Skin Microbiome

Kumar Thangudu

December 27, 2020

I’ve been reading this book lately on the skin’s microbiome.
Beyond Soap: The Real Truth about What You Are Doing to Your Skin and How to Fix It for a Beautiful, Healthy Glow by Sandy Skotnicki

The book itself is pretty amazing, it’s written by Dr.Skotnicki and does a step by step breakdown of the history of skin and hygiene treatment along with the skin’s microbiology and how the interplay between them works.

The short version of the book  – rethink everything you’re using on your skin.

Here’s some zingers and facts I compiled from the book that might peak your curiosity. The author also put together this website where she monitors the ingredients of individual hygiene and cosmetics products and recommends which have the least impact on the skin’s natural biome.

  • Methylisothiazolinine – US beauty and cosmetic companies pulled back on Methylisothiazolinine after a lot of reactions but they haven’t necessarily done so for chems in the same family:
    • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
    • Methylisothiazolinone
    • Benzisothiazolinone – This last one is in laundry detergent.
  • Formaldehyde Releasing preservatives –
    • The US Department of Health and Human services classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. For whatever reason, this didn’t include formaldehyde releasing preservatives. (FRP) The FRP’s are in a ton of cosmetic/beauty products and trigger allergic reactions.

One of the anecdotes that gives me joy is the story of MotherDirt. MotherDirt is a cosmetics and hygeiene brand started by a chemical engineer – David Whitlock – that doesn’t impact the skin’s naturally occurring Ammonia Oxidizing bacteria. You can read more about ammonia oxidizing bacteria here.

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