The skin microbial communities, or microbiota, play an important role in skin barrier function and must be dynamic in order to adjust to changes in the niche environment that occur across the diverse body locations during the human lifespan. This study gives an overview of the fundamental changes that occur in the skin microbiome throughout life, beginning with its development in the first weeks of birth and progressing through what is known about the microbiome in older populations. Studies that have assisted in identifying the factors that most influence skin microbiome function, structure, and composition during the various life stages are highlighted, and how changes affecting the delicate balance of microbiota communities may contribute to variations in normal physiology and lead to skin disease is discussed. 

This review emphasizes the need for better understanding the skin microbiome in people of all ages in order to obtain insights into the pathogenesis of skin disorders and to enable improved monitoring and focused treatment of, particularly vulnerable groups.