For approximately 2 million years, ancestral human skin has been largely hairless.
In contrast to our much hairier closest relatives, humans produce a lot of oil on skin at substantial metabolic cost. The oil is eclectic and contains many fatty acids (like Sapienic Acid) that are unique to human skin.
This sebaceous oil is the primary food source for the skin microbiome and, by presenting microbes with unique metabolic hurdles, it favours species that have co-evolved with humans … with mutual benefit.
Over the last 100 years skin care has changed. Currently the practice advocated by the industry is to strip the natural oil from skin with foaming cleansers and attempt to replace the lost oil, usually with petrochemicals in moisturisers.
This practice disrupts the microbial ecology on skin as can be seen by the substantial difference between the skin microbiomes of hunter-gatherers and people living a modern lifestyle.
Inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and acne have exploded in their prevalence over this time, with 85% of teens in first-world countries now exhibiting acne symptoms.
Along with behavioral changes and diet, skin care routines are a likely contributor to many modern skin ailments.
We have revisited the “cleanse, tone, moisturise” skin care routine through the lens of the skin microbiome and our evolutionary past.
We minimize disruption of the skin microbiome and the lipids that these microbes require by avoiding foaming agents and emulsifiers.
We use live probiotics at high cfu/ml to simulate contact with the natural world. We exclude synthetic chemicals that would pollute the microbial ecology on skin.
When our clients choose to use colour cosmetics that require removal, we help them to remove these sensibly and replace the lost sebum with eclectic oils that present similar metabolic hurdles to the microbiome and hence exclude opportunistic pathogens.