You probably heard about probiotics and prebiotic in some way. It’s been a hot topic for awhile.
Simply put probiotics and prebiotics help to maintain a balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria.
What do probiotics do?
You see, there are billions and billions of bacterial living on and in our body. Some of it is good, some of it is bad. Bad bacteria always wants to invade our body and take over. However, good bacteria does not let bad bacteria to do so. Good bacteria fights of bad bacteria and a person stays healthy.
So the problem starts if our body starts loosing good bacteria for various reasons.
One of the most common reasons is antibiotics.
Antibiotics treat us by killing bacteria. It is good, because without antibiotics we can become very sick or die.
The thing is that antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad.
So people are advised to maintain gut health and restore beneficial bacteria by eating certain foods and take probiotic supplements.
What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?
Probiotic is a live microorganism that is beneficial for your health; in other words it is a “good” organism.
Prebiotic is a food source that promotes growth of probiotic. It acts like a fertilizer making “good” microorganisms grow.
One cannot exist without another. You need to take both if you are serious about rebuilding your gut health and improving your skin’s condition.
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Is probiotic good for skin?
Our skin is the largest body organ and like any organ in our body it maintains a balance between “good” and “bad” microorganisms.
Our skin health is directly connected to gut health. In fact, our skin is like a reflection of what is going on inside our body.
That is why it is very important to have a healthy diet and consume foods rich in prebiotic that will help to maintain gut health.
Can you put probiotics on your face?
That is a very logical question. I mean, if pro/prebiotics are so good for your skin, can you just apply them topically?
If you ever applied a homemade mask made out of yogurt, then you did in fact applied probiotics on your face. I personally like making a mask with yogurt, honey and a bit of olive oil to freshen up my face and even out skin tone.
There are also commercial products where companies are trying to make skin care products that contain pre/probiotics.
However, there is a challenge with commercially made products. Pre/probiotics are live organisms so it is impossible to formulate a product with live organism that also have a long shelf life. That is why commercial products contain fragments of bacterial cell walls.
What probiotics do to your skin?
- Probiotics are believed to do several things to your skin.
- The main advantage of cosmetics with probiotics is that it supports the natural microbiome of the skin and eliminates harmful bacteria – mainly by reducing the pH level of the skin.
- Probiotics reduce skin rashes, redness and inflammation.
- Regulate production of skin oil (sebum)
- In addition, cosmetics with probiotics restore and strengthen the protective barrier of the skin. Probiotics contribute to ceramides formation. Ceramides are natural fats, that protect the skin from moisture loss, exposure to harmful bacteria and loss of elasticity. That is why probiotics will suit excessively dry and sensitive skin.
- Probiotics are also a source of lactic acid. Lactic acid stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid and improves the structure of collagen in skin cells.
- Finally, probiotics perfectly neutralize free radicals, so they are considered good antioxidants. Antioxidants help even out skin tone, lighten up age and sun spots and prevent wrinkles from forming.
Are probiotics anti-aging?
- Researches showed that probiotics can visible slow down signs of aging.
- Majority of “good” bacteria in the gut help eliminate toxins and free radicals that can damage the skin and cause early signs of aging.
- The use of probiotics not only helps to remove toxins from the body, but also restores damage caused by free radicals. These scientific evidence offers some hope that friendly flora will be able to slow down the visible evidence of great life experience.
- Strengthening the skin barrierProbiotics have been shown to support barrier skin function. It has been proven that the skin microbiom protects it from harmful bacteria, toxins and free radicals that can accelerate aging
- Moisture – Probiotics help the skin retain moisture. Well moisturized and hydrated skin makes wrinkles less visible
- Protection from UV rays – Probiotics can help protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, which can cause premature skin aging and wrinkles. There has not been much research in this area, but what has been found is extremely promising.
Are probiotics good for acne?
- There are many factors that affect acne formation including genes, hormones, diet and stress. One of the factors that also affects acne is excessive skin oil (sebum) production. Too much skin oil clogs hair shaft (pore) and lets acne-causing bacteria grow substantially.
- Probiotics help regulate sebum production.
- Also enzymes of beneficial bacteria produce antimicrobial peptides (they act as local antibiotics) which destroy acne causing bacteria.
Can probiotics clear up acne?
To be honest, it is very unlikely that probiotics alone can clear up acne. However, probiotic containing skin care products can significantly contribute to acne treatment. You will need to use probiotics in combination with other treatment products.
How long does it take for probiotics to work?
Unfortunately there is no exact number of days/weeks/hours that needed for probiotic to work.
Results depend on many, many factors: your age, health status, immune status, you overall lifestyle and diet, medications you are taking or have been taking. Results also depend on what kind of probiotics you are taking and whether they are right for you.
Also, keep in mind, that if you decided to restore your skin and gut normal flora with probiotics, you always need to take probiotics as a form of supplement, not just a topical cream.
What are probiotics in skin care?
You will always see a word “lysate” in probiotic containing skin care. As I mentioned before, live probiotics can not be added to a product, because there won’t be any shelf life for a product.
That is why manufacturers break cell walls and use fragments of the cells in the cosmetics. The word “lysate” means “to break”.
There are several probiotics that are often used in modern skin care products. The most common are:
Bifida ferment lysate
It is a probiotic that is obtained by fermentation of Bifida bacteria. Researches show that if you use skin care product containing bifida ferment lysate, your skin will become less irritating and reactive to environmental aggressors. Also, this probiotic helps to restore skin “good”-“bad” bacteria balance making skin stronger and able to repair itself.
Bifida ferment lysate increases skin elasticity and absorbs harmful UV rays.
It also moisturizes skin and helps retain moisture.
It helps even out skin tone, brighten up age spots and reduce wrinkle appearance.
Lactococcus ferment lysate
This is a fairly new probiotic ingredient that is obtained from the Gram-positive bacteria, Lactococcus lactis.
There are not many studies confirming benefits of this probiotic in skin care. Those studies that have been done, showed that lactoccocus ferment lysate helps to strengthen protective barrier of the skin, and stimulates production of anti-bacterial peptide.
Lactobacillus is a probiotic ferment, that soothes irritated skin. It also strengthens skin’s natural defences against sensitivity, provides instant relief from redness and itchiness.
Skin care products with probiotics
Tula probiotic skincare – this skin care line has a full set of products that contain probiotics. This line has very good reviews by consumers.
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare – one of the most well known probiotic skin care line. Products by this line contain a number of probiotics that have been found beneficial for our skin.
Eminenece Organic Skin Care – skin care company based in Hungary has many natural products containing probiotics.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule – this is very famous Korean skin care ampoule. I used the whole bottle and I really loved it. It contains 2 probiotics that I mentioned above: Bifida ferment lysate and Lactococcus ferment lysate. My skin really got hydrated, plumped and glowing.
PURITO – Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence – this is another product that I tried and really liked. This essence contains bifida ferment lysate, niacinamide and many other good ingredients. This is a very good essence if you are in a hurry and want to moisturize and brighten your skin before your apply any make up. I highly recommend it to anyone.
Clinique Active Cartridge Concentrate for Irritation – this probiotic containing product has very good reviews by consumers as well.
As you can see probiotics are very beneficial for your health as well as your skin. Consider including them into your skin care. Just keep in mind that if you take immunosuppressants or immunocompromised, you should consult with your doctor before taking probiotics.