Probiotics in skincare. It sounds like a fad, but the friendly live bacterial cultures that are so good for the digestive system can also work their magic on your skin.
Before refrigeration, we would stop foods from spoiling by fermenting them. The process of fermenting creates probiotic-rich foods full of friendly bacteria that strengthen the immune system. We can get fermented food today — like yoghurt, miso and pickles — but probiotics are still missing from our diets.
Probiotic supplements are a common and easy solution. Supplements re-establish the gut flora in our stomachs, helping our digestive system. But recently, we’ve discovered that adding probiotics in skincare can re-establish our skin’s health, too.
Probiotics and skin health
In recent years, studies have found that topical probiotics can re-establish and maintain the skin microbiome, treat skin complaints and promote younger and healthier-looking skin.
In fact, skin has some of the most micro-organisms than any other part of our body, second only to our gut. These micro-organisms protect our skin from environmental aggressors that can cause inflammation and lead to dermatitis, eczema and acne.
Typically, probiotics in skincare products applied to the epidermis influence the makeup of the skin’s microflora by:
- producing acidic compounds, such as lactic acid, that reduce the skin’s pH and returns it to its happy 4.5 – 5.5 range
- encouraging the growth of resident flora which provides the skin with a natural line of defence against pathogens.
Advantages of friendly bacteria on the skin:
Skincare containing probiotics enhances cellular renewal to speed up skin repair, increases collagen production to improve texture and promote younger-looking skin, and reduces inflammation and skin sensitivity.
Probiotics, combined with exfoliation and hydration, minimise the appearance of wrinkles and can assist in treating acne.
A quick glance at the benefits of probiotics in skincare
- improves the ratio of good bacteria versus pathogenic (bad) bacteria
- regulates the skin’s pH balance
- improves hydration and the skin barrier function
- reduces water loss
- increases the rate of exfoliation
- reduces inflammation and redness
- decreases skin sensitivity
- can be used in the treatment of acne