We all know probiotics are great for our gut health, but in recent years, they’ve found their way into skincare, promising a host of beauty beneﬁts. Here’s the low-down on this latest skincare trend.
Our body houses trillions of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses that are collectively known as microbiomes.
Ideally, these microorganisms coexist in harmony to protect and keep our system in check. Scientists have linked an unhealthy gut microbiome to everything from weight gain to poor mental health. In the same way, our skin is affected by the health of our skin’s microbiome, and an unhealthy one can cause everything from rosacea to breakouts.
The health of our skin’s microbiome can be negatively affected by environmental factors like pollution, as well as the use of products that contain antibacterial agents like certain harsh soaps. According to scientists at biotech company AOBiome, this can leave the skin more susceptible to issues like acne and dryness.
This is where probiotics swoop in to save the day. Just like how they’re used to treat and prevent a variety of conditions, when applied topically, probiotics have a calming effect on the skin by harnessing good bacteria to help skin cells flourish.
According to Nicolas Travis, founder of local beauty brand Allies of Skin, “Our skin is able to repair itself, so what we need to do is feed it with the right nutrients. The probiotics used in skincare function as food for the micro-flora that exist on your skin, helping the skin improve its natural defences by strengthening what is already there.”
Nicolas says the form of probiotics used in Allies of Skin products “stimulate the production of b-defensin – a naturally occurring [ingredient]that the skin uses to combat acne and breakouts. By doing so, they help the skin become more effective at defending itself.”
Nicolas says probiotics are excellent for all skin types because unlike certain ingredients that only do one thing, probiotics improve skin in multiple ways. “They work on reducing sensitivity, redness, flare-ups like eczema and the appearance of breakouts, all while strengthening the skin’s flora and delicate barrier,” he adds.
Probiotic skincare products to try now
1. IDS Probiotic Mask, $67
Contains a strain of probiotic bacteria that helps shrink blemishes and soothe inﬂammation.
2. Allies of Skin Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream, $109
Shields skin against everyday pollutants, repairs the skin’s ecosystem, improves signs of visible fatigue and brightens the complexion.
3. Porcelain Intensive – HA+ Hydrating Serum, $198
Controls the skin’s oil production and repairs, soothes and hydrates.
4. Aurelia The Probiotic Concentrate, $68.40
Boosts the skin’s natural repair process, combats pigmentation and dullness, while boosting collagen and hyaluronic acid levels.
5. Lancôme Advanced Géniﬁque Eye Cream, $105
Protects skin against pollutants, then rejuvenates it at night.
6. Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Renewal Cream, $29.04
Targets surface cells that have been exposed to pollution. Fruit stem cells and vitamin C tighten skin and give a luminous glow.
7. Elizabeth Arden Superstart Probiotic Boost Skin Renewal Biocellulose Mask, $67
Restores the skin’s natural defences and hydration levels thanks to probiotics and hyaluronic acid.
"They work on reducing sensitivity, redness, flare-ups like eczema and the appearance of breakouts.”