I’m not blessed with flawless skin like some women. I have bouts with redness, occasional breakouts, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and dullness coupled with fine lines and wrinkles. A little over a year ago, I met with a medical herbalist who performed a series of tests and concluded that my gut was off balance, which could be the cause of some of my skin problems, especially my rosacea. Immediately, I started an oral probiotic, and within weeks noticed my skin was less inflamed and congested, it had better clarity and tone, and I had more energy and less stomach issues. “The GI tract and skin are both detoxifying organs. We need a healthy microbiome in the gut to digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxins,” says New York-based dermatologist Dendy Engleman MD. “When our gut flora is out of balance with more bad bacteria than good bacteria, a lot of problems can arise.”
Probiotics in Skin Care:
Over the past few years, a slew of cosmetic companies have been adding probiotic technology to skin care that help with anti-aging benefits and skin conditions, specifically rosacea, acne and eczema. “Probiotics in skin care have different effects because they are working directly on the skin not via the gut,” says Engleman. “They help reset the skin’s microbiome, decrease skin’s sensitivity to redness as well as help ward off acne causing bacteria to make skin clearer.”
mybody Probiotic Skincare features advanced technology to infuse skin with a powerful blend of bioactive probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants and peptides to soothe, hydrate and renew skin. Their recently launched GLOWBIOTICS hydraglow cream oil hydrates, firms and brightens skin leaving a gorgeous subtle sheen. Eminence Organics makes a probiotic cleanser, mask and moisturizer containing yogurt, which is rich in lactic acid, and niche-brand TULA helps promote healthy skin flora with probiotics, antioxidants and omega fatty acids. There’s even probiotic technology in Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Line, which helps soothe and hydrate skin.
To work both the inside and out, ZSS Skin System features a two-part clear skin method that includes a daily serum packed with zeaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant derived from paprika peppers, which works to decrease inflammation, as well as a daily dose of four oral supplements including probiotics and marine lipids to improve texture and clarity of skin.
If you are not into slathering on creams and potions, you can add probiotics to your diet by taking a supplement—good ones are Culturelle, Garden of Life or Ultimate Flora— or by adding fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and yogurt. Engelman suggests that if you are taking an oral probiotic look for a pill that has 20-50 billion live organisms per dose.
So for now, I’m going to continue to eat more kimchi, pop an oral probiotic daily and apply probiotic-rich skin care so my skin stays balanced and less inflamed. I truly believe treating the gut will help skin concerns in the long run, and keep the body and mind healthy.