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We’ve heard extensively about the benefits of probiotics for gut health, and more recently prebiotics have entered the game too. Both pre and probiotics are thought to produce beneficial effects on the skin by helping to maintain the balance of bacteria on the skin and by providing antioxidant protection. Together, they are thought to promote healthy skin, hydrate and nourish the skin, reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage.1Impact of prebiotics and probiotics on skin health, PubMed.gov
The origin of the trend of probiotics in skincare dates back to the early 2000s when there was a rise in the popularity of natural, holistic and organic beauty products. At this time, probiotics had already been established as beneficial for gut health and digestive health, so it was a logical extension to apply these benefits to skincare too.
Since then, the popularity and use of probiotics in skin care has grown significantly. Probiotics are now widely available in a variety of products, ranging from creams and serums to masks and toners.
Prebiotics on the other hand are a relatively new concept in skincare but are being found more often in skincare containing probiotics.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help promote healthy skin. They can help protect the skin from environmental damage and repair damage that has already occurred. Probiotics also reduce inflammation and redness, help shrink pores and balance the skin’s pH levels.
Prebiotics are non-living compounds that feed and stimulate the growth of probiotics in the body. However, prebiotics are also thought to promote healthy skin, as they can feed beneficial bacteria and help to maintain a balanced ecosystem on the skin. They also act as food for probiotics. Prebiotics also help support the skin’s natural defense system against external aggressors. They can help to strengthen the skin’s barrier function and reduce water loss.
Acne – The primary benefit of adding probiotics to your skincare routine is that they can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria on your skin. This can then lead to a clearer, healthier complexion and fewer breakouts.
Inflammation – Another benefit of probiotics is that they can help reduce inflammation, which can help reduce the appearance of redness, irritation, and acne.
Anti-aging – Probiotics may help boost your skin’s production of elastin and collagen, both of which are essential for maintaining a youthful complexion.
Protection – They can also help protect the skin from environmental aggressors, such as air pollution and UV radiation, which can lead to premature aging.
Hydration – Finally, probiotics can help to keep the skin hydrated and nourished.
Including probiotics in a skincare routine can provide a number of benefits. Everybody’s skin is different so it may be worth getting a product tester before commiting to purchasing a product with probiotics in it. These benefits will also only be seen long term with consistent use so if you do decide to try pre and probiotics, give it a couple of weeks before deciding.