Probiotics are live microbes that are beneficial to your health, so you’re probably wondering why you might need them on your face? Adding live microbes to your gut microbiome has been known to help gut health for around 100 years but recent genetic sequencing of the microbes on your skin has shown that without a diverse skin microbiome, skin condition is severely compromised. You don’t want that. It makes you look old much earlier in life.
Here are five benefits of probiotics:
- Protect Skin
Probiotics help protect your skin from ‘bad bacteria’ (pathogens). They form a protective layer on the skin and use all the available nutrients so that opportunistic pathogens can’t colonise. It’s called competitive exclusion. They also produce anti-microbial peptides that make life really tough for incoming bad guys.
- Strengthen Barrier Function
Tight junctions are the “stitches” between the outer layer of live skin cells that keep water in and toxins and pathogens out. They are essential for your skin’s most important role – barrier function – keeping the outside out and the inside in.
Probiotics have been shown to improve the quality and quantity of tight junctions in skin. Bad barrier function means that your immune system is constantly triggered by pathogens and toxins. This results in inflammation which increases the rate of cell ageing – inflammageing.
- Reduce sensitivity
Live Lactobacillus bacteria on the skin can communicate with your skin’s immune system to keep it in check so that it doesn’t overreact to non-existent threats. The improvement of barrier function also prevents many toxins from penetrating the skin in the first place.
- Moisturise the skin
Probiotic bacteria produce hyaluronic acid which is an intensely moisturising active that naturally holds moisture in your skin. They pump out these super-hydrating molecules to retain water so that their cell membranes don’t dry out, but in the process they plump your skin and keep it deep-moisturised.
They have also been shown to decrease Trans Epidermal Water Loss and improve skin hydration by improving barrier function in skin.
- They maintain skin pH (very important, don’t mess with pH)
Skin should be acidic. That’s why the outer layer is called the acid mantle. As we age, our skin pH drifts higher and higher … more and more basic. Lactobacillus probiotics produce Lactic acid and other acids that keep your skin’s pH in the optimal range … 4,5 to 5. This pH suits your commensal microbes and puts pressure on invading species.