A great deal has been written about how probiotics, a class of benign bacteria, are beneficial to your digestive track, but Costhetics has recently uncovered information that there is also a link between bacteria and skin beauty. Early research shows promise that probiotics taken internally or used topically can help treat or even prevent certain skin conditions.  

Here’s what we found:

Bacteria Basics with Costhetics

Bacteria needs a good advertising campaign! Most of us were taught that bacteria just make us sick, but the body is naturally filled with bacteria, some good and some bad. The key is keeping your bacteria in balance, and that’s where probiotics come in. The Journal of Applied Bacteriology reports that probiotics are “…live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”

Did you know that your intestinal tract hosts over 100 trillion friendly bacteria? While you go about your business each day, these helpful probiotics are hard at work

  • Aiding your digestion
  • Boosting your immune system
  • Consuming bad bacteria
  • Limiting the growth of yeast
  • Manufacturing key nutrients
  • Inhibiting bouts of lactose intolerance

Now we are learning that bacteria, normally an enemy of beautiful skin, may be its greatest ally.

Probiotics vs. 4 Common Skin Conditions: And the Winner Is…Bacteria!

Whether they are eaten as foods, taken as supplements or applied topically, probiotics themselves should not yet be considered a stand-alone treatment for skin problems. However, used in combination with a patient’s current skin treatment regimen, probiotics can help with many conditions:

  • Acne vs. Probiotics– Studies in Russia, Italy, and Korea have linked the use of dietary supplements with certain probiotic strains (Lactobacillus, L. acidophilus, and B. bifudum) to a faster rate of acne clearance. Probiotics were also shown to help patients better tolerate acne treatments with antibiotics.When applied topically, probiotics may help acne by forming a protective shield over the skin. The barrier works to keep pimple-causing bacteria away from skin where it could aggravate the immune system, triggering inflammation.
  • Ageing Skin vs. Probiotics – Studies are still being conducted to confirm that probiotics can protect skin from the effects of ageing. Preliminary evidence points to the exciting news that probiotics may help increase collagen, the protein that has a huge impact on skin texture and tone. Probiotics may also improve the appearance of ageing skin by reducing sun damage, minimising fine lines and wrinkles, and hydrating dry skin.
  • Eczema vs. Probiotics – In a Finnish study, women who took the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG reduced the odds of their babies developing this painful skin condition, even in families with a history of eczema. The participants took supplements for two to four weeks before giving birth and for six months afterwards.
  • Rosacea vs. Probiotics – Probiotics are now being used in the treatment of rosacea. Extracts taken in conjunction with rosacea medication can reduce flare-ups that lead to facial redness, bumps, and pimples. By strengthening the skin barrier, probiotics help to reduce the dryness, burning, and stinging associated with rosacea.

Where to Find Skin-Friendly Bacteria

To boost your levels of good bacteria and introduce more skin-friendly probiotics into your life, consider:

  • Eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and sauerkraut
  • Taking a probiotic supplement
  • Using a topical cream that contains probiotics

Not sure which is the best approach for you? Costhetics recommends that you seek the advice of a dermatologist or other skincare professional.

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