What is Skin Rewilding?
From food to clothing, it looks like people are moving towards a place where we value things in their natural states more. The latest skincare trend seems to be emphasizing the same idea. It is called skin rewilding, and it is a term that is traditionally used in conservation biology. It is the idea of restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas, restoring them along the way.
Perhaps surprisingly, this idea has been applied to skin: skin rewilding aims to protect your skin’s unique microbiome and maintain its natural balance. This means a greater emphasis on skincare products that help strengthen your skin barrier, balancing its pH, and encouraging natural bacteria to grow. You’ll see more things like probiotic moisturizers and bacteria-boosting ingredients. The result? Healthier skin and fewer common skin problems.
Want to get in on the movement? Here’s what else we know about skin rewilding.
Explain Skin Rewilding Once More
Why do we want our skin to be at its most natural state? Is it not a good thing to use ingredients that can boost moisture and other things that we have been told are important for decades?
Not quite. As it turns out, moderation is key. Overdoing it—overloading your skin with products like harsh acids, retinols, and makeup—has proven to stir up your skin in the worst ways, like leaving your skin stripped of its natural oils and increasing its sensitivity. It can prematurely age your skin by disrupting your skin barrier, too, which exists to protect your skin and keeps it moisturized.
Your skin has its own ecosystem. It has millions of powerful bacteria that help to protect and nourish our skin. That’s right, good bacteria exists! The millions of bacteria, also known as microbiota, make up the skin’s microbiome. Naturally, it is diverse and rich, and when healthy, it protects your skin from typical skin issues. Think of it as an all-hands-on-deck situation. Having one crew member help on board probably would not be very helpful. But a whole crew made of individuals who have different strengths will help you defend your ship.
What Can I Do to Start the Process?
In addition to using products that help to protect your microbiome and encourage a healthier one, there are a number of things that you can do to start skin rewilding.
It seems counterintuitive, we know. But on top of potentially drying it out, washing your face too much can strip your microbiome further. To avoid this, we recommend reducing the number of times you wash your face in a day. Showers also do not have to be daily (so long as you have not sweat throughout the day, of course), since it can dry out your skin.
Though we have been taught sebum may cause skin issues like acne, sebum is a naturally occurring oil that helps your skin barrier to function properly. Move towards using gentle products that do not contain harsh ingredients like sodium laureth sulphate.
Diet is everything; we cannot emphasize this enough. Your skin’s natural oils help feed the skin microbiome, and because of this, it is important that your diet is rich in omega fatty acids. Foods like fresh fish, seeds, and eggs contain high quality omegas, but you can also find them in supplement form, too.
As mentioned above, you are what you eat. Your skin and gut health are intertwined, and this means that whatever you eat will be reflected in your skin. A varied and balanced diet that includes lots of fibre, protein, and fermented foods will help improve skin barrier function. And don’t forget those probiotic supplements! They help with gut health, too.
Just think: the healthier the diet, the healthier the skin.
The great outdoors is more than just a source of fresh air. Getting outside also helps our microbiome improve. According to live probiotic skincare brand Esse founder Trevor Steyn, the key is to replicate conditions in which humans evolved.
We know about probiotics, but all the biotics—pre- and post-, too—help rebuild the skin barrier, helping to increase diversity in the skin. Introducing new bacteria to your skin feeds the bacteria that is already there. Postbiotics, such as lactic acid, help to create a healthy environment for existing bacteria.
Ultimately, a healthy skin microbiome means encouraging things like balanced pH level and product absorption, while also helping to counterbalance bad bacteria that’s linked to skin issues. The more rich and diverse your skin’s microbiome, the stronger your skin’s ability to fight off skin issues and give you that glow.
Listen to your skin. Use gentle skin products that do not feature harmful chemicals and aggravate your skin. Skin rewilding is here to stay. Trust us when we say that your microbiome will thank you!