When most people think of probiotics, they think of gut health and microbiome in the stomach because there has been a lot of buzz on the internet over the past few years with regards to the importance of gut health and the connection between gut and brain health. However, the skin and many other parts of our bodies have their microbiome systems as well. When we think of the skin and microorganisms, we tend to think about killing germs and eliminating bacteria that causes acne. However, just like in the stomach, there are also good bacteria which live on the skin as well and there are many new, trendy probiotic (and prebiotic) products which help balance this good bacteria on the surface of the skin.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics, as briefly mentioned above, are actually microorganisms (bacteria) which are good for us. Orally they are used to treat things like irritable bowel syndrome, infectious diarrhea and eczema. Topically, they are similarly used in beauty products to treat eczema and other aesthetically displeasing conditions. Prebiotics and postbiotics are related to probiotics and are often combined into the same preparations as probiotics.
Prebiotics are essentially just plant fibers that the probiotics in beauty products or any other probiotic preparation use as food. This can help improve the quality, and therefore the benefits, of the probiotics in a beauty preparation.
Postbiotics, which can also be used topically in beauty products, are fermentation byproducts of the good bacteria which can also be healthy for you. One example of postbiotics are antimicrobial peptides which are short chain amino acids. Amino acids are simply the building blocks of protein. Peptides themselves are trending in the beauty world so, if you want to combine two beauty trends at the same time, you might want to try antimicrobial peptides. Another example of a postbiotic is short-chain fatty acids which feed the good bacteria in probiotic skin preparations and also help sodium, electrolyte and water absorption which is important for the hydration of skin.
What Are The Visible Benefits Of Probiotic Beauty Products?
Although balancing the good bacteria on the surface of the skin sounds nice, what visible benefits does it actually produce? It can help a wide variety of conditions including eczema, atopic dermatitis, acne, allergic skin inflammation, skin hypersensitivity, UV-induced skin damage, and wound healing.
What Is The Science Behind These Products
Just as yogurt typically includes certain probiotics for our stomach such as Streptococcus thermophilus, probiotic beauty products also contain an array of probiotics such as Bifida ferment lysate, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus thermophilus ferment. Then just like in our stomachs where improving the ratio of good bacteria helps things like indigestion and bloating, improving the good bacteria on our skin can help regulate oil production, improve skin texture and fight free-radicals or oxidative damage.
Probiotics For Different Conditions
Depending on what your skin goals are, different beauty probiotics preparations will be appropriate. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, Bifidobacterium, which is also used to treat eczema may be most appropriate.
If, on the other hand, you have acne or acne-prone skin, you may find that you get the most help from beauty products with Lactobacillus Acidophilus or Lactobacillus Bifidobacterium.
If you have irritable skin or dermatitis, a combination cream with various probiotics may be most fitting since irritation and dermatitis has been observed when certain bacteria such as S aureus is overly prominent on the skin’s surface and combination probiotics can help reduce this bacteria’s overall levels.
Similar to ingestible probiotic preparations, the topical probiotic preparations used in beauty are generally well-tolerated and unlikely to cause problems or side effects. Some people have experienced irritation and it should be noted that these topical use preparations have not been studied enough to give a definitive side effects list. Still, the studies which have been done show that these substances are very promising which probably accounts for their recent rise in popularity. There, if you are feeling apt to do so, give one of these preparations a try as you will likely not suffer any ill effects and may even experience decidedly positive results.