Are you wondering why after a lovely relaxing stress-free summer break your acne has returned and your skin feels flaky, over-sensitive and dull? Surely you should be glowing with health, right?
Unfortunately, skin is a particularly complex and tricky part of our body and what might be good for our soul and mind may not be reflected in our skin.
Traditional beauty advice will be telling you to moisturise and exfoliate your post-summer skin as the best acne cure.
But new research suggests that it might be a completely different problem that’s causing your post-summer skinmare.
Your lovely relaxing summer holiday may have knocked your skin flora out of sync.
Skin flora is the good bacteria that sits on the surface of your skin fighting bad skin bacteria and also maintaining a healthy skin barrier function, which keeps skin hydrated and stronger.
However, if levels of good skin flora are depleted, then this can wreak havoc with your skin, leaving it wide open to an assault of bad skin bacteria which leads to acne and breaks outs. It can also cause a weakened skin barrier function which leads to dryness, flakes and increased sensitivity.
A study presented at the Microbiology Society in April (2017) in Scotland and published in the journal Scientific Reports found that, “an unbalanced population of bacteria on the skin may play a major role in acne.”
The study authors concluded that “new acne therapies should focus on shifting the balance toward a healthy microbiota by targeting harmful bacteria or enriching beneficial bacteria.
What causes skin flora to become out of sync?
The biggest summer holiday culprits for disturbing the delicate skin flora balance are an increased use of chemical sun creams, more frequent exfoliating and anti-bacterial cleansing due to greasy summer skin, chlorine from pools, sun burn, skin dehydration from flights and excess sweating and cheap hotel skincare and hair care products.
Once the skin flora balance is out of sync, it can take months to repair the damage as the skin desperately tries to be build its natural skin flora reserves. The problem is that once the skin has been weakened due to a drop on skin flora, bad skin bacteria comes rushing in on an all-out assault and it can take a long time for the good skin flora to fight back and restore and healthy balance of bacteria.
During this process, the skin in more vulnerable to acne break outs, dryness, flaking, sensitivity and redness.
What can help restore skin flora balance?
- Reduce usage of anti-bacterial washes or cleansing agents. The key to restoring a heathy skin flora balance is to stop killing off the good bacteria that is trying to re grow on your skin with anti-bacteria agents. Sure, they kill the bad bacteria too but they don’t care about the good stuff, they just kill all bacteria.
- Stop exfoliating. Your skin is likely to be quite sensitive and dry in patches if your skin flora is out of sync. Good skin flora needs healthy skin oils to feed off and exfoliating just strips them away.
- Let your skin produce sebum – If you suffer from acne you are always worried about sebum. But sebum is your skin’s natural moisturiser. If you try and reduce sebum or keep washing it off when you skin flora is out of sync, your skin will stay dry and weak and the skin flora will take longer to re build. And besides, sebum is not the enemy to acne. Its only sebum that has become oxidised when it reaches the surface of the skin and mixes with oxygen and external bacteria that it becomes a problem, as then it becomes rancid and can then cause inflammation and pore blockages that lead to acne. So keep letting sebum flow freely but keep it pure so it doesn’t go ‘rotten’. Try Clarol’s Sebopure, a product that contains a natural sebum preserving ingredient that stops the sebum from oxidising and becoming rancid as it passes out through the skin pores. Using this method, the skin can get re-hydrated naturally via the sebum production while reducing the risk of blocked pores that lead to break outs.
- Re-Balance your skin flora with Clarol’s Skin Flora Re-Balancing Serum. This product contains a smart natural anti-bacterial ingredient that only attacks bad skin bacteria while leaving good skin flora to flourish and multiply. This product helps the skin to re-populate itself with good skin flora while keeping bad skin bacteria outside the castle gates.