How Prebiotics and Probiotics Can Strengthen Your Skin's Immunity
Monday April 15, 2019
When we think of pre and probiotics many would associate it to gut health, however, skin formulators have discovered the benefits of using pre and probiotic to be used directly on the skin in topical skincare and this is a growing trend. Clinical data support the positive impact of cosmeceutical pre and probiotic products in controlling and defending the skin's health and balance.
The Good Bacteria/Bad Bacteria Balance
In the past, microbes have been thought of as something we should remove from the skin, but this view is starting to change. The scientific and skincare brands are investigating the idea of viewing the skin as a living ecosystem. While there are many established products on the market whose objective is to remove harmful bacteria (which contributes to skin diseases such as acne and rosacea), studies have discovered there is a huge diversity in distinct species of bacteria which are both harmful and beneficial.
The trick is to maintain diversity and to strike the balance with beneficial bacteria dominating the bad. External factors such as antibiotics, pollution, poor nutrition, antibacterial gels, harsh preservatives, and excessive hygiene can disrupt this important balance. When these bad guys take over, the protective barrier of the skin is compromised. This leads to a host of inflammation and skin conditions such as excessive dryness, premature lines, sensitivity, rosacea, acne eczema, psoriasis and allergy.
Difference between Pre and Probiotic
Prebiotic The prebiotic approach focuses on providing a nutritional source for the good bacteria living on your skin, whilst importantly inhibiting the overgrowth of the harmful bacteria.
Probiotic Probiotics have been shown to stimulate the immunity of the skin and protect it from irritation and stress. An "in vivo" study of 20 volunteers showed that skin treated with probiotic lysates showed a reduction in stinging, water loss and barrier dysfunction.
This analogy from Terri Vinson of Synergie Skin explains:
“Probiotic bacteria are the seeds that grow and flourish on the skin and the prebiotic is the fertiliser providing the food to enable the garden to grow whilst inhibiting the weeds.”
Reducing and Preventing Inflammation
Maintaining the balanced skin microbiome is crucial for skin health and it is clear every skin type will benefit from reducing inflammation and improving barrier function. Prebiotic/Probiotic combination products should be an essential addition to all skin routines.
Today if I have a client that experiences inflammation, sensitivity or an impaired barrier, one of the first products I put them on is one with a pre and probiotic solution, not only to strengthen the skin but to ensure this condition does not return. So while I am a great believer of anti-inflammatory products to soothe the skin it is important to improve skin health on a long term basis.
Examples of combination pre/probiotic skincare products:
If you have redness or an inflammatory skin condition such as acne, rosacea or reactive skin, simply add a pre/probiotic product to your skincare routine. You will notice an improvement in your skin health and immunity, as well as a reduction of inflammation and dryness. You should also notice that your skin will become more tolerant of active skincare.
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