Beauty brains/the man­ual

Pro­bi­otics are in, and H2O is out

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

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.

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