Skin problems can send you down a lengthy internet rabbit hole in search of a cure, regardless of the precise complexion issue you’re suffering with. If nothing else seems to work, there’s a chance you’re overlooking one important factor: your skin microbiome.
Let’s start with a definition: “Your skin microbiome is the balance of bacteria and yeast on your skin surface that keeps your skin healthy,” explains Dr. Angela Lamb, an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.
So, your microbiota maintains your skin healthy, but how does it contribute to your natural radiance? It all comes down to how your skin barrier interacts with your microbiome. According to Dr. Lamb, the appropriate microflora balance—that is, the bacteria and yeast balance—is what keeps your skin pH balanced and allows it to protect itself (free radicals are no joke, y’all), which is essential for keeping a good skin barrier.
“Finding the perfect balance ensures that you have a healthy glow while also controlling redness and dryness,” Dr. Lamb says.
Your skin may rebel against you if you don’t include ingredients that support a healthy skin microbiome and barrier in your skincare routine, which is why you should look for prebiotics (similar to what you’d use to support your gut microbiome), vitamin B, and fatty acids—all of which can be found in StriVectin’s new Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil.
With a prebiotic combination, NIA114TM—a proprietary form of niacin/vitamin B3—meadowfoam seed oil, and more, this nourishing oil is clinically shown to improve your skin barrier and balance your microbiome for a calm, even, and bright complexion.
Dr. Lamb incorporated StriVectin to her own skin-care routine to put the oil to the test and gain more expert-backed intel on protecting your skin barrier and microbiota—and then we asked her to reveal all the details on *exactly* how to support your skin microbiome.
Continue reading for a Q&A with Dr. Lamb on how to boost your skin microbiota for a more radiant complexion.
Well+Good: Can you list some characteristics of a healthy skin microbiome?
Dr. Lamb: Skin with a healthy microbiota is moisturising, glowing, and free of breakouts and rashes. We become more concerned about microbiome abnormalities when your skin appears dull, blotchy, or has dry spots.
W+G: What can people do right now to help their microbiome thrive?
Dr. Lamb: The most critical factors are eating well, getting adequate sleep, and using things that boost the microbiota.
W+G: In your skin-care routine, what important ingredients should you prioritise?
Dr. Lamb: Probiotics, fatty acids, niacin derivatives, oat derivatives, ceramides, and squalene are all products that can assist sustain a healthy microbiota.
W+G: While we’re on the subject of nourishing ingredients, tell us about StriVectin’s Super B Barrier Strengthening Oil.
Dr. Lamb: I’m a big fan of this stuff. It’s a lovely, light oil with a mild, fresh scent that applies wonderfully. I also like that it can be worn under makeup for work or meetings, or it can be worn alone if I just want to let my skin breathe. My skin had a great bright glow after using the lotion, and it appeared softer the next day.
W+G: Did the composition of NIA-114, StriVectin’s proprietary version of niacin/vitamin B3 developed to improve the skin barrier, stand out to you? What about the formula’s prebiotics?
Dr. Lamb: This is the first time I’ve seen a niacin in an oil-soluble form that delivers all of the benefits of regular niacin (which already helps protect your skin) with the extra benefit of moisture. When we provide our skin with the foundation it requires to do its job, it will reward us, and a prebiotic provides your skin with the foundation it requires to look its best (aka a strong skin barrier to protect against pollutants).
W+G: What are some of the general advantages of facial oils? Why would you advise someone to use an oil in their skin-care routine?
Dr. Lamb: Facial oils are a fantastic method to maintain the skin barrier healthy while also providing hydration. Oils are a great method to combine the benefits of a serum with a moisturiser.
W+G: What are the major advantages of meadowfoam seed oil, which is another key component of the strengthening oil?
Dr. Lamb: Meadowfoam seed oil is high in long-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to skin health and allow it to regenerate itself. Furthermore, the oil is stable, ensuring that you get exactly what you need from the product and that the quality does not deteriorate over time.
Images courtesy of W+G Creative.