The skin microbiome

Billions of microorganisms live on our skin. The totality of all these organisms, whose habitat is our skin, is called the skin microbiome.


What exactly is the skin microbiome?

The microorganisms of the skin live in a well-established ecological balance. The skin microbiome therefore makes an important contribution to skin health. Environmental pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle, however, can throw the microbiome out of balance.


Biodiversity is good for the skin

Biodiversity also counts on a small scale. The microbiome of healthy skin, for example, is extremely rich in a wide variety of organisms that live in a dynamic balance. If individual species crowd out others and get out of hand, this leads to skin changes and inflammation. Conversely, skin inflammation can also upset the balance of the microbiome.


pH 5.5 maintains the balance

The slightly acidic pH value of the skin’s protective barrier is important for the balance of the skin microbiome. With their gentle formulas, mild ingredients and pH of 5.5, sebamed products can help to maintain and stabilise the biodiversity and vitality of this skin’s own ecosystem in a natural way. This is especially important for sensitive skin, which is particularly susceptible to disruption, as well as for babies and small children whose skin microbiome is still developing or changing. But it is also crucial also when we are exposed to major internal and external stresses.


Which microorganisms live on the skin?


Bacteria each consist of only one cell, so they are tiny. Each bacterial cell can do everything it needs to live on its own. These microorganisms come in all kinds of shapes: spheres, rods, spirals. They are in the air, the soil, in water and also everywhere on and in our bodies.

  • Staphylococcus epidermis – the all-rounder

    This bacterium is very widespread on the skin and copes well with the slightly acidic environment. It helps to displace potentially dangerous bacteria and at the same time trains our immune system to fight off pathogens.

  • Staphylococcus aureus – the villain

    Fortunately, this bacterium is rarely found on healthy skin as it does not like the natural, slightly acidic environment. In the event of an inflammation, however, especially atopic dermatitis, it spreads and keeps it going.

  • Staphylococcus homidis/lugdunensis – the supporter

    This skin bacterium, which is also widespread, works together with skin cells to keep the villain staphylococcus aureus in check.

  • Cutibacterium acnes – the two-sided one

    On the one hand, these protozoa, also known as acne bacteria, love oily skin, feed on sebum and can cause inflammatory breakouts. On the other hand, they are also useful in the fight against staphylococcus aureus. They feel more comfortable at a neutral pH than at a slightly acidic one.

  • Corynebacterium striatum – the smelly one

    This club-shaped bacterium lives in the warm, humid climate of the armpits, where it transforms odourless sweat components into pungent sulphur compounds.

  • Lactic acid bacteria – the sour power

    As the name suggests, this large group of bacteria produces lactic acid, keeping the skin acidic. This in turn inhibits pathogens. This also protects the vagina, for example, in a naturally effective way.


Fungi form their own “kingdom” – like the animal and plant kingdoms. This is why they range in size from the microscopic, such as yeast fungi, to the largest organism in the world, a honey fungus in Oregon, which covers an area of 9 square metres. They also have very different ways of existing. The best known are the pathogens among them, including those that live on the skin. However, researchers are always prepared for surprises.

  • Malassezia furfur – the scaler

    This yeast loves sebum and mercilessly exploits immune deficiencies to multiply on the scalp, eyebrows, beard and chest area, causing inflammation with flaking, itching and redness.

  • Candida albicans – the stubborn one

    Athlete’s foot is not all that this yeast fungus can do – it also likes to infect the genital area, where it causes discharge, or even the mouth and tongue, where it leads to what is known as oral thrush.


Mites are animals, more precisely arachnids with 8 legs, but with a much greater variety of body structures and living patterns. Mites on the skin are rather small – 0.1 cm – but much larger than the other organisms of the skin microbiome. Among mites, the harmful species are also the most conspicuous and are therefore the best researched. However, at least some of them certainly have their good sides, if you take a closer look.

  • Demodex foliculorum – the undercover agent

    Usually unnoticed, but not always harmless. This hair follicle mite, which is just 0.3 mm in size, is suspected of being at least one of the causes of a very annoying and unpleasant skin disease: rosacea.


Skin microbiome FAQs

  • Which factors influence the skin microbiome?

    In a way, everything is connected to everything else when it comes to the skin microbiome: Heredity, gender, age, general health, hormonal status, diet and lifestyle are just as influential as climate, air pollution, water quality and sun. All of this has an influence on the skin’s natural barrier function, especially when it comes to protection against dehydration and harmful environmental influences. The skin microbiome reacts to changing living conditions; if these changes become too much or too intense, the ecosystem of the microbiome becomes unbalanced. This impairs the skin’s own protection and jeopardises skin health. Stabilising the skin’s protective barrier and the skin microbiome makes the skin resistant to internal and external influences once again. The aim of medicinal skin care with sebamed is therefore to strengthen and promote skin health by supporting the barrier function and the microbiome balance.

  • How do I look after my skin properly?

    Skin cleansing is an indispensable part of our lives. We remove dirt, sweat, sebum, dead skin cells, countless microorganisms and their sometimes foul-smelling, sometimes even skin-damaging metabolic products. Being clean and fresh doesn’t just mean feeling good, it also means protecting yourself against illness – provided the sensitive balance of the skin is not disturbed. Otherwise it can lead to dehydration, irritation, allergies and increased susceptibility to skin infections. The following therefore applies: Do not cleanse the skin too often, too long, too hot and above all not with excessively aggressive products. The soap-free sebamed products with a skin-healthy pH of 5.5 protect the skin’s natural barrier function against dehydration and irritation while keeping the skin microbiome in a healthy balance.

  • What is the relationship between the skin’s natural protective layer, pH 5.5 and the skin microbiome?

    A balanced skin microbiome requires intact skin structures and well-functioning skin that quickly compensates for and repairs minor disorders and damage thanks to its own regenerative capacity. If the skin has the right amount of oil and moisture and a strong protective barrier, it is home to numerous microorganisms. They form the extremely species-rich skin microbiome, which contributes to skin health in a stable ecological balance. The slightly acidic pH value of the skin contributes to the barrier function and promotes microbiome balance. Skin care with pH 5.5 has been proven to help stabilise the skin’s protective layer and to therefore maintain both the barrier function and the ecological balance of the skin.