fbpx

Biodiversity

The secret to healthy skin

"Hopefully you've watched our introduction video on the Microbiome. The next step to understanding how it works is to understand Biodiversity. Watch below!"
Sam and Kit
The Skin Twins

High biodiversity means healthy skin

Researchers across every field of biology and ecology agree that a high biodiversity corresponds to increased healthiness and functionality within an ecosystem.

And the skin is no exception, for when it comes to healthy skin, microbial biodiversity is everything – that was the conclusion of our first research paper.

"Imagine a forest. A healthy forest contains a huge amount of plants, animals & fungi all living together. Your Skin Microbiome works the same way!"
Kit
Head of Research

Low biodiversity gives way to disease

Our research revealed a complete lack of conclusive findings linking the presence or abundance of particular species of microbe to skin disease or health.

From the plains of Yellowstone Park (macro) right down to a millimetre of the human skin (micro), a decreased biodiversity negatively impacts on the ecosystem.

When the biodiversity is low, microbes not associated with pathogenic behaviour can become damaging to us.

 

"It is a bit like a rainforest: you might have a very nice fern that is very happy but if that is the only thing in your rainforest and you don’t have a diversity it is not going to be good [for the] soil.

...it’s having the right community of bacteria that are working together and together producing the right chemicals for your body."
Prof. Tim Spector
Professor of genetic epidemiology, King’s College London

Western skin is being damaged

Our research looked at the diversity on skin untouched by modern antibiotics, steroids, cosmetics, or civilization.

We found that the less exposed communities were to western practices, the higher the skin diversity, which is clear evidence of an environmental factor in the developed world damaging skin. For the first time we proposed benchmark values of diversity against which we can measure skin to determine how healthy it is.

"This gives us the ability to be able to predict which people are more likely to be prone to skin ailments, and start to test whether cosmetic ingredients and products are a main cause of the skin allergy epidemic."
Sam
Research Editor

Caveman skin: the healthiest skin