Probiotics or “good bacteria” are well established in our everyday diets, whether they come in the form of fermented products such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or kombucha. Or in the form of oral supplements, such as capsules or pills. We’ve heard a lot about how good they are for our gut health. In truth, there is probably no part of us in which they don’t exhibit their beneficial properties.
Research has shown that gut health is directly related to our mood, cognitive abilities, immune system, metabolism, skin health, and more.
Scientists have defined the gut-skin-axis as a direct link that shows the direct correlation between a healthy gut and skin.
On the other hand, our skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors: UV rays, pollution, ingredients in personal care products that can cause damage to the “good bacteria” on our skin. This leads to various skin issues, and much more. This is where topical probiotics come in handy.
How they work to keep the skin healthy
We can use two different mechanisms of action to describe how probiotics work.
One example is “good guys” competing with the “bad guys” for nutrition and adhesion on the skin. In turn, the “good guys” can produce certain molecules that work as antimicrobials that remove the “bad guys” completely.
Secondly, probiotics produce certain metabolites, such as organic acids, polysaccharides, and proteins, which regulate the normal metabolic processes of the skin. This includes hyaluronic acid production, ceramide synthesis, and melanocyte stimulation.
Topical probiotics and skincare
All in all, probiotics can increase the skin’s defense mechanisms and balance the pH. Their anti-inflammatory effects reduce skin irritation and provide a soothing and calming effect for irritated skin.
When applied topically, they stimulate the skin to produce ceramides and collagen, which are key proteins in the prevention of premature aging. Furthermore, probiotics also protect our skin from UV-induced aging by preventing collagen degradation. In some instances, even showing they can directly provide sun protection.