C.Acnes (officially Cutibacterium Acnes) is a microbe that lives in abundance within our skin - in fact, it’s almost half of the millions of microbes that live within. Whilst it plays a crucial role to the health of our sebaceous glands, it can also contribute to Acne-causing bacteria if an overgrowth occurs.
What are the positives of C.Acnes in our skin?
Contrary to what you may hear, C.Acnes is not a ‘bad’ bacteria that lives on your skin. There are multiple strains of C.Acnes, some of which are vital to the health of your skin and oil glands.
Here are some of the incredible benefits of this microbe for your skin:
- They secrete proteins such as Digestive Enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the digestion of sebum and the acquisition of other nutrients.
- Damaged molecules within the skin are taken by C.Acnes and deconstructed to leave behind only the recyclable parts of the cell. These recycled cells are then reused by the skin to rebuild healthier cells.
- Stimulate sebum production. This will be in a healthy amount if C.Acnes is not in overgrowth.
- Help to ease itching within the skin from external irritation.
- Support our skin’s antioxidant defence.
- Actively contributes to our skin’s self-regulating process to encourage cell turnover and renewal of damaged cells and protecting against external pathogens.
How does an overgrowth of C.Acnes occur?
What we do want to watch for when it comes to C.Acnes, is the occurrence of an overgrowth within the skin. There are many contributing factors when it comes to the proliferation of C.Acnes. Some of which may include:
- Disruption of usual skin microbiota. When our skin barrier has been compromised, whether it’s through over-exfoliation, excess oil production, environmental or UV damage, weather changes, hormones or certain medical conditions, it can alter the state of the flora that lives on our skin.
- Blocked pores. Excess sebum & dead skin cells can clog up our skin, leading to an enticing environment for C.Acnes to flourish. As the bacteria grows in abundance, the lining of hair follicles and pores may become agitated, causing redness and inflammation.
- Excess oil production. Your face can have between 400-900 sebaceous glands per square centimetre of your skin, each gland produces oil. Hormones, medications, barrier disorders, age, incorrect skincare usage, dehydration can all contribute to increased oil production.
What are the signs of a C.Acnes overgrowth?
The most common sign of a C.Acnes overgrowth is the presentation of Acne Vulgaris - the prevalent form of Acne. With C.Acnes making up almost half of our skin microbiota, those dealing with Acne Vulgaris can see up to 90 percent of their skin flora present with C.Acnes. This is an incredible increase, and offers some insight as to why symptoms can start to present.
Most commonly seen on the face, Acne Vulgaris can also spread down the neck, chest and back. Typically, you will notice any or combination of the following:
- Blackheads or whiteheads
- Papules (small bumps on the skin)
- Pustules (spots that have ‘heads’ and are usually filled with white or yellow pus)
If the condition is deeper within the skin, you may notice:
- Nodules (bigger, more painful bumps that can last weeks/months)
3 best ways to reduce overgrowth of C.Acnes?
It is not always within our control when dealing with a C.Acnes overgrowth, in fact - the influence of the proliferation process of C.Acnes is most likely out of our control.
What we can control however, is the ways in which we handle an overgrowth, should it occur, and reduce the amount of bacteria growing within our skin to a more desirable level.
How do we do this?
- Hero ingredient in Clarity Serum, Maclura Cochinchinensis (SEBOCLEAR™-MP) has the ability to reduce and decrease any rapid production of Acne-causing bacteria by 10-12%, in just 28 days. The retinoic-like properties of Clarity Serum help to control bacteria and rebalance the microbiome.
- EFAs. If you’ve been around Bare Roots for awhile, you’ll know how much we value Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) to support healthy skin. Not only do EFAs help our skin barrier to protect itself from external bacteria, they also contribute to our skin’s texture, elasticity and overall appearance. Additionally, they are a powerful anti-inflammatory for the skin, which is important when it comes to reducing bacterial overgrowth. EFAs can be found in many forms, through products or supplements.
Omega Oil contains a potent blend of Omega 3, 6 & 9 to help regulate oil production, reduce free radical damage and fortify a healthy skin barrier.
Clarity Serum contains EFAs such as Safflower Oil which is rich in Linoleic Acid (something Acne skins are deficient in) to help rebuild a strong protective barrier within the skin, and alleviate any dryness associated with eczema, psoriasis & acne. Another ingredient found is Turmeric Extract, containing a strong fatty acid profile to brighten the skin.
Barrier supportive skincare. Our range is skin barrier supportive and suitable for all skin types. Skincare should be uncomplicated, and easy to determine how to build your perfect prescription. By choosing Certified COSMOS Organic skincare, you know you are nurturing your skin with the upmost love and care - for you and the environment.