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Thanks to researchers, face mites are getting an image makeover

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

OK, so if you're squeamish about bugs, which I am, a little heads-up - we're going to be talking about microscopic bugs that live on your face.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Yep. They feed off the oil on your skin. Here's Alejandro Manzano Marin of the University of Vienna.

ALEJANDRO MANZANO MARIN: They have tiny, tiny legs, but they can run really fast because when it gets dark, they need to go from pore to pore so they will be able to mate.

FADEL: They may sound like parasites, but Marin says think again.

MARIN: We've looked at this animal, which is not really a parasite that lives in us, but rather probably something that is giving us a benefit.

MARTINEZ: The relationship between a human and a microscopic face bug might be evolving, becoming a little more symbiotic.

MARIN: They might be giving us this ability to probably keep our pores unclogged from other things that might land in there.

FADEL: So there you go. Consider face mites a part of your skin care routine. You've got your exfoliant, your simple cleanser, your moisturizer and now your face mites? Ew. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.