As you may be aware, eating probiotic rich foods or even taking a probiotic supplement can greatly benefit your health. This is linked to replenishment of “good bacteria”, pertaining to the 100 trillion microbiota in your gut. But have you tried throwing probiotic skin care into the mix?
Beneficial or “good” bacteria is considered as such because of the helpful functions it performs for our bodies. This can range from assisting in production of vitamins in the body, keeping the heart healthy, preventing allergic reactions, and possibly lowering risk for a variety of diseases. According to Harvard Men’s Health Watch, the microbiota could even be considered an additional organ system.
So, what do probiotics do for our skin?
Benefits of Probiotics for Skin
As it turns out, probiotics deliver a variety of benefits to our skin – the main one being their anti-aging properties. Topically applying probiotics to your skin can actually help it absorb moisturizers more efficiently, and what’s more, even reduce signs of aging.
Probiotics primarily come from fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha. Fermented foods tend to be high in lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid. This is excellent news for skin, because lactic can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles while tightening the skin.
Additionally, probiotics can help stabilize the inflammatory reactions in the body. These inflammatory responses are common causes of rosacea and acne. Probiotics help by preventing the immune system from attacking other living microorganisms.
Probiotics can even help strengthen the skin barrier, thus reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses against pollution, bacteria and free radical damage.
The Skinny on Probiotic Skin Care
The human body holds more microorganisms than even human cells, existing in the trillions. Over 1,000 of those species live on the skin, existing to maintain pH balance while enforcing the skin barrier against foreign pathogens. However, the ecosystems of these delicate microorganisms are often compromised when we expose our skin to harsh substances, like stripping cleansers and soaps.
Is it possible to replenish the microbiome on our skin with probiotic skin care? Apparently, yes.
Similarly to the digestive system, the skin uses the beneficial properties of probiotics to maintain a healthy balance. Through this achieved balance, one can obtain a skin barrier that’s better prepared for the potential factor in one’s environment that can cause inflammation. In doing so, the body will be better equipped to maintain a complexion that’s not too dry and not too oily.
Maintaining a healthy bacterial balance is key to maintaining a healthy glow and preventing inflammation. That being said, probiotic skin care may work as a fantastic means in balancing the beneficial bacteria that live on our skin barrier.
Furthermore, probiotics help protect the skin by shielding it from harmful microorganisms. They also aid in production of antimicrobial peptides, as well as reinforce the skin barrier against harmful free radicals found in UV rays and air pollution.
That being said, probiotic-infused skin care products are typically ideal for all skin types, but are especially beneficial for those with inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis.
It was recently suggested that living microorganisms on the dermal layer are perceived by the immune system as a foreign substance. This keeps the system on its toes, resulting in reduced inflammation and irritation.
The Importance of pH
Another factor of healthy skin that really comes into play is none other than the place where bacteria lives: the acid mantle.
The acid mantle is a thin film that we all have on our faces, which is composed of sebum and sweat. When kept at the proper pH level, it uses beneficial microorganisms to protect the skin barrier from foreign pathogens and viruses.
That being said, maintaining a healthy pH balance is key to keeping your skin healthy. Ideally, our acid mantles have a pH level that’s more on the acidic side, ranging from 3 to 5.
It’s important to understand this, because we often expose our acid mantles to things which disrupt the pH balance, especially when we cleanse our skin.
You can curb a lot of the damage this reaction causes by using probiotic products, but it’s also important to make sure that your cleanser is gentle and made with natural, plant-based ingredients.
Our Nopal Cactus Cleanser, for example, is made with organic aloe and bergamot, along with a variety of other botanicals, which work together to form a cleanser that’s gentle on the skin and causes the least disruption.
However, even the most delicate cleansers can throw off your pH balance, which is why an alcohol-free toner is a crucial step in every skin care regimen.
Our Flower Water Toner is formulated with witch hazel bark, which is known for the way it naturally stabilizes the acid mantle’s pH balance, along with soothing lavender essential oil and hydrating rose water
To summarize: it is crucial to maintain a healthy pH level in your gut, as well as on your skin. While probiotic skin care products may be beneficial, it’s also important to make sure that your skin care routine holds the foundation of a gentle cleanser and toner – not ingredients that will knock your skin off balance.