The human microbiome is defined as the entirety of micro-organism living on and in the human body. It can also be called microbiota or microflora.
It is an extension of our selves; it plays a protective role and is an integral part of the barrier function of our skin.
We have recently heard it called ‘your personal Amazonian rainforest’; that is as close as it gets to the truth.
SOUNDS LIKE A PRETTY BIG DEAL, SO WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS BEFORE?
Sounds like a pretty big deal, so why have I never heard about this before? The concept and the name are quite new.
It really started to be talked about in 2012, when the Human Microbiome Project was completed. Using the new technique of genetic sequencing, the aim of this program was to get a map of all bacteria living on humans.
The results are amazing: it is literally a whole new world right under our noses (and ON your nose, and IN your nose…).
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
To put it simply, it redefines what it means to be human. 50% of cells in your body are bacterial cells and an even higher percentage of your DNA is bacterial.
The communication and interaction between the ‘you’ you and the ‘bacterial’ you is extremely intense. It turns out that your microbiome helps you absorbs food, trains your immune system, regulates your mood… and it seems like every day we are discovering new roles that it plays. Think about it as a new multi-function organ, or even an extension of your self.
SO, WAIT - DOES THAT MEAN THAT I HAVE BACTERIA ON MY BODY?
Yes, you sure do. Bacteria Here, There and Eve-ry-whe-re. This is A Good Thing. Generally we talk about the following microbiomes:
The gut microbiome: the hot topic at the moment, especially for all the brands selling yogurt and food supplements. A lot of your neurons are located next to it and communicate constantly, creating an information highway.
Then there’s our favourite, the skin microbiome: it keeps you protected against aggressions, keeps your immune system in check and reduces inflammation.
Other microbiomes are: the vagina, the mouth, the nose and the respiratory system: all still quite uncharted territories.
Another one is the belly button microbiome, and it’s totally amazing - they even found extremophiles bacteria in there (they’re the ones that usually live in volcanoes or glaciers).
And it turns out even zones that we thought were totally sterile, like the lungs and the placenta, might have little bacterial ecosystems all of their own.
This new research opens up a whole world of possibilities and the future of the microbiome research looks bright and very sunny. How wonderful that Gallinée is a part of it.
Want to know even more about your microbiome? Take a look here:
(link to our blog articles)
SKIN & PH
At Gallinée, all of our products are at physiological pH; it was a big part of our brief when we developed the line. But what does that mean exactly?
Another brief science lesson (you’re welcome):
In chemistry, pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. The physiological pH is the usual pH of the human body.
The ‘H’ stand for Hydrogen ions. Funny enough, there’s an ongoing debate about the meaning of the ‘p’. The pH scale usually goes from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline). So by definition, a neutral pH is 7. Or is it?
To get a better idea, below are some examples of pH levels:
pH 0: Battery acid
pH 2.5: Classic Coke
pH 3.3: Red Bull
pH 6.5 : Milk
pH 7: Pure water
pH 8.1: Evian water
pH 10: Common soap
pH 13.5: Bleach
pH 14: Drain cleaner
And neutral pH doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to your body. Here are some of the common measures:
Blood: pH 7.34 to 7.45
Inside the stomach: pH 1.5 to 3.5
Mouth: pH 6.3 – 6.6
Urine: pH 6.0
Vagina: pH 3.5 to 4.5
GENERALLY SPEAKING, SKIN’S PH IS 4.5 TO 5.5, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF VARIATION:
- Women have more acidic skin than men
- Your hands are more acidic than the rest of your body’s skin
- Dark skin is more acidic than fair skin
So what can we conclude from this?
1) ‘Acidic’ doesn’t always mean bad. Your skin is naturally acidic and should really stay like that. It’s all relative.
2) It’s not a very good idea to use pH 10 soap on your pH 5 skin or your pH 4 vagina. This damages the acidic film on the surface of the skin and leads to dryness and irritation. This might sound logical, but it’s actually quite rare to find the right pH for your skin in cosmetics.
3) It’s quite easy to check out the pH of your cosmetic products using pH paper. It’s not the most precise tool, but it gives a good indication nonetheless.
- TRIPLE BIOTIC COMPLEX
Beneficial bacteria play such a huge part in your skin's ecosystem’s defense and nutrition, so it makes sense to nourish and support them. While biotics are well-known for their positive effects on digestive health, until now their use in skincare has been a bit of an untapped science secret. Step forward Gallinée.
A MINI GLOSSARY:
Probiotic: Any micro-organism that is beneficial to us.
Prebiotic: A natural nutrient that helps the growth of probiotics.
Lactic acid: Naturally produced by some of our good bacteria, it is sometimes called a post-biotic and helps your microbiome thrive while fending off the bad bacteria. Part of the AHA family, it is also known for its moisturising, firming, brightening and anti-ageing properties.
Prebiotics + Probiotics + Lactic acid = Gallinée’s patented triple biotic complex. We want to help you to ‘garden’ your skin health, so we called it ‘la culture’.
Your skin + your microbiome + Triple Biotics = protected, glowing skin in rude health.