THE IN-TRAY

How to know when your beauty should be antibacterial or bacteria-friendly

From work, to play, to the downtime in between, life is one big balancing act. And when it comes to the bacteria on your skin, the sentiment applies. Striking the perfect balance between the existence of (good) bacteria and the banishment of (bad) bacteria can be hard, especially when, after the year we’ve had, we’ve become so conditioned to eliminate bacteria at all costs.

We’ve done some groundwork on pre- and probiotics in skincare before (you can read about it here), but this a constantly evolving space, so with some new and ground-breaking bacteria-conscious beauty added to our line-up in recent months, we figured you were due for an update. Here’s how to maintain a bacteria-positive balancing act through your beauty routine.

IN YOUR BATHROOM

How often do you wash your towels? Let’s face it; warm and moist in between uses, they’re the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mould, and other skin irritants that can transfer onto your skin to clog pores and trigger reactions.

Enter Resorè, the new and forward-thinking brand championing naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic towels that stay cleaner for longer so your skin can too. Medically graded, Resorè’s body towels and face wash cloths can be used wet and dry, (as you would a normal towel) while protecting the health and hygiene of your skin. Active fibres Silverbac™ and Tencel Lyocell™ work to break down germs and odours, stopping the spread and incubation of 99.9 percent of bacteria. When we talk about the future of beauty, this is what we mean.

READ MORE: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on her at-home beauty and self-care routines

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ON YOUR SKIN

A healthy microbiome needs a decent amount of good bacteria to be, well, healthy, so in practicing an anti-bacterial regime, it’s crucial to feed your skin with the good stuff. Our favourites include anything from French pharmacy brand Gallinée, especially their Face Vinegar and Youthful Serum, Korre's Greek Yoghurt range.

As for the anti-bacterial side of things, some of our favourite ingredients naturally have these properties already; tea tree, marula, and rosehip oils included. The latter is known to contain phenols, which is said to have antiviral properties too.

READ MORE: Why probiotics in skincare are the answer to your sensitive skin needs

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FOR YOUR GUT

According to our newly launched ingestible brand, The Beauty Chef, “beauty begins in the belly”.

Like on our skin, our gut microbiome is a lively ecosystem, home to trillions of microorganisms and thousands of species of bacteria. Amongst other things, the health of this ecosystem has a direct impact on your mood, immunity, wellbeing and, of course, your skin.

Once again, encouraging good bacteria is key here, and can be achieved with a healthy and consistent dose of pre- and probiotics and fermented foods, as well as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants; essentially all the good found in fruits, vegetables and proteins, and in The Beauty Chef's powders, elixirs, and sprays. In the words of founder Carla Oates, these products “will not only make your skin glow, but help you feel better, too.”

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IN YOUR SCALP

Whether it’s dryness, oiliness, itchiness or a case of dandruff, a difficult scalp might be the sign of a microbial imbalance. Rather than clearing away all bacteria, which may cause dryness, fostering a healthy scalp microbiome is key. Enriched with fermented rice water—a godsend for growing strong, shiny hair—and a prebiotic complex, Gallinée’s oil-free Scalp and Hair Serum relieves itchy scalps while gently exfoliating and reducing sebum production.

READ MORE: Want healthier hair? It’s time for a scalp detox

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