Skin dysbiosis: deeper look at one potential outcome of probiotic skin care

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Skin dysbiosis: deeper look at one potential outcome of probiotic skin care
We take a look behind the headlines and go right to the science of skin in this mini-series with JooMo, a microbiome-inspired skin care player.

In this mini-series​, Kit Wallen, Russell Research Director JooMo Ltd., explains the science that drives the brand, and why they are steering clear of ‘probiotic’ and ‘prebiotic’ skin care claims.

In this part, we hear more on the potential of microbial imbalance to cause the skin condition dysbiosis: what is it, and how do probiotic skin care products risk creating it on the skin?

Can you explain specifically how dysbiosis impacts on the skin?

Dysbiosis is a term for a microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body. Dysbiosis is most commonly reported as a condition in the gastrointestinal tract.

It has been reported to be associated with illnesses, such as periodontal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, cancer, bacterial vaginosis, and colitis.

Typical microbial colonies found on or in the body are normally benign or beneficial.

Different microbial colonies

These diverse and appropriately sized microbial colonies carry out a series of helpful and necessary functions and compete with each other for space and resources.

When this balance is disturbed, these colonies exhibit a decreased ability to check each other's growth, which can then lead to overgrowth of one or more of the disturbed colonies which may further damage some of the other smaller beneficial ones in a vicious cycle.

As more beneficial colonies are damaged, making the imbalance more pronounced, more overgrowth issues occur because the damaged colonies are less able to check the growth of the overgrowing ones.

If this goes unchecked long enough, a pervasive and chronic imbalance between colonies will set in.

The potential danger of using Probiotics, therefore, is that by nature they will lead to an overgrowth of a normally ‘good’ species of bacteria and consequently lead to dysbiosis.

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