You’ve probably heard all the buzz about probiotics lately, and there are good reasons to get excited. Scientists are finally discovering how important positive bacteria are for your overall well-being, from your digestive system to your mood. The benefits of enzymes and microbes aren’t limited to gut health, though. The phenomenal benefits of probiotics for skin health may blow you away.
The Importance of Probiotics for Skin Health
Your gut has a whole system of good bacteria that cooperate to take care of many important functions. Some microbes help to break down your food so you get the vitamins you need. Other bacteria help to protect your stomach, support your immune system and give you energy. This complex ecosystem of healthy microorganisms is called the gut microbiota.
Your skin has a collection of good microbes, too. In a way, they’re like a small city. Some bacteria act like a police force, fighting harmful germs. Others are like everyday workers, taking care of important jobs that keep your skin healthy. There are even special “nurses” that help with the healing process.
You need probiotics for your skin to stay as healthy as possible. Put simply, there should always be a larger “army” of good microbes than bad ones. You also need a fully equipped skin microbiome to face the daily onslaught of harsh sunlight, stress and other things that hurt your skin.
Amazing Benefits of Probiotics for Skin
Now that you know why your body needs probiotics, it’s time to see exactly how these good bacteria help your skin.
Hydrated and Smooth Skin
Some probiotics help the body produce positive fats that form a type of protective barrier in the skin. These fats can help lock in moisture so your skin stays hydrated, soft and smooth. They’re one reason body creams and lotions can moisturize effectively. Probiotics can help replenish these wonderful lipids naturally.
Relief for Skin Irritation
Excessive dryness, harsh chemicals and mild allergies can all trigger skin irritation. Probiotics can be a huge help in calming or avoiding redness, inflammation and irritation. Some doctors even prescribe probiotics as a safe treatment for eczema, hypersensitive skin and atopic dermatitis.
You may be tempted to blame sweets or hormones for acne flare-ups, but the underlying problem may be connected to your skin microbiome. If your levels of healthy microbes are low — maybe because of stress or not sleeping enough — it gives germs a chance to multiply. This can lead to infected pores and acne.
In this situation, probiotics come to the rescue. Restoring healthy levels of positive microbes can help clear up acne and prevent breakouts from happening as often.
Probiotics for Skin Protection
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are hard on your skin, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Probiotics don’t replace the need for sunscreen, but they do support skin protection every day, rain or shine. Antioxidants have many benefits for long-term health, too.
A varied skin microbiota is important for overall skin health. Probiotics support many functions of your skin:
- Healing cuts and scrapes
- Building new skin
- Keeping skin layers healthy
- Defending against fungal infections
- Helping with dandruff
In conjunction with other recommended treatments, probiotics may provide restorative support for your skin.
Improvements in Skin pH Levels
Probiotics play a role in your skin’s pH. This includes all parts of the skin, including armpits and intimate areas. Maintaining a mildly acidic pH is important to maintain skin hydration, fight free radicals and provide a natural barrier against fungus and harmful bacteria.
You can receive these benefits when you apply probiotics directly to your skin, though eating probiotic-rich foods is usually the easier method. Keep in mind that it can take some time to see results, so don’t give up if your skin doesn’t look radiant right away.
Natural Sources of Probiotics for Skin Health
There is a large variety of delicious, nutritious foods that have plenty of probiotics. What these foods have in common is fermentation. Check out the following probiotic superstars.
Kombucha tea has taken the world by storm. Its tart flavour is easy to fall in love with, and you can mix it with a variety of fruits to give your day some zing. Kombucha has a fizzy punch, plenty of probiotics and a hearty helping of antioxidants from green or black tea leaves.
Some brands sell bottled kombucha at the store, but many skimp on quality to make more money. You can tell because the kombucha will look practically clear, like cheap iced tea. High-quality kombucha should have a deep, almost murky colour and intense flavour.
If you’re looking for a dash of spice in your life, kimchi may be the excitement you’ve been waiting for. This Korean favourite is a fermented dish with cabbage, garlic, ginger, chili peppers and other veggies. Along with lactobacilli probiotics for skin health, kimchi has a tempting spicy and sour flavour. You can enjoy it as is, with rice, as a sandwich topping or in a flavourful Asian stew.
Probiotics are what give yoghurt its tart, fermented taste. There are many varieties of yoghurt, including plain, low-fat, fruit-flavoured and Greek yoghurt, a type of yoghurt that has a lot of protein. These types of yoghurt feature lactic acid bacteria, an important family of probiotics for gut and skin health.
Make sure the yoghurt you choose has live, or active, probiotics. If you need to keep your calories down, low-fat unsweetened yoghurt is a great choice.
Some people like getting probiotics in supplement form by taking a capsule with juice, a morning smoothie or a meal.
That said, scientists aren’t sure how effective probiotic supplements are compared to fresh probiotics from nutritious foods. Plus, these supplements may not be closely regulated, so there’s no way to know if the amount on the label is accurate or not.
If you decide to go the supplement route, only choose brands you trust. Look for third-party lab certification.
Tasty, Tangy Probiotics for Skin Rejuvenation
Forget about spending tons of money on “miracle” creams that never seem to work. Give your body the tools to repair, heal and rejuvenate your skin: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and probiotics for skin health. Adding probiotics to your diet isn’t hard. Try our delicious and easy kombucha right away.