Probiotic Skin Care: The Next Addition to a Healthy Skin Care Routine
Pharmacy skincare aisles are already overwhelming. Now, there’s an entirely new selection of lotions and creams to look into — probiotic skin care products.
It’s likely you’ve heard of probiotics taken orally — the good bacteria in supplements, yogurt, and gummy candies. A balanced community of bacteria helps our internal digestion and aids us against illnesses.
Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, explains how these newer probiotic skin care products can help with your complexion.
What Exactly are Probiotics?
According to Dr. Khetarpal, our skin is home to over a thousand species of bacteria living on the surface.
But don’t worry, this skin microbiome is a good thing. These bacteria are crucial to fighting infections, regulating pH levels, protecting against the environment’s damaging effect, and of course, keeping the skin healthy and hydrated.
However, there are a variety of factors that can throw off the balance of bacteria living on your face. Face scrubs, soaps, and medications such as antibiotics can introduce more harmful bacteria into the biome.
An imbalance of bacteria cause flare-ups and many problems such as Eczema, Dry and flaky skin, rosacea, and the infamous acne. Should you experience any of those problems, probiotic creams could help.
Probiotic vs. Prebiotic
This new type of skin care product looks to restore the bacterial balance to your skin in a few ways. The probiotic creams contain live cultures of the right kind of bacteria. Another type of medication called prebiotics hold ingredient that helps grow the helpful germs already living on your skin.
Dr. Khetarpal says that if you’re lucky enough to have skin that glows naturally and is healthy, this extra step and cost to your routine. However, if you have one or more of the problems stemming from an imbalance of bacteria, probiotic cream is worth considering.
Although, probiotics aren’t the miracle cure for all of these issues as it is unlikely the problems will completely disappear after use. It’s likely there are a variety of factors contributing to your symptoms. However, an imbalance of skin bacteria is one of the major puzzle pieces in your journey to clear and healthy skin.
Which probiotic skin product is right for you?
However unfortunate, it’s not possible to tell which products are well-tested by merely reading their labels. Fancy bottles and high price tags don’t always mean more bacteria or better results.
If you’re ready to try out probiotics, your next goal is to look at your options. Only a few products available have undergone scientific testing according to Dr. Khetarpal. Even then, just a few were tested on human skin.
Unless you find joy in pouring over scientific journals, talking to your dermatologist is your best bet for options.
Protect your good bacteria
While probiotics restore balance to your skin, it’s a good idea to keep it healthy all the time.
The first thing you can do is stay away from any soap-based cleansers. This includes any anti-bacterial or anti-acne products. These can rid your skin of natural bacteria. What you can do instead is go for non-soap-based cleaners. Look for labels with for sensitive skin or gentle.
Also, you might want to even skip out on any cleanser in the morning, wash with water and carry on with your day.
Tweaking your cleansing routine and perhaps adding a probiotic or two, should help your face return to a healthy bacterial balance.