How Probiotics Improve the Health of Your Skin
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- What are probiotics?
- What are the skin benefits of probiotics?
- Do probiotics contain dairy?
- How to add probiotics to your skincare routine
A while back, I was chatting with a friend of mine who happens to be a naturopathic doctor. She was telling me that more and more of her patients were asking if probiotics can improve skin health.
Since it seems to be such a hot topic, let’s discuss. But before you settle in for a good read, why not go make yourself a quick coconut yogurt smoothie for a boost of probiotic goodness!
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are defined as living microorganisms that provide a health benefit when administered to a host. Basically, they are good bacteria that protect the body from bad bacteria. These microorganisms help the body create a well-balanced ecosystem both internally and externally. The seven most common strains of probiotics are:
Keep in mind that each of these strains has different species and even subspecies. Probiotic effects vary from one strain and species to another.
What are the skin benefits of probiotics?
Research suggests that some inflammatory skin diseases can be linked to gastrointestinal health. This is known as the gut–skin axis. Taking an orally ingested probiotic supplement can help boost your immune response and reduce inflammation. Adding topical probiotics can help to enhance the levels of good bacteria on the skin, strengthen the skin barrier and increase skin ceramides.
As the name suggests, oral probiotics are those that are ingested. Most people are familiar with the benefits of oral probiotics for gut health. As I mentioned, research suggests that gastrointestinal health is linked to skin health. A study from 2009 shows that taking probiotic capsules can help alleviate allergic and inflammatory skin conditions. Whether from supplements, yogurt or other fermented foods, oral probiotics can help you achieve healthier, happier skin.
Topical probiotics are those incorporated into skincare formulations and are applied to the skin. A variety of bacteria live on healthy skin. This is called the skin microbiome. When skin is compromised, two things can happen: good bacteria living on the skin can become pathogens and/or bad bacteria from the environment can colonize the skin’s surface.
Studies indicate that alterations in the skin microbiome play a significant role in conditions including acne. Interestingly, research shows that topical probiotics may be suitable alternatives to topical antibiotics for treating acne. In one study, participants with acne who applied topical probiotics noticed a decrease in breakouts and redness while researchers noted a decline in the levels of bad bacteria on the skin and an improvement in skin barrier function.
Evidence shows that atopic dermatitis is another skin condition that can benefit from topical probiotics. Many factors contribute to atopic dermatitis, including an altered skin microbiome and a weakened skin barrier. Studies suggest that topical probiotics can help minimize bad bacteria while enhancing good bacteria to get the skin microbiome back in balance and help reduce atopic dermatitis. Topical probiotics have also been shown to increase skin ceramides in people with atopic dermatitis.
Do probiotics contain dairy?
When thinking about probiotics, most people immediately think of yogurt. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for people to worry about the presence of dairy in probiotics.
Some skin conditions, including acne, often flare up with the consumption of cow’s milk dairy products. In addition, people who live a vegan lifestyle may not be comfortable consuming dairy-based probiotics.
Luckily, there are many other foods and beverages that contain probiotics, including:
- picked vegetables
Dairy-free probiotic supplements are also available at many health food stores.
How to add probiotics to your skincare routine
Our Berry Rich Face + Eye Cream is formulated with the probiotic Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate. Don’t let the name fool you; this probiotic is completely vegan.
Studies conducted by our supplier show that the vegan probiotics in Berry Rich:
- protect and strengthen the skin barrier;
- slow transepidermal water loss;
- mattify the skin;
- increase skin radiance.
Main image by: Science Photo Library
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