You may have heard that having the right probiotics in the gut can improve skin health, but can probiotics really help improve the look and appearance of skin?
Probiotics are not just for the gut
Probiotics are found all over the body and that includes the skin and, on every surface, such as the eyes, and inside the mouth. The majority of probiotics however are found in the gut, and their function in being there benefits the entire body, including the health and appearance of skin. When the balance of bacteria is unfavourable, many symptoms may occur, including skin problems.
Probiotics and acne
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and often reflects inner health. The probiotics on the skins surface help to regulate any inflammation on the skin, and acts as a barrier to protect against pathogens. The probiotics on the skin produce substances which help to kill pathogenic bacteria, including some types of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria is particularly important in the case of acne, which can be caused by the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Having plentiful probiotics on the skin creates a crowding effect, leaving little to no room for acne causing bacteria. Probiotics have a beneficial anti-inflammatory effect, further preventing acne. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352647515000155
Taking probiotics orally promotes healthy bowl movements. This allows the body to remove toxins quickly from the gut before they are reabsorbed. Reabsorbed toxins are pushed out through the skin as a way of the body to get rid of them. This causes inflammation, acne and dull skin. We can therefore see how probiotics can be beneficial both internally and externally.
Smaller pores and more youthful skin
Inflammatory acne may cause enlarged pores and increases the chance of developing blockages. When the skin is inflamed, pores are more noticeable. Decreasing inflammation on the skin by correcting the bacteria may lead to younger and smoother looking skin.
Imbalances of skin microbiome can be triggered by stress, chronic inflammation in the body, chronic stress and a poor diet can cause an imbalance of the bacteria on the skin and contribute to inflammatory skin conditions. Correcting the bacteria in your gut by taking a probiotic supplement and using a topical probiotic skin cream can correct the imbalance and bring back equilibrium.
Moisture and more
Probiotics on the skin produce a substance called short chain fatty acids which provide nourishment to the skin cells and helps to prevent drying and flaking. Some probiotic strains also increase the skins production of ceramides that keep moisture in the skin. Research has found that a large proportion of individuals with eczema do not have a sufficient level of ceramides. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/cod.12073 Short chain fatty acids enhance water, sodium, and electrolyte absorption leading to greater hydration and plumpness of the skin.
Protection from sun damage
The anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics on the skin are demonstrated by a reduction in damage caused by UV light. An out of balance skin pH can contribute to increased skin ageing and sun damage. Having a healthy balance of probiotics on the skin may correct the pH balance and help to protect against ageing, helping to maintain a youthful appearance. https://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961616P0009X
Probiotics have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and reduce free radical damage from the sun and other environmental factors. Excess inflammation and free-radical damage can cause a reduction in collagen production, the main elastic protein in skin. Excess free radicals and inflammation can contribute towards premature and excessive wrinkling as well as age spots.
Taking probiotics orally improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients allowing your skin to receive more of the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy complexion, firmness and tone.