2018-06-12 11:37
by Kristin Neumann
  Last edited: 2018-06-29 11:27

Biodiversity is the only way to measure skin health

Biodiversity is the only way to measure skin health
"Biodiversity is the only way to measure skin health", Kit Wallen-Russell, JooMo Ltd.

An interview with Kit Wallen-Russell, R&D director at JooMo Ltd.

In May 2017 the Wallen-Russell’s published a review article about the skins microbiome. In this review they summarized publications which are related to skin health and the skins microbiome. They came to the conclusion, that the higher the diversity of the skins microbiome is, the healthier is the skin. Coming from this conclusion the Wallen-Russell’s proposed to use the skins diversity as the only way to measure skin health in the future.

The western civilisation has lost a big part of its skins bacterial diversity

Indeed it is obvious that the western civilization has lost a big part of its skins bacterial diversity if compared with rural people who lack the influence of western civilization. The western obsession with hygiene and disinfectants used in daily life has a high price: we suffer from allergies, asthma, oily, dry, skin, dandruff and pimples…

In this review all the diversity data collected with rural, agrarian and western civilizations were summarized and depicted:

Graph about western civilisation and skin health

This graph shows: the less contact with western civilisation (rural and agrarian) and the healthier the skin, the higher the biodiversity of the skins microbiome. Damaged skin (dotted lines) always goes along with a decreased bacterial diversity of the skin, no matter if rural or western civilisation.

This phenomenon of biodiversity is the true for all ecosystems in nature, why not apply it for the micro-ecosystem of the skin?”

So, how can we get back our natural skins diversity? We can’t go living in the woods, wearing almost no clothes… what other option do we have? Well, Kit says that you have to carefully choose your daily hygiene products. Most cosmetics lead to a lower diversity of the skin. In his opinion it also makes no sense to apply probiotics on the skin: “No one has any clue of the healthy proportions of a certain bacteria on the skin, and what additionally comes to it, is that the skins bacteria highly vary between different skin areas.”

The re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park

The re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park has largely been linked with dramatic changes in the landscape

He is comparing the skins ecosystem with the ecosystem of Yellowstone Park: “The re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park in 1995–6 has largely been linked with dramatic changes in the landscape, but most crucially in ways scientists didn’t even think were possible. The biodiversity was hugely increased. Direct and indirect changes were observed, resulting in rivers changing direction; beaver, grizzly bear, eagle and raven populations increasing, among many others; increased heights and richness of berry-producing shrubs; and elk populations decreasing.” … “The elk, when regulated by wolves, pose a lessened threat, but as soon as they aren’t restricted by wolf predation, they become “pathogenic” to the ecosystem.”

“The same happens to the skin: when the ecosystem skin is losing its delicate balance, organisms not associated with pathogenic behaviour can become damaging to the system/host.”

JooMo is offering two microbiome-friendly products: JooMo 100% Natural Body Wash and JooMo 100% Natural Face Wash.

What is so special about your products? Why are they microbiome friendly?

“We have conducted a clinical trial in cooperation of the University of Graz. We compared our product with a leading ‘natural’ brand and a leading ‘synthetic’ brand. What we did observe was an increase of the skins bacterial diversity with JooMo products within 2 weeks of application. On top of that, only the JooMo product retained and even slightly increased the skins moisture. Although the market is crowded with ‘natural’ products, almost all of them contain synthetic compounds, JooMo products are 100% natural.”

We received some preliminary data which will be published soon:

Thank you Kit for the interview! We are looking forward to the publication and to the products JooMo will release next!

Kit Wallen Russel and Kristin Neumann
Kit Wallen Russel (Joomo Ltd.) and Kristin Neumann at the Microbiome Conference in Rotterdam, March 2018
Kristin Neumann, Autor
Kristin Neumann, PhD

Hello, I am a microbiologist by profession. I studied (molecular) biology because I was always curious about how life functions...

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