Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

New Link between Skin Microbiota Diversity and Skin Health: Proposal to Use This as a Mechanism to Determine Whether Cosmetic Products Damage the Skin and Are a Cause of the Skin Allergy Epidemic

Version 1 : Received: 30 March 2017 / Approved: 31 March 2017 / Online: 31 March 2017 (08:52:14 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Wallen-Russell, C.; Wallen-Russell, S. Meta Analysis of Skin Microbiome: New Link between Skin Microbiota Diversity and Skin Health with Proposal to Use This as a Future Mechanism to Determine Whether Cosmetic Products Damage the Skin. Cosmetics 2017, 4, 14. Wallen-Russell, C.; Wallen-Russell, S. Meta Analysis of Skin Microbiome: New Link between Skin Microbiota Diversity and Skin Health with Proposal to Use This as a Future Mechanism to Determine Whether Cosmetic Products Damage the Skin. Cosmetics 2017, 4, 14.

Journal reference: Cosmetics 2017, 4, 14
DOI: 10.3390/cosmetics4020014

Abstract

There is a skin allergy epidemic in the western world, and the rate of deterioration has increased significantly in the past 5-10 years. It is probable that there are many environmental contributing factors, yet some studies have linked it primarily to the rise in the use of synthetic chemical ingredients in modern cosmetics. Our challenge, therefore, was to find a mechanism to determine the effect these substances have on skin health, and whether they really are a primary cause of long term damage to the skin. The first problem is the lack of any definitive way to measure skin health. Motivated by the overwhelming evidence for a link between deficient gut flora and ill health, we decided to look at whether our skin microbiota could similarly be used as an indicator of skin health. Our research illustrates how it is microbiota diversity alone that can predict whether skin is healthy or not, after we revealed a complete lack of conclusive findings linking the presence or abundance of particular species of microbe to skin problems. This phenomenon is replicated throughout nature, where high biodiversity always leads to healthy ecosystems. ‘Caveman’ skin, untouched by modern civilisation, was far different to ‘western’ skin and displayed unprecedented levels of bacterial diversity. The less exposed communities were to western practices, the higher the skin diversity, which is clear evidence of an environmental factor in the developed world damaging skin. For the first time we propose benchmark values of diversity against which we can measure skin to determine how healthy it is. This gives us the ability to be able to predict which people are more likely to be prone to skin ailments, and start to test whether cosmetic ingredients and products are a main cause of the skin allergy epidemic.

Subject Areas

biodiversity; skin allergy; benchmark skin health values; effect of synthetic cosmetics on skin; 21st century skin ailments; measure skin health; healthy skin ecosystem; healthy skin bacteria; damaged skin bacteria; perfect skin

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