Probiotics that are beneficial for your skin health
Prebiotic formulas involve compounds that feed the pre-existing “skin bugs,” helping them to thrive and work their skincare magic. These formulas tend to increase the diversity of bacteria on the skin, which is healthier for the skin’s microbiome.
Referred to as “complex carbohydrates” in the food universe, these non-digestible compounds support healthy bacteria on the skin by shaping the microbial environment in a way that promotes health.
It’s been shown that some prebiotic products can help balance the skin’s pH levels and provide extra support for the skin’s protective barrier. It’s beneficial to note that most of this research has been conducted on probiotic skincare rather than topical prebiotic products.
Many ingredients generate prebiotic effects, including plant sugars, calcium, amino acids, sulfur, and magnesium. The following components below also produce prebiotic benefits for skincare users.
A type of fiber, inulin, promotes the growth of healthy bacteria strains in the skin. It may already be present in several foods you consume. This prebiotic is created by plants and then converted into an energy source. Rather than being primarily digested by the body when consumed, it is used as a healthy bacteria in the gut.
Common foods containing inulin include bananas, asparagus, soybeans, wheat, and garlic. Frequently used as a fat substitute or sweetener, inulin can be enjoyed in tablet, gummy, and even powder form. It not only encourages healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract but allows everything to pass through smoothly, helps to decrease overeating habits, and may even decrease the risk of developing certain cancers.
This intense formula operates to feed the skin’s bacteria, encouraging a well-functioning microbiome. Aside from being high in iron, zinc, and manganese levels, it has been known to help treat insomnia, stress levels, and physical endurance. The wide variety of ingredients found in oats helps strengthen the skin’s protective barrier while keeping it well-nourished and smooth.
Unlike prebiotics, probiotic formulas are live bacteria that work to support the healthy bacteria in the body. These bacteria serve many purposes, such as the prevention and treatment of certain skin conditions, locking in moisture, and keeping acne-inducing bacteria at bay.
Bacteria already exist in our bodies and skin, present to prevent any external threats from invading. These bacteria also help regulate skin pH levels and fight unwanted infections. The more diverse the bacteria, the healthier the skin which will speak for itself in plumpness.
Though we still know little about probiotics and their full contribution to skincare, they have the potential to change the entire industry as more eyes are looking toward what will be the next big shift or trend. By adding probiotics into skincare formulas, these products can provide essential acids, ceramides, and other beneficial nutrients to the skin without constant reapplication.
No matter how it sounds, the relationship between “bugs and skin” has become more of a conversation in the industry, especially when it comes to their ability to further protect the skin’s protective barriers and halt aging signs.
A good example is the probiotic Nitrosomonas ectropha, which is derived from the earth’s soil. Over time, the human species has evolved to function in hygienic routines and habits, having lost some of our microbial diversity and ability to fight off certain infections as a result. By applying these probiotics to pre-existing bacteria, your skin will have an extra layer of defense.
There’s far more to probiotics than what is uncovered from beneath our feet. A majority of research conducted on the topic has involved microbiomes in the gut, not topically on the skin. Despite this, the skin’s microbiome offers more research benefits in terms of universal solutions than the gut’s microbiome. Most probiotic formulas tend to range or be derived from four places: skin, gut, soil, and water.
A type of “good” bacteria, Bacillus coagulans isn’t naturally produced in the body but can create lactic acid in the gut.Formulas containing this ingredient typically increase the ability to thwart free radicals from invasion and causing unwanted aging signs.
Though it can provide the gut with lactic acid bacteria, it shouldn’t be confused with the probiotic Lactobacillus. The latter focuses more on preventing and treating skin inflammation, acne/redness, and improving the skin’s overall barriers from external threats. These bacteria are found in many foods and throughout the body, such as the digestive system.
These microbes are considered among the first group to make their way through the human gastrointestinal tract. Due to their positive skincare and overall health benefits, they have sought residence not only in our bodies but also in many of our beloved foods, such as fermented vegetables and cured meats.
This formula is often appreciated by those who suffer from skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and extremely dry or sensitive skin.
Derived from yogurt, a snack food enjoyed by millions, this probiotic formula focuses on exfoliation and retention of moisture in the skin. The positive benefits of this “good” bacteria are several, not limited to the tightening of the pores, reducing wrinkles, and improving skin damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
When the body lacks “good” bacteria, this ingredient can be a wise addition to combat that issue. It is known for regulating the body’s digestive system and helping those who suffer from chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
This probiotic is naturally found in the gut and is active in several fermented foods, such as kimchi and yogurt.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus
A bacteria frequently found in the mouth and intestinal tract, these “good” bacteria have many functions. It works to help break down food, absorb beneficial nutrients, as well as ward off “bad” organisms or bacteria that threaten to produce infections or diseases.
In short, these bacteria are well-recommended for improved gut health. By having them more present, they can ensure the lining of the intestinal tract stays intact and prevent harmful bacteria from setting down roots in the digestive system.
A fun fact regarding “acidophilus” is that when this ingredient is ingested, it can help prevent sun-induced wrinkles from forming. It essentially shuts off the enzymes that damage the skin’s collagen during this process, maintaining a hydrated and glowy appearance.
These bacteria, appearing spherical-shaped when observed under a microscope, contain over 40 species in their family. Many of these species or subspecies can’t cause disease (they are famously known for causing staph infections in hospitals) and commonly reside on the skin and in the membranes of humans without alarm.
Many of these species provide various health benefits. Staphylococcus homiris and Staphylococcus epidermidis, for example, both carry the ability to suppress the growth of a type of bacteria that can worsen the symptoms of dry skin and eczema.
Meanwhile, Staphylococcus thermophilus works to increase the production of ceramides in those prone to dry skin and related conditions. The reason ceramides are so crucial when it comes to skincare is that they are the glue that binds skin cells together, strengthening the skin’s barrier and ensuring its overall health.