When it comes to health and wellness, probiotics pop up in all sorts of unexpected places. Perhaps most unexpected? As a skin care ingredient. While we know that probiotics are beneficial for gut health, is it true that they are beneficial for skin health? How do probiotics help your skin anyway? Read on to learn everything you need to know about probiotic skin care, and why you need it in your routine.
What Are Probiotics?
In short, probiotics are “good bacteria” that are crucial to balancing the “bad bacteria” in the body. As stated by WebMD: “Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system.” Probiotics are considered beneficial as they can help repopulate good bacteria that may be lost due to diet, medication or certain health conditions leading to more bad bacteria than good.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system.
Common sources of probiotics are fermented foods, with yogurt being one of the most well known, but also including sauerkraut, miso, kombucha and even pickles! Typically when discussing the benefits of probiotics, we are referring to the gut flora which consists of hundreds of microorganisms to ensure your metabolic activities remain healthy and effective. However, probiotics can also be used to help heal skin conditions.
Can Probiotics Help Your Skin?
While dietary probiotics have been found to help balance certain gut issues, scientific studies support that probiotics can be beneficial for the skin as well. Not only can a healthy gut improve inflammatory skin conditions, but topical probiotics can help balance the bacteria associated with conditions such as acne and eczema. Acne has been shown to be one of the most promising conditions to treat with topical probiotics because bacterial imbalance and inflammation contribute to certain types of acne. Applying probiotics to areas affected with such conditions can help soothe any flare-ups as well as normalize the skin’s natural bacterial and moisture balance, helping it to “reset.”
How Should I Use Probiotics On My Skin?
While there are many DIY recipes for probiotic face masks, as always, we do not recommend creating your own kitchen concoctions. This is because applying products to your skin that are intended for food consumption often vary wildly in their levels of beneficial ingredients. For example, many probiotic foods contain ingredients like lemon and vinegar. While in principle, acids are skin-friendly, these types of acids in foods have the potential to irritate the skin and cause extreme photosensitivity and even serious chemical burns. Especially if you are dealing with a skin condition such as acne or eczema where the skin can already feel raw and sore, please avoid homemade solutions and instead, look for professional probiotic skin care products that meet industry-wide safety requirements.
Probiotic skin care products are most effective when they can be massaged in or left on to absorb into the skin. This allows the probiotics to positively impact the moisture barrier and balance the skin. Depending on your skin type and concerns, you may not need probiotics for every step of your skin care routine and may prefer to incorporate it only into a few areas. For example, if you have a dry skin type and are dealing with some eczema or the odd blemish, using a probiotic face mask once a week is an excellent option. If you are an oily skin type trying to manage more frequent blemishes, incorporating probiotics in your daily cleansing and moisturizing - as well as a weekly face mask - is an excellent way to help your skin balance the bad bacteria that may be contributing to breakouts.
An Esthetician’s Advice
For more recommendations, we asked Eminence Organics Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar to share her thoughts on probiotic skin care for a recent In The Mix video.
Natalie shares some amazing home care recommendations on how to use probiotic skin care. Some of our favorite takeaways:
- Probiotics come from nature and help balance good and bad bacteria in the body.
- Probiotics can come from a supplement or fermented foods but can also be found in skin care products.
- In skin care, this good and bad bacteria balance impacts the moisture barrier of the skin.
- Because 60% of our skin is water, we want to ensure our skin stays healthy with balanced hydration levels.
- All skin types and all skin conditions can use the Eminence Organics Clear Skin probiotic products.
- The Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser is amazing for combination to oily skin types, with a gentle foaming action that provides a super clean, pore tightening effect.
- The Clear Skin Probiotic Masque works wonderfully applied straight on the skin for those with a combination to oily skin type, and is fantastic blended with a bit of water or our Stone Crop Masque for those with a normal to dry skin type.
- The Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer can be applied over a serum for those with a combination to oily skin type and applied as a serum - under your moisturizer - for those with a normal to dry skin type.
Also consider this product: Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer
With Natalie’s amazing tips and explanations we hope you feel confident in trying out probiotic skin care. Are you already using the Eminence Organics Clear Skin probiotic products? Do you swear by incorporating probiotics into your diet? We would love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on probiotics in the comments or join in the conversation on social media.
This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.