Could your skincare be affecting your mood?

Could your skincare be affecting your mood?

Could your skincare be affecting your mood?

The human body carries trillions (1012) of microorganisms, the highest density is in our gastrointestinal tract (gut) which includes the mouth and throat and estimated at 100 trillion (100 x 1012) the second highest density of microorganisms is the epidermal barrier, our skin. The community of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms are known as the microbiome which includes the microorganisms and metabolites and forms an interdependent, diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystem. How these microorganisms assemble into a community is also complex and dynamic, categorised into 4 distinct processes, dispersal, selection, drift and diversification. When this system becomes imbalanced by either a loss or gain of microorganisms or changes in the relative numbers it is known as dysbiosis and leads to bodily function dysregulation and disease. Bacteria are the most abundant microorganism of our microbiome and the ratio of bacteria to human cells is approximately 1.1, 38 trillion (38 x 1012) bacteria to 30 trillion human cells (30 x 1012). Regardless of the exact number, the microbiome is a vital, underestimated and not well understood contributor to our health.

The human body is home to diverse and functionally important communities of symbiotic microbes that varies dependent on the location on or in the body and the biological role they play and are influenced by where we live (temperature, humidity, pollution, population density, etc), diet, exercise, stress, antibiotics, exposure to sunlight, how hot and how often we wash, the clothes that we wear. Basically, anything we do to our body internally or externally can and does influence our microbiome and it is constantly altering, adapting and changes with age. The microbiome is a dynamic living system and interrelates with other microbiome communities and with our organs such as the brain and skin (skin is the largest organ of the body).

Our gut microbiome and the skin microbiome are connected through our systemic circulation which provides the blood supply to all our body tissue and is known as the gut-skin axis. The gut-skin axis acknowledges that there is a bidirectional relationship between the gut microbiome and skin health and vice versa. This relationship influences the microbiome in both locations including the composition of the members and the immune response. Our microbiome is a key regulator of the immune system and imbalance in the skin and/or gut alters our immune response. This is the reason that changes in the gut microbiome is responsible for promoting and developing skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne. “The gut microbiome plays an important role in a wide variety of skin disorders. Not only is the skin microbiome altered, but also surprisingly many skin diseases are accompanied by an altered gut microbiome.” Gut–Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions

One way research has shown the skin influences the gut microbiome composition is through exposure to UVB which increases our Vitamin D concentration and this subsequently increased the diversity of the gut microbiome. UVB light can rapidly modify the gut microbiome. Sun exposure contributes to the seasonal variation in microbiome composition and several inflammatory diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome are strongly associated with Vitamin D levels.

The gut microbiome is the largest endocrine organ, producing at least 30 hormone-like compounds, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) secondary bile acids, cortisol and signalling molecules such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine and tryptophan. The endocrine system is a messenger system, hormones carry information and instructions from one set of cells to another. The compounds that are produced by the gut microbiome are released into the bloodstream that target and regulate distant organs and systems, such as the skin and the brain. The gut-brain-skin axis.

A complex and dynamic relationship exists between us, the human host and our microbiome and is mostly symbiotic, meaning mutually beneficial. Our microbiome is critical in digestion, synthesis of essential vitamins, K and B12, regulating the immune system and provides defence against pathogenic microorganisms. A disruption in the delicate balance is implicated in gastrointestinal disorders, skin health and our mood where gut microbiome and its metabolites influence brain function and behaviour.

Our gut microbiome is not independent from our skin microbiome, our skin health and our brain function, it is a network. The compounds produced by our microbiome are connected via our systemic circulation system and influence and regulate all our bodily functions including, mood.

There are several mechanisms that commercial skincare disrupts, compromises, damages and changes our skin microbiome which in turn will alter the gut microbiome and subsequently the compounds that influence our brain and mood.

Preservatives are chemicals added to prevent spoilage by microorganisms. A preservative's role is to kill, prevent or slow the growth of microorganisms within the product to extend shelf life. Your skins microbiome is a community of microorganisms, preservatives in skincare does not differentiate between microorganisms of your microbiome and product spoilage microorganisms.

Any skincare with water or water-based ingredients including hydrosols, fruit extracts, juice extracts, flower water, Aloe vera and glycerin, with the exception of soap, will contain preservatives.

Anything that changes the localised environment will alter the microbiome. “Selection refers to the process whereby species better adapted to their environment tend to survive better and produce more offspring”. The microbiome: composition and locations Habitat changes from skincare result from changes in the skins pH influencing the acid mantle and therefore the types of microorganisms that survive and thrive.

Slugging and thick application of any occlusive will change the oxygen status and therefore the types of microorganisms from aerobic to anaerobic.

Exfoliation not only damages the skin barrier by causing breaks it physically removes microorganisms from the skin.

Surfactants that emulsify water and oil together have antimicrobial activity.

In a study in 2019 The impact of skin care products on skin chemistry and microbiome dynamics  found that; “Here, we show that many of the molecules associated with our personal skin and hygiene products had a half-life of 0.5 to 1.9 weeks even though the volunteers regularly showered, swam, or spent time in the ocean. Thus, a single application of some of these products has the potential to alter the microbiome and skin chemistry for extensive periods of time. One ingredient that lasts on the skin is propylene glycol".

When our skin microbiome is altered it changes the way it functions and the metabolites it produces. This is linked to our gut microbiome that also changes in response and in doing so alters its composition and metabolites that then influences our brain function and behaviour and ultimately our mood. Research has shown that while it is important to understand the role of individual members of the skin microbiome “a full community of microbes has unique and pronounced effects on the skin. Thus, in its impacts on the host, the skin microbiome is more than the sum of its parts”.

Vitis V Face TonIQ is naturally occurring, legal definition AICIS

  • an unprocessed chemical occurring in a natural environment; or
  • a chemical occurring in a natural environment that is extracted without chemical change.

It doesn't contain surfactants, preservatives, will not alter skin pH and is not occlusive. It does however contain essential fatty acid Linoleic fatty acid, the predominate polyunsaturated fatty acid of our skin that has a direct role in the skin barrier. With a healthy functioning skin barrier comes a healthy skin microbiome.

Our microbiome is a network and critical to our health. Consider it. Look after it and protect it, as it is doing the same for you.

When Vitis V claims “achieve your most nourished and radiant skin and feel your finest” we meant in the sense of confidence. Now this statement may actually be literal and by protecting your skins microbiome by using Vitis V Face TonIQ you are influencing your mood and actually feeling your finest.

Image credit - Tania Malrechauffe on Unsplash

Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body

The microbiome: composition and locations

Gut–Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions

Skin Exposure to Narrow Band Ultraviolet (UVB) Light Modulates the Human Intestinal Microbiome

Microbiota Implications in Endocrine-Related Diseases: From Development to Novel Therapeutic Approaches

The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health