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Skin Microbiome

Your microbiome is born exactly when you are.

We begin life with microbiomes inherited from our mothers. From there, things like breastfeeding, exposure to pets, dirt, other people, and a diverse group of foods shape how it develops. Microbes train our immune system. They help it identify good bacteria from bad, which keeps it from going haywire over every little foreign but harmless substance we come across. An overactive immune system is a very bad thing, and more people in industrialized countries have one than ever before. Probiotics are a mix of friendly bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses, protozoa and even parasites that live in your gut and on your skin. Colonization early in life shapes proper skin development and gene expression. These microbiota exist in a harmonious, symbiotic relationship with your body, helping keep harmful bacteria in check, reducing inflammation, and guarding against infection and illness. The diverse, complex ecosystem on our skin is our best defense against many elements in the outside world. The secret to healthy skin, for most people, is simply to protect and nurture our remarkable microbiome. That’s it! It’s as low maintenance as it sounds.

The skincare industry has been incredibly effective at convincing people that they need to be using more products, more frequently.

Consumers, especially women, have been conditioned to take the “more is better” approach to skin rather than largely leaving it alone to do its thing. This often does more harm than good, including stripping it of its precious lipid barrier in an attempt remove excess oil, and exterminating all the incredible microbiota that protect it, leaving the surface of our largest organ akin to a barren desert rather than a rich, diverse rainforest.

We lived for millions of years without doing much to maintain our skin.

As the top layer dries up and flakes off, so goes the sweat, dirt, and anything else that we don’t want with it. And water alone is an excellent solvent to help speed this process along when needed. To effectively remove makeup, a small amount of gentle, soap-free cleanser, focusing particularly on stubborn makeup around the eyes, is all that’s required.

The few cultures left on earth that still lead pre-civilized lifestyles have the most diverse skin microbiomes and some of the lowest occurrences of acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin maladies on earth. This is not an accident. Their skin has mostly never encountered soap, moisturizers, or antibacterial products. There is much to learn from their intervention-free approach to skin, and how healthy it is as a result.

  • Virtually no incidences of inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea and irritation.
  • Ideal barrier function with an undisturbed flourishing microbiome.
  • Cost – fewer products mean less $$ spent. A little warm water is almost free.
  • Environmental sustainability – fewer products mean less plastic waste and less energy used to manufacture and transport them.

Our skin longs for a flourishing ecosystem – not a sterile, hospital-like environment. That is its natural state. When we so drastically alter this lush landscape, it’s normal for it to rebel.

Just as increasing the good to bad ratio of bacteria in your gut is essential for your overall internal health, having an ample variety of beneficial microorganisms on your skin keeps it thriving and glowing and keeps the bad bugs in check. Taking this into account before slathering all kinds of products on skin will help keep this community thriving. The result is a natural, dewy glow and brighter, healthier skin.

At Lumanitas, we’re on a mission to help people return the microbiome of the skin to its more familiar, evolved state and save time, money, and plastic waste in the process.

Beneficial Bugs

As we all know by now, a growing body of evidence suggests that many common skin problems can be exasperated by not having a healthy, balanced skin microbiome. Fun fact: the bacteria living in between your toes that makes your feet stinky helps suppress a fungus that causes athlete’s foot! These types of relationships between your skin and the microbiota that call it home can be found all over your body.

Over-cleansing damages this partnership by stripping away the essential elements of this miraculous barrier. 

Science is rapidly discovering new ways different microbiota benefit the skin.



Pre, Pro and Postbiotics

By washing gently with plain water or a soap-free cleanser only when needed, and recolonizing the skin’s microbiome with a Lumanitas Facial, you’ll allow your skin to function much more like it has for millions of years. Pre, pro and postbiotics live all over your skin in varying amounts based on the climate of the area (the skin in your armpits is very different from that on your face and has a very different microbiota composition). They serve different functions but have in common that they’re vital to the health of our skin. Let’s look at their unique characteristics. 


Prebiotics: The microbiome is a living thing, which means it needs food. Sebum and dead skin cells are just some of the substances that microbes feed on. Think of them as natures’ homegrown exfoliators! This is just one reason it’s important not to over-wash or strip the precious lipid barrier from skin, and why it can’t simply be replaced with a moisturizer.


Prebiotics are special plant fibers and carbohydrates that act as “food” for the beneficial microorganisms in and on us. They’re found mostly in fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains (which means they’re abundant in all Lumanitas Facials!) Prebiotics help cultivate and maintain the healthy microbial ecosystem you already have.

Probiotics: These are the strains of living bacteria, fungi, yeast, protozoa, and parasites that are part of a healthy microbiome, working to ward off potentially dangerous microorganisms, environmental pollutants and other invaders that can cause irritation, breakouts and myriad other skin maladies. Lumanitas Facials contain a plethora of beneficial and diverse probiotic strains coming from many ingredient sources. 

Postbiotics are byproducts of pre and probiotics or are pieces of bacteria. They contain antimicrobial peptides that help impede the propagation of harmful bacterial. Postbiotics also contain nutrients such as vitamins B and K, amino acids and short-chain fatty acids, which support the conditions needed for healthy bacteria to prosper.

Different probiotic strains have unique tolerances to different environments, but one thing is certain: very high temps and most preservatives in beauty products kill probiotics. This is by design. Probiotics are a bacteria, and when bacteria are allowed to flourish in a moist environment, they will spoil the products containing them. Indeed, most probiotic products currently on the market do not remain shelf stable for long, especially after opened and exposed to oxygen. There’s no guarantee that any probiotics are still alive in these products by the time you’ve made it to the bottom of the jar. 

Lumanitas Facials are immediately frozen after being made in small batches with fresh, “ugly”, “rescued”, and often local ingredients.

Freezing helps preserve the living, beneficial bacteria and keep bad bacteria from growing, all without the need for added preservatives. And because many active ingredients in products like cleansers and moisturizers start degrading the minute you expose them to air, our facials come in single-use pods. 

The microbiome of your skin is important at every age and changes as your skin matures. From the moment a parent first applies sunscreen to our skin, human intervention is altering its microbiome. This becomes very consequential when we start experimenting with makeup and need to use a cleanser to remove it. Applying a Lumanitas Facial helps bring it back to center while effectively cleansing, deeply nourishing and gently exfoliating.