Pro­bi­otics: Your New Skin BFF

We all know pro­bi­otics are great for our gut health, but in re­cent years, they’ve found their way into skin­care, promis­ing a host of beauty ben­e­fits. Here’s the low-down on this lat­est skin­care trend.

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Get cul­tured

Our body houses tril­lions of micro­organ­isms such as bac­te­ria, fungi, par­a­sites and viruses that are col­lec­tively known as mi­cro­biomes.

Ide­ally, th­ese micro­organ­isms co­ex­ist in har­mony to pro­tect and keep our sys­tem in check. Sci­en­tists have linked an un­healthy gut mi­cro­biome to ev­ery­thing from weight gain to poor men­tal health. In the same way, our skin is af­fected by the health of our skin’s mi­cro­biome, and an un­healthy one can cause ev­ery­thing from rosacea to break­outs.

The health of our skin’s mi­cro­biome can be neg­a­tively af­fected by en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors like pol­lu­tion, as well as the use of prod­ucts that con­tain an­tibac­te­rial agents like cer­tain harsh soaps. Ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists at biotech com­pany AOBiome, this can leave the skin more sus­cep­ti­ble to is­sues like acne and dry­ness.

This is where pro­bi­otics swoop in to save the day. Just like how they’re used to treat and pre­vent a va­ri­ety of con­di­tions, when ap­plied top­i­cally, pro­bi­otics have a calm­ing ef­fect on the skin by har­ness­ing good bac­te­ria to help skin cells flour­ish.

In re­pair

Ac­cord­ing to Nico­las Travis, founder of lo­cal beauty brand Al­lies of Skin, “Our skin is able to re­pair it­self, so what we need to do is feed it with the right nu­tri­ents. The pro­bi­otics used in skin­care func­tion as food for the mi­cro-flora that ex­ist on your skin, help­ing the skin im­prove its nat­u­ral de­fences by strength­en­ing what is al­ready there.”

Nico­las says the form of pro­bi­otics used in Al­lies of Skin prod­ucts “stim­u­late the pro­duc­tion of b-de­fensin – a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring [in­gre­di­ent]that the skin uses to com­bat acne and break­outs. By do­ing so, they help the skin be­come more ef­fec­tive at de­fend­ing it­self.”

Nico­las says pro­bi­otics are ex­cel­lent for all skin types be­cause un­like cer­tain in­gre­di­ents that only do one thing, pro­bi­otics im­prove skin in mul­ti­ple ways. “They work on re­duc­ing sen­si­tiv­ity, red­ness, flare-ups like eczema and the ap­pear­ance of break­outs, all while strength­en­ing the skin’s flora and del­i­cate bar­rier,” he adds.

They work on re­duc­ing sen­si­tiv­ity, red­ness, flare-ups like eczema and the ap­pear­ance of break­outs.”

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