If you’ve heard the word probiotics, you’ve probably heard that they’re a good thing, but beyond that, it can seem a little confusing. There are lots of different ways to access gain the benefits of probiotics, with yoghurts and food supplements often being a popular choice. But did you know you can also apply probiotics topically, using probiotic skincare? Read our quick guide to probiotic skincare including what it is, what it does and where you can get your hands on it.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are more commonly referred to as “good bacteria”. These are live organisms that help your body maintain its natural balance. This applies to your skin in the same was as any other organ, with probiotics helping to kill off unwanted bad bacteria that might arise as a result of health conditions or environmental stressors. One caveat here is that skincare often uses probiotic derivatives. These are non-living organisms classified as “postbiotics” that carry most of the same benefits as living probiotics, but which typically have a longer shelf life.
It’s also important to note that “probiotics” is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of different types and benefits, so you’ll need to find the best probiotics for your skin.
You might have also heard about probiotics in conjunction with prebiotics. If you’re wondering what the difference is, prebiotics help to lay the ground for your probiotics, enabling them to do their best work. Good probiotic skincare will often also be enriched with prebiotics to help you get maximum benefits.
Probiotic benefits for skin
Different probiotics have different benefits, but a few are favoured in skincare. The best products use a blend of different probiotic and prebiotic ingredients that complement each other. The balancing effects of probiotics are often utilized to help protect and restore the skin, combatting some of the effects of everyday stressors such as stress, hormones and the outside environment as well as sun damage.
Probiotics are employed to strengthen the skin barrier, which also helps to lock in moisture and can be beneficial for those looking for ways to tackle dry or dehydrated skin. They’re also thought to help boost the production of collagen, which makes skin look plumper and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.