mechanisms involved in leaky skin as an accelerant of skin aging: Leaky skin compromises the skin’s ability to retain moisture- leading to dryness and dehydration, imbalance triggers chronic inflammation, compromising the skin’s ability to repair itself and maintain optimal function and inflammation promotes the breakdown of collagen and elastic fibers, which are essential in maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Aging leads to a degeneration in the skin’s natural barrier function, and leaky skin accelerates skin aging due to its impact on proper skin function. Restoring and maintaining a healthy skin microbiome can help mitigate the effects of aging and promote healthier, more youthful-looking skin.