Ask a Pores and skin Care Biologist is a recurring article on bioluminescence the place OUMERE CEO and CSO, Wendy Ouriel, MS, solutions your skincare questions. Wendy is a cell biologist specializing in cell growing older, extracellular matrix biology, and skincare biology.


-Carrie L.

It is a working joke to anybody who is aware of me that I am a skincare purist that I even contemplate water to be dangerous for the pores and skin. I feel jokes are applicable as a result of I sound just a little eccentric till you hear me:

1. Water is critical for survival and if we do not drink water we’ll die inside days. We additionally want water exterior for hygiene, and I’m not advocating milk or tea baths. Nevertheless, in relation to skincare, we should be cautious with how we use water for the next causes:
Water has a pH of seven, your pores and skin has a pH of ~ 4.9-5.5
One of many causes of zits, dry pores and skin, contact dermatitis, untimely wrinkles, and different pores and skin issues is because of the disturbance of the pores and skin’s pH, which acts as a protecting barrier. The rationale it’s important that your skincare be on the acidic aspect is that growing your pores and skin’s pH will break down this protecting barrier. As everyone knows, foaming alkaline cleansers are dangerous, trigger zits, and scour for this very motive as they’re alkaline and lift the pH of your pores and skin. It isn’t straightforward to carry the pH of your pores and skin again to a wholesome degree for those who continually use alkaline merchandise, which is why you see long run pores and skin issues, comparable to zits, on account of poor care. pores and skin. Water, though being a weak base, remains to be a base and can elevate the pH of your pores and skin and trigger your pores and skin to degrade barely with every contact. Through the years, this accumulates within the type of broken and aged pores and skin.
For that reason, I like to recommend introducing water into your skincare routine solely when combined with one other product as a thinner and when rinsing your cleanser (acidic).
2. The water used throughout a skincare routine is normally scorching or lukewarm.
For those who rinse your face with scorching or lukewarm water, you strip your pores and skin and put your self prone to capillary rupture and collagen breakdown.
While you take a scorching bathe or rinse your face with scorching or lukewarm water, your pores and skin feels tight. That is the moisture and oil extracted out of your pores and skin. Relying in your pores and skin kind, eradicating moisture and sebum out of your pores and skin will both result in dryness (which causes untimely wrinkles) or overproduction of inflammatory sebum (which causes zits and different pores and skin situations).
Warmth additionally weakens capillaries in areas of the pores and skin which can be skinny, comparable to the attention space, and might denature proteins comparable to collagen and elastin.

** On no account ought to scorching water or steam be utilized to the face as this may inflame and injury the pores and skin along with exacerbating (or creating) pores and skin illness.

3. Faucet Water Incorporates Impurities Most individuals do not preserve a gallon of distilled water close to their sink to rinse their pores and skin off after cleansing, however if in case you have an irritated / disturbed pores and skin kind, you must. Whether or not it’s common pores and skin sensitivity, rosacea, dryness or zits, you must solely use chilly distilled water to rinse your pores and skin.

Impurities in faucet water embrace:

Inorganic chemical substances comparable to copper, fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, asbestos, lead and mercury.

Natural chemical substances comparable to benzene, toluene, vinyl chloride and xylene

Micro-organisms and viruses (varies by area).

Faucet water comprises a comparatively small quantity of the impurities talked about above, and the EPA has US faucet water rules to make sure that the water you drink is secure. Nevertheless, making use of water to the pores and skin with the above impurities will worsen the prevailing pores and skin situations. I like to recommend utilizing solely distilled water, which has eliminated many of the frequent impurities from faucet water.

If in case you have any type of pores and skin sensitivity, you must solely use distilled water to rinse your cleanser and mustn’t expose your pores and skin to water at some other time.


– Hoda S.

I steadily focus on the significance of sustaining the pores and skin microbiome with correctly formulated skincare, as it’s a central side of pores and skin well being. Your pores and skin microbiome comprises useful micro organism that present safety in opposition to micro organism which can be dangerous to the pores and skin. A disruption of the pores and skin microbiome can result in dermatitis, zits, and eczema.

Mutualistic symbiosis will not be restricted to the pores and skin, there are useful micro organism throughout your physique. One instance is the micro organism in your intestine, which is critical for digestive well being. A disruption of intestine micro organism can result in a bunch of abdomen and digestive diseases, which is why probiotics within the weight loss plan are important.

Does this imply that probiotics in skincare are additionally useful?

For this to be the case, 3 issues should occur:

1. The micro organism present in skincare mustn’t intrude with the useful micro organism that make up your pores and skin’s microbiome.

2. Micro organism present in skincare should be integrated into the microbiome


3. The skincare micro organism, as soon as integrated, should be capable of symbiotically with the micro organism current with the general operate of sustaining the well being of your pores and skin.

It seems that the information is way from conclusive on probiotics in skincare and there’s a lengthy strategy to go earlier than I can draw any conclusions. There’s not sufficient laborious and revealed knowledge on the topic. Nevertheless, just a few remarks:

  • Everybody’s pores and skin microbiome is completely different, and what can profit some can hurt others.
  • Your pores and skin is rather more delicate than your abdomen and could also be delicate to the introduction of micro organism in an unnatural approach, for instance throughout skincare. Your pores and skin additionally can’t break down dangerous micro organism as successfully as your abdomen.
  • It could be safer to easily keep the microbiome you have already got through the use of useful skincare merchandise that keep your pores and skin’s protecting barrier. The gold commonplace is day by day chemical exfoliation.
Micro organism and fungi current on the floor of human pores and skin. SEM picture.


-Olivia F.

Sunscreens are pharmaceutical and needs to be handled as such, even when a part of your skincare or make-up. For any drug product there’s a dosage, and you could take that dosage with a view to get the total results of the drug.

For sunscreen, you should have 1/4 teaspoon of product in your face to get the marketed SPF. For those who get much less sunscreen, you’ll get much less safety.

The issue is, most individuals do not use 1/4 teaspoon of basis or moisturizer on their face, so though moisturizer or basis does present solar safety, you might be most likely getting quite a bit. much less safety than marketed and also you expose your self to pores and skin most cancers and UV – induced photoaging.

As well as, moisturizers, foundations and different cosmetics with sunscreen don’t all the time provide broad spectrum safety. So whereas they’ll block the rays that burn (UVB), they won’t block the rays that trigger growing older (UVA). And each rays have to be blocked to stop pores and skin most cancers.

I like to recommend utilizing pure sunscreen on the face, neck and any a part of the physique uncovered to the solar all through the day and never counting on what’s in cosmetics because the safety is probably going. to be a lot much less.

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The references:

Anjaneyulu, L .; Kumar, E. Arun; Sankannavar, Ravi; Rao, Okay. Kesava (June 13, 2012). “Defluorization of ingesting water and rainwater harvesting utilizing a photo voltaic nonetheless”. Analysis in industrial and technical chemistry. 51 (23): 8040-8048.

Grice, EA, & Segre, JA (2011). The pores and skin microbiota. Nature Evaluations Microbiology, 9 (4), 244.

Lee, NY, Ibrahim, O., Khetarpal, S., Gaber, M., Jamas, S., Gryllos, I., & Dover, JS (2018). Restoration of pores and skin microflora with ammonia oxidizing micro organism Nitrosomonas Eutropha within the therapy of keratosis pilaris: a randomized scientific trial. Journal of Medication in Dermatology: JDD, 17 (3), 285-288.

Stettler, H., Kurka, P., Lunau, N., Manger, C., Böhling, A., Bielfeldt, S., … & Lenz, H. (2017). A brand new topical emollient containing panthenol: outcomes of two randomized managed research evaluating its potential for pores and skin hydration and barrier restoration, in addition to the impact on pores and skin microflora. Journal of Dermatological Therapy, 28 (2), 173-180.

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