skin microbes determine age

Skin Microbes Can Determine Your Age

You can apply all the makeup in the world, but the skin microbes don’t lie. Forensic scientists have used artificial intelligence for years, researching gut microbes to verify someone’s age. Now, a recent study finds that using skin microbes can be four times as efficient! Learn the connection between skin microbes, gut bacteria, and your overall health. Let’s take a closer look at this IBM-funded analysis.


Skin Microbes and Health Study

IBM recently teamed with the University of San Diego (UC San Diego) on what turned out to be a breakthrough in microbiome studies [1]. They tested samples provided by 9,000 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 90. These samples came from three different sources.
skin microbes study
Gotta cover all the bases!
The scientists tested:
• Feces Microbes (Stomach Bacteria)
• Saliva Microbes (Oral Bacteria)
• Skin Microbes (Skin Bacteria)
They used these cells with AI technology to determine how old people were. This system follows many of the same algorithms used in random forest regression that predicts the age of the tree.
The technology has a clear understanding of what the average bacteria looks like in healthy and unhealthy systems of various ages. So, it was able to pinpoint the ages of participants based on the samples provided. Some of these results were pretty accurate, while others some ways off.


Do Skin Microbes Provide the Most Accurate Age?

Many experts expected gut microbes to give the most accurate age. However, the researchers were pleasantly shocked. The awe wasn’t just because they were wrong. It was because of how wrong.
The team of scientists concluded in their piece,

“It was surprising to discover that the skin and oral microbiomes are much more predictive of age than gut microbiome [1].”

IBM/UC San Diego
Bacteria in the following areas allowed for a correct estimate of chronological age within a range of the following years:
• Skin Microbes: 3.8 Years
• Oral Microbes: 4.5 Years
• Gut Bacteria: 11.5 Years
These studies shouldn’t downplay the importance of maintaining optimal gut health for wellness. If anything, it opens a door for early diagnoses of gastro disease.


Why Skin Microbes Are Better Age Indicators Than Microbes

skin microbes age
Life’s a long journey for us, not our microbes
Your gut biome can change within three to four days [2]. These stomach bacteria are very responsive to changes in diet. Therefore, if an underlying issue is brewing, it will take some time to show up.
Oral and gut microbes are much more dynamic than skin microbes. It’s more difficult to tell how long their species has reigned supreme because the turnover rate is so quick.
Skin cells offer a better picture of what a person’s age can be. As people get older, they lose oils in their skin. In turn, it makes it more difficult for specific bacteria to survive on the skin microbiome. Their presence missing can help AI make a more accurate estimate at a person’s age.


How Skin Microbes Can Help Gut Health

skin microbes for aging
Be beautiful outside and in!
There’s a saying we quote around here often: “All disease begins in the gut.” Just like all disease begins in the gut, so does the genesis of new cells.
When we have new skin cells, they form at the skin barrier. Each time a new cell is created, it pushes the older one to the surface. Eventually, old skin cells become our exterior ones, where they ultimately flake off our bodies.
While the battle for supremacy is going on in your gut, your skin microbes are trying to make their way out. They carry with them information about what’s going on inside. The scientists are hoping to use this info to determine if you have a disease brewing within.
The IBM/UC San Diego team noted,

“The gut and oral microbes enriched in young subjects were found to be more abundant and more prevalent than microbes enriched in the old subjects, suggesting a model where aging occurs in tandem with the loss of key microbes over a lifetime. This observation sets the stage for future research on the role of the microbiome in the aging process. Taken together, the results demonstrate that accurate and generalizable indicators of age can be derived from using machine learning on microbiome data.”

IBM/UC San Diego
Figuring out how other microbes interact with gut bacteria is key to early diagnosis of disease. Researchers are hopeful this breakthrough will help determine cases of cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders.


Gut Test and Skin Health

A large reason the skin microbes are so intuitive is that the bacteria on our skin are in contact with the microbes in our gut. This communication network is known as our gut-skin-axis.
Skin health can be an
indicator of gut health
Inflammation caused by stomach bacteria is the root of many skin conditions, including:
• Eczema
• Rosacea
Collagen Loss
• Allergies
• Psoriasis
If you want to rejuvenate your skin naturally and recapture your natural glow, you have to work from the inside out. Fix your inner beauty by figuring out which stomach bacteria are causing your skin problems.


Gut Health Test

The most efficient way to determine which gut microbes are influencing your skin microbes with a Thryve Inside Gut Health Test. We send you everything you need to collect a sample safely in your own home. Simply mail the package back to us, and we’ll analyze your sample.


Probiotic Recommendation

Based on these results, we can help you in two ways. One, we’ll recommend a custom probiotic. This supplement will help replenish your gut biome with helpful bacteria that promote healthy skin cells. It’ll also contain bacteria strains that make it more challenging for pathogenic bacteria to exist.


Dietary Changes

foods for gut health thryve inside recommendations
We don’t leave you high and dry
Many of our skin problems are much in thanks to allergens in food. The more we eat these inflammatory biomarkers, the more inflammation will happen. In turn, beneficial skin microbes get destroyed.
Since we know which stomach bacteria are in your gut biome and in your supplement, we know which foods you should eat, too. The Thryve Gut Health Program will help you follow a healthy gut diet plan with a comprehensive recipe list. These dishes are rich in prebiotics that will feed your probiotics and nutrients that will nourish your gut and skin!


Click Here To View Resources



[1] Haiminen, Nina, et al. “AI Can Predict Your Age Based on Your Microbiome.” IBM Research Blog, 11 Feb. 2020,
[2] Feltman, Rachel. “The Gut’s Microbiome Changes Rapidly with Diet.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2013,

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