What is probiotic skincare? Growing research suggests that skincare products with prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics help get healthy microbes back into balance.
A balanced microbiome may help reduce eczema, acne, dry skin, and even wrinkles and skin cancer risk linked to UV damage.
Probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics may all help improve your skin’s microbiome.
“The nutrients and the overall environment make all the difference for a microbe to be able to survive and can influence what a microbe is doing,” says Richard Gallo, MD, PhD.
Gallo is a distinguished professor and the founding chairman of the department of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the skin microbiome.
Probiotics are live bacteria that support the healthy bacteria in your body, explains Gallo. “We know certain bacteria are good for us, and when you put those on patients, you see the bad bacteria die off,” he says.
A growing body of evidence suggests that using probiotics in both pill and topical form may help prevent and treat skin conditions including eczema, acne, dry skin, and UV-induced skin damage, Gallo says.
“People with eczema have lower levels of ceramides, so replacing it can be very important,” Kober says. Studies suggest that applying probiotic skin care products may reduce acne outbreaks and manage dry skinand eczema.
Several small but promising studies also suggest that probiotics can help battle skin aging and even skin cancer.
Skin pH increases with age, making it drier and allowing more “bad” bacteria to grow.
UV damage from the sun also impairs the skin’s ability to fight free radicals, which are normal byproducts of our bodily metabolic processes that damage our cells.
Research suggests some probiotics feed healthy bacteria to balance the skin’s pH and protect against free radical damage.
“Some bacteria [may] help prevent skin cancers and might change some of the ways skin grows so it has a healthier appearance,” Gallo says.
Think of prebiotics as fertilizer for good bacteria. Prebiotics are nondigestible compounds that feed and support healthy bacteria and keep bad bacteria in check.
While they’re typically known as complex carbohydrates in foods, prebiotics are actually “anything used to shape the [microbial] environment and change it in a way that promotes health,” Gallo says.
Skin conditions like rosacea and atopic dermatitis as well as acne medications like retinoids and benzoyl peroxide can impair the skin’s barrier function that protects against bad bacteria.
Certain prebiotics help balance skin pH or support the skin’s barrier function, which boosts healthy bacteria. Overall, there’s been less peer-reviewed scientific research on topical prebiotic products than probiotic skincare.
“I think in the skin care world, not the drug world, there’s been a lot of work,” Gallo says.
That said, every skin care product that improves the skin likely has a prebiotic benefit, Gallo explains. The lipids in moisturizers, for example, support the skin’s barrier function and have been shown to help healthy skin bacteria grow.
When you use a common moisturizer and your skin becomes less dry and red, “your microbiome is improving. We know that to be true,” Gallo says. “In a way you can think of a moisturizer itself already is starting to exploit the concept of a prebiotic therapy. You can’t help the skin and not help the microbiome. They’re integrally related.”
Many skin care companies are fine-tuning their ingredients so they’re maximally beneficial for healthy bacteria, he adds.
Postbiotics are fermentation by-products produced by bacteria that are good for you, Gallo says.
One example is antimicrobial peptides, or short-chain amino acids that naturally occur in the skin and boost its immunity and response to harmful organisms.
Another example is short-chain fatty acids, which feed good microbes and enhance water, sodium, and electrolyte absorption. “They really seem to be very important for the skin, and the body can’t make them,” Gallo says.
If the bacteria on your skin aren’t making enough fatty acids or peptides, a topical product with fatty acids can give it a boost, says Gallo.
How Do Probiotics Benefit Your Skin – Probiotic Skincare?
Since the 1930s, experts have been positing the gut-brain-skin axis theory, believing that a person’s emotional state—whether it’s anxiety, stress or depression—can alter the functions of the gastrointestinal tract and cause bad or unhealthy bacteria to build up. This, in turn, causes inflammation that leads to breakouts and flare-ups for those with skin conditions like rosacea, acne or eczema. Hence, the importance of keeping probiotics in your diet.
“Probiotics aid in creating a healthy gut, so there is less toxicity being reabsorbed into the bloodstream,” shares Kessler. “Toxins inhibit the absorption of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients and interfere with the body’s ability to rid itself of necessary waste, causing inflammation.”
When applied topically, probiotics have also been found to provide numerous benefits. “Like dietary probiotics impact your stomach’s biome, probiotic skin care products try to promote a healthy skin biome by influencing the types of bacteria that live on your skin,” explains board-certified dermatologist Janet Prystowsky, M.D.
Probiotic skincare – some of the known benefits of probiotics on skin are:
Probiotic skincare – Improve Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Franziska Ringpfeil says probiotics have “demonstrated a stabilizing effect in inflammatory conditions such as acne and rosacea.” According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a study has shown that probiotics have a calming effect on the skin and prevent the immune system from attacking other living micro-organisms, thus reducing flare-ups.
Probiotic skincare – Strengthen the Skin Barrier
Probiotics have been shown to reduce the threat of infection and reinforce the skin’s natural defenses against bad bacteria, pollution and free radical damage. “By producing antimicrobials and compounds that reduce the skin’s pH, probiotics also protect your skin from transient pathogens that could disrupt normal skin function,” says Dr. Prystowsky.
Probiotic skincare – Anti-Aging
Topical probiotics promote better moisture absorption and aid in delaying the signs of aging. Lactic acid helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, tightens pores and contains exfoliating properties that improve dry and dull skin. They also contain nourishing properties that soothe sun-damaged skin.
Probiotic skincare – Promote Healthy Scalp
When applied to the scalp, Dr. Ringpfeil says probiotics can help soothe irritations and even indirectly restore hair growth. In fact, a study has shown that feeding probiotic yogurt to mice resulted in thicker, shinier and more lustrous fur.
The goal of microbiome skincare is to stimulate the growth of good bacteria. The goal is no longer to kill bacteria with our cleansers. We now know how important these microorganisms really are, so we have created formulas that promote balance and enhance the health and natural beauty of our skin. These products allow us to treat the root cause of skin conditions, instead of simply masking them or making them worse.
Take, for example, our Super Hydrating Booster. It contains:
- Saccharide Isomerate: Derived from American Kernel Corn, this serves as a skin humectant (to reduce the loss of moisture), emollient (to soften and moisturize), and replenisher. Research has shown that it helps balance the skin’s microbiome, thereby strengthening the skin’s barrier and promoting optimal skin health.
- Exo-H (Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate): From French Polynesia, a synthesized microorganism that helps hydrate and strengthen the skin.
Stop Hiding Your Flaws: Feel Confident in Your Skin
Many women do not know how to properly care for their skin, simply because they have not been taught. They do not know how to determine what skin type they have. Therefore, they do not know which skincare routine will help them achieve flawless-looking skin.
Instead, they waste their money on skincare products that do not work and pile makeup onto their skin to hide their flaws.
If this sounds familiar, there is hope. You do not have to keep hiding behind a mask of makeup. By determining your skin’s needs, you can utilize the microbiome skincare products that will help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes. You will finally feel confident in your naturally healthy, radiant skin.
Are you ready for youthful-looking skin? Take our snowperk iD test today! The analysis will show you which skincare routine is best for your skin’s unique needs.