(micro)Biome Break with Dr. Neumann
Our Health Depends on Homeostasis
By Dr. Kristin Neumann, PhD
Think of our planet with all its diverse ecosystems. There are wild forests, deserts, lakes, the ocean, glaciers, swamps, and much more. Our planet is so beautiful and diverse - and so are we.
Our bodies also harbor diverse ecosystems, densely colonized by microbes (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) forming the environment we call our microbiome. Each of our ecosystems harbor different species just like the planet and those ecosystems interact strongly with our bodies. Microbes actually teach our immune system, fend off pathogenic (harmful) invaders, and nourish our bodies with nutrients we aren't able to produce ourselves.
Unfortunately, over the last century we've done everything to rid ourselves of these ecosystems both on and inside of us, due to our misunderstanding of all bacteria as threatening and unclean.
Our lifestyles have moved us away from being close to and in nature to keeping nature and its supposed threats outside.
Facilitated by technology and industry, our diets have become ultra-processed, robbing us of important nutrients, slowly eroding our health over generations. And to cover up these self-generated problems, we've filled our bodies with medications and covered our skin and hair with cosmetics instead of addressing the core cause: our unhealthy and frankly, unnatural lifestyles.
The fact is that our westernized lifestyle is making us sick. Little exercise, living indoors, eating processed and sugary foods, antibiotic medications and excessive hygiene is not only bad for our bodies, but for our microbiomes. Just as with the planet's ecosystems, our microbiota must be in healthy balance (called homeostasis) for optimum health. The first step in this journey toward healthier living is understanding we have a microbiome that must be handled with care. With this knowledge in mind guiding our choices, the right steps are clear.
Looking closely at cosmetics used daily by hundreds of millions of people, we can see we're adding to our own burdens right out of the gate. Not only do most cosmetics contain multiple ingredients that kill our skin's microbes, we're layering on these products. Long ingredient lists with preservatives, fragrances, surfactants (the main ingredient in soap), and more have a strong - and negative - influence on our skin microbiome. The principle here should be less is more. Of course, if you have dry skin, moisturize it. If you use makeup (choose your cosmetics wisely), remove it with a gentle cleanser. But nothing else is truly needed.
What our skin needs is the chance to take care of itself and what we need is to leave it alone.
The MyMicrobiome lab has tested many conventional cosmetics as well as conscientiously formulated products and identified clear differences when it comes to their impact on the skin's microbes. Many traditional cleansers have a high pH, causing skin irritation, and contain surfactants, which not only kill our skin's microbes, but strip the skin of its sebum, the oily microbe nutrient that's part of our skin's barrier.
Only products shown to have no influence on the key microbes on our skin are awarded the Microbiome-Friendly seal, and that list includes CRUDE's own Wash and Cleanse.
Absent of soap, detergent, and artificial fragrances and preservatives, Cleanse and Wash are certifiably flora-friendly. Tested on microbes typical for the body, infant skin, and vaginal tract (Wash only), Wash is the first body wash to pass our rigorous testing procedure - even as a leave-on product, making it a great microbe-friendly moisturizer.
It's time to start rethinking skincare and our microbiomes. Get back in touch with nature and start letting your flora thrive.
About the Author
Dr. Kristin Neumann, PhD is an author, microbiologist, and Co-Founder of MyMicrobiome, setting a new standard in cosmetics and personal care for a more microbe-friendly world. Read more about MyMicrobiome here and stay updated on IG @MyMicrobiome.