Facial Rejuventation Today

The Latest Skinny on Probiotics and Skincare

Probiotics are a staple at most health and natural food stores. These strains of so-called “good” bacteria are available as supplements or in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and others; and now they’re starting to pop up in skin care lines with experts suggesting they may be a solution to a variety of common skin problems including acne, rosacea and eczema.

How do Probiotics Work?

Probiotics reset the balance of good and bad bacteria within the gut. When this balance is out of whack, your body doesn’t function as it should. Some people may report diarrhea, gas, bloating and/or stomach pain. Eventually the gut lining becomes leaky and toxins are released into the bloodstream causing inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation may manifest on the skin as acne, itching, blemishes or other symptoms.

When it comes application, probiotics are often delivered to the skin via masks, creams or cleansers (as opposed to pills). It is well known that certain types of ‘bad’ bacteria aggravate or cause eczema and acne, for example, but adding protective bacteria to the mix may restore the balance and curb symptoms.

One study out of Korea found that people with acne who drank a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage daily for 12 weeks reduced their total acne lesion count and decreased oil production. These findings appear in the Journal Nutrition. The most common probiotic bacteria belong to groups called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

That said, it’s important to note that this research is still in its early days. The FDA has not approved any probiotics for preventing or treating any health problems.

Common Sense Advice

“We spend so much time scrubbing and cleansing the heck out of everything, killing microbes indiscriminately and then we’re surprised when these systems (our skin) fail to be able to balance themselves naturally,”  says Alex Lewin, author of
 (Fair Winds Press; September 2017). “Stop cleansing and disinfecting so much. Wash your hands when appropriate, of course, especially if you are cooking for other people,” he stresses.

“Once you’ve done all of the above, then adding probiotics to your skin care mix might be worth considering,” he suggests. Take an ad hoc approach with things like yogurt and kefir masks, kombucha and so on.