We live in a culture of constant innovation, marked by advancements in technology, industry, and agriculture. While these changes have made meaningful contributions to our lives and to society as a whole, they didn’t arrive without a cost.
Deforestation and an over-reliance on fossil fuels has led to air pollution. Increasing urbanization — often defined as progress — has shifted our natural environment from rich to sterile. Proliferation of antibiotics, pesticides, and synthetic chemicals has profoundly disturbed the delicate balance between us and our microbiome, which protected and nurtured us for millions of years.
We know that the side-effects of modernization have not only put a strain on our planet, but also on our health and the health of our skin.
Environmental stressors such as sporadic and unhealthy levels of UVA/UVB radiation and exposure to pollution cause inflammation, immune changes, premature aging, and damage to cellular DNA that can hinder cell turnover. They can also trigger oxidative stress, an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
However, it’s not simply environmental factors that are to blame. Lifestyle stressors such as toxic chemicals — from pesticides to household cleaners — as well as the sterilization of our living and working quarters, have all had a profound impact on our wellness. The common overuse of antibiotics has not only led to an alteration in our microbiome, but also to a dangerous increase in antimicrobial resistance.
Our busy lives make it challenging for many to make healthy choices for every meal. The result? Diets composed of processed foods and saturated fats are affecting our overall health, exacerbating inflammatory disease, and showing up on our skin in the form of acne and psoriasis.
What happened to our skin health?
The short answer: The modern world.
Humans, plants, and microbes once coexisted in harmony, intricately connected within a mutually beneficial ecosystem — our symbiome. The human relationship with plants, animals, microorganisms, and our environment actually created and helped us maintain a diverse and thriving microbiome.
We once lived in symbiosis with the natural world. Today, however, the majority of us live in an artificial symbiome; a manufactured, often concrete, urban environment that lacks the microbial contributions of soil, fresh air, water, and plants.
As such, our modern skin microbiome has lost up to 80 percent of its microbial diversity. Absent of these microbes, our skin is less adept at creating the valuable nutrients, vitamins, and other biomolecules that our skin needs to be healthy. Those lost microbes had the genes that produced UVA and UVB absorbers, vitamins A, D, E and K as well as phytosterols and CoQ10.
We are now exposed to higher levels of environmental irritants and lifestyle stressors than ever before. As such, and in conjunction with this loss of microbial diversity, we have reduced our resilience and ability to respond to the stressors of the modern world. In turn, our health and the health of our skin has been compromised.
The modern world may have had an adverse impact on the health of our skin; but it’s not too late to thoughtfully harness the ingredients of the past and tools of modernity to correct the course.
Symbiome is bridging the past with advancements of modern science to renew something vital that has been lost — our essential connection to the natural world and the corresponding skin health that comes along with it.
Our products are designed with a deep understanding of the ancestral skin microbiome and created by proprietary fermentation and formulation processes that naturally and sustainably deliver what our skin has lost in the modern world. Shop now
More skincare questions? Our Skin Health Concierge is here to assist you. Schedule a consultation