How Do Probiotics Benefit Your Skin?
We've been hearing a lot about probiotics for our gut health, as well as their role in keeping our microbiomes in a healthy balance. They facilitate numerous health functions, from serotonin production and digestion to increasing resistance to illness and infection, she explains. Probiotics also aid in creating a healthy gut, so there is less toxicity being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. 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, probiotics in skin care products try to promote a healthy skin biome by influencing the types of bacteria that live on your skin. They act as a protective shield against bad bacteria, dial down inflammation and prevent premature aging in skin, among other things.
Probiotics We Use in Our Products
Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is a cutting edge, probiotic extract from radishes fermented with leuconostoc kimchii; a lactic acid bacteria that has traditionally been used to make kimchi. Shown to have amazing antimicrobial benefits, the active ingredient is a skin-friendly peptide released from leuconostoc kimchii bacteria during the fermentation process. As a peptide, it also acts as an effective moisturiser. Plus, it may benefit acne prone skin by gently inhibiting growth of active "bad" bacteria at the skin’s surface.
Lactic Acid, is produced from the fermentation of plant sugars. It gently dissolves dead skin cells, promoting cellular turnover (exfoliating) and improving skin texture. It's an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and is one of the more gentle peels.
Lemon Peel Bioferment: Probiotic, supports healthy skin ecology and lightens hyperpigmented skin. Whole lemon fruits are macerated and incubated with Lactobacillus lacti (the same bacteria used to produce many fermented food products like cheese and sour cream). This ferment is then further processed to remove the potential allergens, citral and geraniol. The resulting ferment is said to have anti-tyrosinase activity, thus evening out melanin expresssion and skin tone. It's also high in antioxidants, helping to reduce the negative effects of sun exposure.
Known Benefits of Probiotics
Improve Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Probiotics have demonstrated a stabilizing effect in inflammatory conditions such as acne and rosacea. They have a calming effect on the skin and prevent the immune system from attacking other living micro-organisms, thus reducing flare-ups.
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.
Topical probiotics promote better moisture absorption which can 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.
Recommended Products with Probiotics:
Other Ways to Support Your Skin's Microflora
- Limit your use of antibacterial soap. These last few years have us all using antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. While they definitely have their place and their benefits, try to limit your use of them. Washing with simple soap (non-antibacterial) and water is usually effetive.
- Avoid harsh scrubbing. You don't need to exfoliate daily. Use a gentle, pH balanced cleanser and only exfoliate twice a week.
- Try oil cleansing. Contrary to what we've been taught over the last several decades, we don't need to use soap on all parts of our body every time we wash. I prefer to use our Sugar Scrubs on most of my body three times a week and soap only on the necessary bits (arm pits, feet, etc). On my non-exfoliating days, I opt for one of our nourishing body oils, massaging it into my dry skin and then rinsing it off in the shower.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber-rich whole foods like beans and lentils, oats, and apples are an excellent source of prebiotics. These plant-based fibers improve immune function by acting like fertilizers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Take care of your gut. Your gut, brain, and skin affect one another and what you put in your body has a direct impact on the health and radiance of your skin. So, load up on gut-friendly, fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, miso, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. I also recommend supplementing your healthy diet with an oral probiotic to nourish their skin from the inside out.
- Limit the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can limit and even wipe out the growth of healthy bacteria in your body, leading to an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria.
Angelina Swanson is the founder and chief formulator at aos [ angelina organic skincare ]. A self-described plant chemistry nerd, she's spent more than thirty years researching and developing skincare formulas that keep our skin healthy and radiant.
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