Bac­te­ria for healthy skin

What good bac­te­ria can do for the skin

Northern Living - - CONTENTS - TEXT BEV­ERLY DAL­TON IL­LUS­TRA­TION ZAIRA TAN

Probiotics have long been known for their sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to the di­ges­tive sys­tem, but new re­search has re­vealed the won­ders that good bac­te­ria can also do to the skin.

When the gut flora, or the com­plex com­mu­nity of micro­organ­isms liv­ing in the di­ges­tive tract, has more bad bac­te­ria than good ones, chronic in­flam­ma­tion arises, caus­ing acne and other skin prob­lems. So if you want your skin to clear up, the gut is prob­a­bly a good place to start. Adding probiotics to your diet can help im­prove the skin’s health and ap­pear­ance. The live, ac­tive cul­tures found in yo­gurt, kom­bucha, sauer­kraut, Ke­fir milk, miso, and kim­chi may just be the foun­tain of youth peo­ple have been search­ing for.

Wrin­kle preven­tion

Probiotics can slow down the early signs of ag­ing be­cause they flush out tox­ins and elim­i­nate free rad­i­cals. Try drink­ing a glass of Ke­fir milk a day. It’s rich in micro­organ­isms and an­tiox­i­dants, and has been be­lieved to pro­long life and di­min­ish the ap­pear­ance of wrin­kles.

Pre­vent future break­outs

Cut­ting back on carbs can cer­tainly de­crease in­flam­ma­tion but a daily dose of probiotics can also be a pre­ven­tive mea­sure. With a healthy bal­ance of bac­te­ria in your di­ges­tive tract, the skin will fol­low suit. Hav­ing a bowl of yo­gurt with fresh berries ev­ery morn­ing will surely help. Just keep note that the yo­gurt should have the la­bel “live, ac­tive cul­tures.”

Glow­ing skin

Although it may seem coun­ter­in­tu­itive to ap­ply bac­te­ria on skin, probiotics can ac­tu­ally help re­duce red­ness. They also seal in mois­ture, keep­ing skin soft and sup­ple. This is be­cause probiotics, when top­i­cally ap­plied, re­store good bac­te­ria and an­tiox­i­dants the same way they do when di­gested. Check out lo­cal beauty stores and look for brands that have probiotics as a key in­gre­di­ent in their prod­ucts like Lancóme Crème Ra­di­ance Clar­i­fy­ing Cream-toFoam Cleanser and Clin­ique Red­ness So­lu­tions with Pro­bi­otic Tech­nol­ogy.

Re­duces bad bac­te­ria

Probiotics add more good bac­te­ria to our di­ges­tive sys­tem, which in turn help re­store bal­ance to the der­mis by fight­ing off bad bac­te­ria. The re­sult: bet­ter-look­ing skin. The pres­ence of good bac­te­ria also re­duces the need to use anti-bac­te­rial soap, which is of­ten dry­ing to the skin. The next time you visit a Ja­panese restau­rant, think of your skin’s health and or­der a bowl of miso.

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