I am hopeful that, at this stage of the game, it will not come as a total surprise that even the health and appearance of our skin is affected by microbes and the microbiome.
Many of us grew up at a time when bacteria were universally considered to be detrimental and and therefore were the targets of therapies to treat specific conditions. Acne, for example, was considered to be a disease caused by the action of a bad bacterium which was then targeted with topical and oral antibiotics, as well as various other skin sanitizing techniques. Unfortunately, to a significant degree, this mentality remains pervasive.
Today I interviewed Dr. Whitney Bowe, author of the new book The Beauty of Dirty Skin. Her book literally rewrites our understanding of what makes for healthy skin. She takes a deep dive into the role not only of gut bacteria but of skin bacteria in manifesting healthy skin.
In the interview, we explore a diversity of topics including sun protection, acne treatment, the role of diet in promoting healthy skin, the recently discovered role of probiotics in skin health, and yes, the fallacy of many commonly-accepted approaches to skin conditions.
Dr. Bowe did her undergraduate training at Yale and subsequently attended medical school at University of Pennsylvania. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed research journals and has appeared in a variety of media including Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and has been featured in print media including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Allure, Elle, and Readers Digest.