Most of us are familiar with the term microbiome in regard to the intestine.
However, the word microbiome refers to all micoorganisms that live in and on our body, and the skin also has a microbiome of its own. The microbiome develops immediately after birth, when the newborn baby comes into contact with the outside world. A diverse population of bacteria, including Staphylococcae, Corynebacteria and Cutibacteria rapidly colonize the skin.
This early colonization is important for the development of the newborn's immune system, and to prepare and strengthen the skin for a life with many external influences – like a first line of defense.
These bacteria naturally/symbiotically living on the skin are called resident bacteria. Like an invisible layer, they remain on the skin and, together with viruses and fungi, form the resident skin microbiome, which when it is in harmony contributes to healthy skin and forms a protective barrier.
On the other hand, there are transient bacteria, which are not permanently there but e.g. can get in contact with the skin from the outside. These transient bacteria can sometimes cause for example skin problems or may cause infection. In an intact skin microbiome, the resident bacteria protect the skin from the transient bacteria like a biological, protective barrier to fight off potential harmful germs. To keep the resident skin microbiome in a great condition, the use of mild cleansers are crucial. Gentle cleansing maintains the skin’s natural pH balance and supports an optimal environment for a healthy skin microbiome.