We all know probiotics are great for our gut health, but in recent years, they’ve found their way into skincare, promising a host of beauty benefits. Here’s what you need to know about the probiotic skincare trend.
Our body houses trillions of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses that are collectively known as microbiomes. Ideally, these microorganisms coexist in harmony to protect and keep our system in check. Scientists have linked an unhealthy gut microbiome to everything from weight gain to poor mental health. In the same way, our skin is affected by the health of our skin’s microbiome, and an unhealthy one can cause everything from rosacea to breakouts.
The health of our skin’s microbiome can be negatively affected by environmental factors like pollution, as well as the use of products that contain antibacterial agents, like certain harsh soaps. According to scientists at biotech company AOBiome, this can leave the skin more susceptible to issues like acne and dryness. This is where probiotic skincare can swoop in to save the day. Just like how probiotics are used to treat and prevent a variety of conditions, when applied topically, they have a calming effect on the skin by harnessing good bacteria to help skin cells flourish.
According to Nicolas Travis, founder of local beauty brand Allies of Skin, “Our skin is able to repair itself, so what we need to do is feed it with the right nutrients. The probiotics used in skincare function as food for the micro-flora that exist on your skin, helping the skin improve its natural defences by strengthening what is already there.”
Nicolas says the form of probiotics used in Allies of Skin products “stimulate the production of b-defensin – a naturally occurring [ingredient] that the skin uses to combat acne and breakouts. By doing so, they help the skin become more effective at defending itself.” Nicolas says probiotics are excellent for all skin types because unlike certain ingredients that only do one thing, probiotics improve skin in multiple ways. “They work on reducing sensitivity, redness, flare-ups like eczema and the appearance of breakouts, all while strengthening the skin’s flora and delicate barrier,” he adds.
Here are seven probiotic skincare products that to add to your skincare routine.
Text: Claire Soong