If you are hoping for a flawless complexion that screams healthy skin, chances are you are not thinking about pinning your hopes on a skincare plan that revolves around bacteria. But did you know that there is such thing as good bacteria and bad bacteria? Bad bacteria can lead to spots and inflammation, but if you know where to find the friendly bacteria – and more importantly how to harness its powers for skin health – you will be well on the way to sporting the healthy skin you crave.
What’s Meant By ‘Friendly Bacteria’?
Billions of microflora – or good bacteria – live all over your body; on your skin, in your mouth, up your nose and in your intestine. In fact, 2% of your total body mass is thanks to these bacteria, which far outnumber the number of cells inside your body. While this may be a grim thought for some, rest assured that these microscopic creatures are keeping you ticking by helping to digest food, absorb essential nutrients and build immunity.
Some well-known friendly bacteria cultures include lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium B-bifidum; both of these naturally occur in the intestines or digestive tract, but since these names are hard to read and pronounce, it’s probably best if we stick to ‘good bacteria’! The important thing to remember is that such bacteria are believed to restore balance and maintain good health.
Nutrition and Skin Health
These friendly bacteria strains live in harmony with some not-so-friendly bacteria, but problems can arise when poor food choices encourage the bad bacteria to multiply and outnumber the good stuff.
It’s perhaps easy to understand why eating a greasy cheeseburger over a salad may cause you to break out, but other elements of your diet, including one that’s low in fat or nutrients, can also negatively impact your skin. Refined carbs, simple sugars and processed fats are all notable poor nutritional choices that can irritate your microbiome, and if your gut microbiome is altered in some way, a substance called neuropeptide is released in both the skin and the gut. Friendly bacteria can help to weaken the affects of this substance but if there is not enough to restore balance, poor skin could make an appearance.
Choosing fermented foods that naturally contain good bacteria, such as yoghurt, kefir, pickles and cottage cheese, could help in this instance, but you should also look at selecting foods that are high in vitamins that contribute to the maintenance of normal skin. Look for foods containing biotin, iodine and zinc, vitamin A, and B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin.
The Friendly Bacteria Face Mask
It’s not just nutrition and natural friendly bacteria that can benefit your skin’s health; a face mask made from bacteria could also work wonders for your complexion. And yes, you did read that correctly!
Innovative skincare scientists are constantly looking at ways in which face mask fibres interact with skin in order to deliver nutrients deep into the pores, and bio-cellulose has been identified as one of the most effective fibres on the market. Specifically, bio-cellulose has been praised for its ability to deeply penetrate, hydrate and mould to the contours of your face, far more successfully than cotton or hydrogel (other common fibre masks).
But bio-cellulose isn’t your usual everyday weave, it’s actually a fibre created by bacteria called acetobacter xylinum. This bacterium metabolises glucose and secretes cellulose as part of this process. If the bacteria are fed other substances, for example aloe vera gel and seagrass (two skin-loving ingredients), these ingredients will fuse directly to the fibres which can then be harnessed and used to create a face mask.
Bio-cellulose is considered to be superior to other fibre masks because it’s 1,000 times finer than human hair. This helps with its mouldability but also in its ability to reach the deeper layers of the dermis. Surface skin pores are approximately 50nm and while non-woven fibre mask molecules are 1000nm, bio-cellulose fibres are only 30nm – this means the goodness can seep 8.7-14.5 times deeper than the goodness from a non-woven mask!
If you fancy feeding your skin bacteria, the good kind, try Forever Aloe Bio-Cellulose Mask. This mask has been saturated in a powerful serum that’s been enriched by natural ingredients to hydrate, soften and condition skin.
Have you tried introducing good bacteria to your skincare routine? Let us know in the comments below.