The Role of Probiotics in Skincare

Woman holds a facial serum bottle containing probiotics

When it comes to probiotic skincare, there are two camps of people out there. First, there are the folks who are totally “pro” probiotics for skin health and overall well-being. And then there are the people who don’t have a good grasp on what these good bacteria are and what they can do.

If you’re curious about the basics and benefits of probiotic skincare products, keep reading!

What Are Probiotics, Exactly?

As the U.S. Department of Health puts it, “Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body.” Additionally, “Many of the microorganisms in probiotic products are the same as or similar to microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies.”

Essentially, probiotics are good bacteria that can have positive effects on your system, from your gut health to your skin microbiome. They’re commonly found in yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as oral supplements and topical products. One of the most common you’ll see around town is the bacteria lactobacillus plantarum.

What Do Probiotics Do for Your Skin?

How do probiotics help skin, exactly? Researchers say topical probiotics work by creating “a direct effect at the site of application by enhancing the skin's natural defense barriers and [by] the production of antimicrobial peptides that benefit cutaneous immune responses and eliminate pathogens as commensal strains.” 

In other words, probiotics help boost your skin’s resilience and immune defenses to fight off the bad stuff that tries to get between you and radiant, healthy skin.

Top Benefits of Probiotics in Skin Care

Probiotic bacteria are known to help treat a wide range of skin conditions, including:

  • Acne
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Skin hypersensitivity
  • Inflammation
  • UV damage

In addition to probiotic skin care for acne and other concerns, there are lots of potential benefits for people with sensitive skin and other skin types

Probiotics for skin health can also help to:

  • Balance the skin’s pH levels
  • Heal wounds
  • Reduce oxidative stress from free radicals
  • Improve the skin’s moisture barrier to lock in hydration 
  • Increase the production of hydration-helping lipids known as ceramides
  • Slow the effects of aging
  • Lessen the risk of skin cancer

Before and after probiotic skincare, you may also notice a host of other holistic health perks, as well. Probiotics can help with issues ranging from cold symptoms to yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Plus, they can improve your digestive functions and boost your immune system. 

So, whether you prefer to get your probiotics in a creamy spoonful of yogurt or a silky serum as part of your self-care routine, they’re a no-brainer when it comes to building holistic wellness habits. 

How To Enjoy the Benefits of Probiotics in Your Skin Care Routine

Probiotics for skin can be found in a variety of products and formats, from topical treatments to oral probiotics.

Probiotic Supplements

You know how they say beauty radiates from the inside out? Well, it can be the same for probiotics and your complexion. The best probiotics for skin aren’t all applied on the surface. In fact, you can pop probiotic supplements to not only help achieve healthy skin but to support your holistic well-being, too. 

Probiotic Skin Care Products

If you prefer to make topical probiotics part of your skincare rotation, you have plenty of options available from probiotic skin care lines:

  • Face washes, cleansers, and exfoliators
  • Moisturizers, creams, gels, and serums
  • Sheet masks
  • Deodorants
  • Primers and foundations

How To Enjoy the Benefits of Probiotics in Your Skin Care Routine

Woman applies a moisturizer containing probiotics

We’re still in the early stages of understanding the skin microbiome and how probiotic skin care products can help. Topical probiotics aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Follow these tips if you’re eager to experiment at the cutting edge of skin care:

  • Shop from reputable brands and educate yourself about the ingredients they’re using.
  • Try one new product at a time. Ideally, it should be independently tested for safety, according to Medical News Today. 
  • Choose a product that will stay on your skin (like a cream or serum) instead of one you’ll wash off (like a cleanser). 
  • As with any new skin care product, start with a small patch test to make sure you don’t experience any irritation. If you’re in the clear 24 hours later, apply as directed. 
  • Give it some time before you judge the results. Continue use for several days to see if you notice a difference. 
  • Consider nourishing yourself with probiotic-rich foods or oral supplements to reap the whole-body benefits.

Take your self-care to the next step.