Best Probiotic Skincare & the Benefits for Your Skin
After a year like 2020, the last thing you think of when dealing with bacteria is, “Hey, let’s put MORE bacteria on top and see what happens”. However, in a strange turn of events, skincare gurus across the industry are doing exactly that by way of an emerging new trend: we’re talking about probiotic skincare, the increasingly popular go-to remedy for acne, eczema, dry skin, and sunburns.
Sounds bizarre, right? Perhaps a little explanation will help clear things up: you see, probiotics are live, *good* bacteria, the kind that sets out to overcome and destroy the bad bacteria in your body. They also help boost ceramides, or lipids, within your skin barrier to strengthen the surface, fight off acne, create a more supple, hydrated complexion, and balance pH levels which are heavily affected as we age. Those with eczema know how important ceramides are to a healthy skin barrier, and if probiotics are increasing production, that means they can prevent flare-ups, correct? It’s beginning to look that way, anyway.
We often hear about probiotics in our food, but early studies are now suggesting that applying probiotic skincare topically (and taking supplements orally) can actually improve our skin and maintain a healthy gut, as the two organs are closely linked. This is why your diet also plays a key role in how your skin shows up on a day-to-day basis. However, since these studies are so new, there is still plenty of work to be done to fully confirm all of this - but that doesn’t stop many companies from jumping on the new trend and offering their own probiotic products for us to try.
So, if the science is right, and probiotic skincare is the future of acne and eczema (and whatever else) treatment, what products are best to use? We’ve compiled a list below of some of our probiotic skincare product suggestions to help you get started.
Mother Dirt Probiotic Foaming Cleanser
The wrong cleansers are often the source of irritating skin issues, like dryness and inflammation. This is because most cleansers on the market contain harsh foaming agents which can be dehydrating and strip your skin barrier of its essential oils.
With Mother Dirt’s Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, they’ve utilized probiotic and prebiotic extracts to maintain a healthy pH balance, while also keeping your skin’s natural oils where they belong. Inulin, one of the core ingredients, specifically targets bad bacteria and helps maintain your skin’s microbiome (aka the balance of microorganisms) while it works. If you’re new to the probiotic game, starting with a product from a line that was created specifically for this cause is a good place to begin. Try using it once daily at first to ensure the ingredients agree with your complexion.
Tula Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex
A probiotic in the more traditional sense, Tula’s supplement is a once-daily pill taken orally to improve gut health and brighten skin. Developed by their in-house gastroenterologist, this option claims to improve skin’s moisture and radiance while also pumping you full of good ol’ fashioned Vitamin C, another friend of healthy skin.
With this one month supply, you’re free to test it out and see if you notice any improvements; if not, no need to shove a half-full bottle in the back of your bathroom cabinet to collect dust like you normally do with ineffective ointments - low commitment, (potentially) high reward.
Glowbiotics Probiotic Hydraglow Cream Oil
Looking for a glow up, probiotic style? With this award-winning formula from Glowbiotics, you have access to their own special mixture of probiotics and antioxidants to help you achieve exactly that.
Less of a cleanser, more of a moisturizing oil, this product can be mixed with your everyday makeup as a primer or spread over your skin on its own. It’s also small enough that if you don’t love it, you’re not stuck with a giant bottle of formula you can’t use. However, with over 100 near-perfect reviews from Glowbiotics happy fandom, your chances of seeing at least some improvement increases, so spending a little extra money on a quality product might just be worth it.
Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
Squalane is a well-known skin hydrator, much like hyaluronic acid. In this formula from Biossance, squalane is combined with probiotics to help minimize pores, calm redness and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Available in travel-friendly sizes, you can toss this one in your bag for overnight trips or for routine touch-ups while out and about. They also use sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil, which sounds great, tbh, even if it doesn’t make much of a difference otherwise (full disclosure, it may not.)
Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer
Utilizing the ever-soothing cucumber and bacteria-fighting tea tree, this formula combines strength with more strength to combat “problem skin”. The probiotics here are meant to exfoliate away dead skin, leaving behind a moisturized even-toned complexion where redness used to be. However, if you have sensitive skin, tea tree may be irritating to you, so proceed with caution.
Of all the brands, this one has been recognized the most in beauty and lifestyle magazines as well as mentioned by celebrities across industries, so it’s worth a shot if recommendations are your jam (of course they are, why else would you be here!)
Although there are plenty of options available, understanding what to look out for in probiotic skincare can save you some time and money as you explore. For one, look for a combination of pro-and prebiotics (or post-) in the ingredients list; this ensures the formula will do what it’s supposed to do as you need at least two of these to reap full benefits (2).
As we always say, fragrance-free is the way to be, so seeking out products that aren’t packed full of scents will also help ensure efficacy as well. This also prevents unnecessary fragrance from getting in the way of your skin’s progress, as it can often cause further irritation while you try to heal.
Finally, last but certainly not least, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the “miracle” results that others claim to see! Each of us has our own unique mixture of microbiomes in our skin and body, so one probiotic skincare product may work well for others, but not so much for your unique mix.
Experiment a little, test them out, and definitely don’t be afraid to get your hands a little... germy.
Written by Adrianne Neal