Probiotic-Infused Skincare: The Crème De La Crème Or Just Spoiled Milk?

From a more robust immune system to easier menstrual periods, there’s no doubt a probiotic-rich diet does a body good. But when it comes to your skin’s microbiome, are probiotic-infused products the crème de la crème, or do they hit a sour note?

By Renée Walton2 min read
Pexels/Anna Shvets

Boasting health benefits like better digestion, boosted immunity, easier periods, and improved mental health, there’s no question that probiotics are an essential part of any woman's diet. That’s because probiotics nourish our gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria that lives in our digestive tract – by restoring the balance of microbes in the gut. Good gut health plays a major role in maintaining health and preventing disease. In fact, Hippocrates once said that all disease begins in the gut, and modern science has backed up his claim time and time again

The good news is that it’s not hard to get a daily dose of probiotics. Whether in the form of a supplement or by adding fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha to your diet, nourishing your gut flora couldn’t be easier. But did you know that our bodies have another microbiome, and keeping it nourished could give you radiant, glowing skin?

The Skin Microbiome 

Once you add probiotics to your diet regularly, don’t be surprised if your complexion starts to appear clearer and more radiant. That’s one of the fringe benefits of a healthy gut. But what you may not know is that our skin also has its own microbiome, which is comprised of several species of microorganisms. There’s plenty of research to suggest that conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and acne are linked to an imbalance of bacteria in the skin’s microbiome. And, as you probably guessed, keeping that microbiome properly balanced can give you a healthier complexion

So, how do we specifically nourish the skin microbiome to improve our complexion? The answer may lie in probiotic-packed skincare products. Although they’ve been around since the early 20th century, probiotic-infused skincare products only rose to popularity within the past decade, and countless women swear by them for a healthy, balanced complexion. The reason why they work isn’t entirely clear – it could be because the probiotic strains strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, thereby limiting environmental stressors that could disrupt the bacteria balance. Another theory is that the bacteria in the product interact with the resident bacteria on the skin and create an immune response to future stressors. 

However they work, the results of probiotic-packed skincare are hard to ignore. Many skincare companies are taking note, and lots of research is being done to see how probiotics could alter the future of skincare. 

Quick Tips for Your Probiotic-Infused Routine 

Interested in adding probiotic-infused products into your beauty routine? Consider these key factors before jumping in:

  1. Start slow. A probiotic cleanser or serum intended for daily use can be a big commitment. Instead, opt for a mask or spot treatment to start and see how your skin microbiome interacts with the new microbes. 

  2. Keep it fresh. Some probiotic skincare formulas require refrigeration, and many have a shelf life of just six months after opening. So pay close attention to labels and expiration dates. 

  3. Ingredients matter. Check the label for ingredients like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Vitreoscilla and prebiotic sugars like xylitol. These bacteria strains tend to be more stable and most beneficial for all skin types. 

Ready to treat your face flora to a healthy dose of probiotics? Try these microorganism-packed faves for skin that radiates health from the inside out.

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