Soon Valentine’s Day! The celebration of couples! The perfect opportunity to spend more time with your partner! You love him/her and you share many things with your half: your tastes, your desires, your vision of life … but even bacteria and microbes present on your skin.

Different studies have shown amazing results concerning the bacterial composition of the skin surface of couples living together.

Canadian researchers performed skin samples on 17 areas of 10 couples’body, which allowed them to establish the genetic characteristics of bacteria on the skin surface. They showed that cohabitation had a real impact on the people’s skin microbiota. The study even revealed that in 86% of cases, it was possible to “find” the partner simply by comparing the cutaneous microbiota composition.

Contrary to what people might think, the greatest similarities were found on the feet and the chest. They also specified that other elements could modify the composition of the skin microbiota, such as alcohol consumption, sports practice or the presence of a pet at home.

This “transfer” of bacteria is explained by the direct contacts between people but also by indirect contacts: such as the common bed, the sofa, clothes…

Researchers insist on the fact that the exchanged bacteria are beneficial for us, because they help strengthen the immune system.



ROSS AA, DOXEY AC, NEUFELD JD. The skin microbiome of cohabiting couples. MSystems Host-Microbe Biology. 2017, 2(4) :e00043-17