The Skin Microbiome

Discover more about your skin microbiome, a unique ecosystem of microorganisms that exist on your skin


Your microbiome is an ecosystem as unique to you as your DNA. It’s largely determined by age, gender, diet and hygiene, as well as environmental factors such as climate and pollution1.


Get to know more about the skin microbiome with this handy training guide.

What is the skin microbiome?

The skin microbiome is the diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, that coexist at the surface of the skin.



What does the skin microbiome do?

It plays a vital role in a person’s overall health, while making sure the skin is healthy looking1.The skin microbiome is vast, with more than one billion bacteria inhabiting a typical square centimetre of skin2.


What makes for a healthy skin microbiome?



A balanced microbiome.

The skin microbiome is a habitat of billions of beneficial and harmful bacteria. An imbalance of these bacteria can lead to a variety of skin conditions including acne, eczema, rosacea and ageing1.





PH Balance.

The skin microbiome prefers a relatively acidic environment (pH around 5.0) which also inhibits growth of pathogens1.





Bacterial diversity differs by body zone.

Differences in skin temperature, texture, thickness, humidity and chemistry help determine which kinds of microbes live where on the skin1.



The difference between hydrated and dry skin

  • Hydrated skin. Healthy skin has a balanced skin microbiome and preserved skin barrier.

  • Dry skin. Dry skin has an unbalanced skin microbiome and an altered skin barrier, allowing vulnerability to irritants. This can cause inflammation, flare-ups and itching.




  1. Grice EA, Segre JA. The skin microbiome. Nature reviews Microbiology. 2011;9(4):244-253.
  2. Grice EA, Kong HH, Renaud G, Young AC, Bouard GG, Blakesley RW, et al. A diversity profile of the human skin microbiota. Genome Res 2008.



Date of preparation: April 2024


Page Last Updated

Friday, May 17, 2024