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.
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.
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.