Beauty brains/the manual
Probiotics are in, and H2O is out
You may have noticed that probiotics are in everything. And you may have asked, are the trillions of bacteria in my moisturiser really necessary? Excellent question. Probiotics in beauty products aim to dose the skin with a plentiful supply of healthy microflora, creating the best possible environment for skin to thrive.
Anecdotally, there are plenty of testimonials that say skincare lines such as Aurelia, Orveda and Esse, all of which are probioticrich, yield results. But applied topically, probiotics can have a short lifespan – that’s if the healthy bacteria in them haven’t already been killed off by the preservatives that are required by law to be included.
Orveda’s Botanical Booster meanwhile imparts a lovely amber glow, but at £175 it’s not cheap. Probiotics are, however, trickling into mid- and mass-market products, such as Vichy’s Slow Age, £30, but the question still remains: do their vaunted probiotics do anything?
A better tactic might be to feed your skin with prebiotics. These aren’t bacteria per se, but compounds that act as a fertiliser for healthy microflora – and are not killed off by preservatives. Alexandra Soveral, whose reformulated Forever Young Eye Cream, £39, contains prebiotics, suggests also making your own prebiotic treatment at home by mixing some organic kefir with organic honey into a mask, and following up by toning with some diluted apple cider vinegar. ‘It’s good for acne, rosacea and eczema,’ she says.
Also, try taking a high-quality probiotic oral supplement that will boost the flora in your gut. Try either Mega Probiotic ND from Victoria Health or Biocare’s Bioacidophlius High Potency Live Bacteria. They’ve changed my life. Au revoir bloat, hello happy gut. And skin.