Probiotics are tiny micro bacteria that live inside your gastrointestinal tract, your mouth, on your skin, and elsewhere on and in the body. They are part of the trillions of living bacteria that make up what scientists have called the microbiome – which is just a fancy word for “world of microscopic bacteria.” It sounds a little like science fiction, but these trillions of living bacteria are all working hard to keep you healthy. However, if these bacteria take over the microbiome, they may become not so friendly. This “bad” bacteria can cause a host of problems.
The “good” bacteria are known as probiotics, and they include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Bacillus laterosporus.
The “bad” bugs are simply known as microbacteria, but if left to take over your gut, skin, and other areas, these strains can make you very sick. They include Streptococci bacteria and Escherichia coli, or E. coli.
While all of the bacteria that live in the microbiome are needed to keep your body systems functioning properly, if the “bad” bugs take over, your health may be compromised. However, if you are able to keep the numbers of “good” bugs up, by getting more probiotics into your diet, you can enjoy all of the health benefits that come with keeping things in balance.
How Do Probiotics Work for Skincare?
Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and it is responsible for eliminating waste products and toxins via the pores. Because your skin and gastrointestinal tract are so closely related, an imbalance in the microbiome can cause skin problems.
As your skin works to finish the elimination process of the gastrointestinal tract, any lingering waste can come out of your pores. This is one of the leading causes of common acne, including pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
Probiotics restore skin health by maintaining the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut microbiome. Scientists are busily researching this brain-gut-skin connection. As new studies are conducted on the subject, new information is revealed about the important role of probiotics and beautiful looking skin. To have better understanding you may visit activatedyou.
Three Ways Probiotics Help to Clear Skin
For frustrated acne-sufferers who have tried other remedies, probiotics may be the solution to clearer skin.
1. Internal Bacteriotherapy
Dermatologists have been aware of a connection between damaged gut flora and acne since the 1930s.1 Since then, researchers have found the use of internal bacteriotherapy to be effective for easing gastrointestinal problems, including constipation, diarrhea, colitis, and irritable bowels, as well as reducing the symptoms of acne.
In one study, Russian researchers found that 54 percent of acne patients also had impaired gut microflora. Not surprisingly, when the patients were treated with probiotics, they were able to cut acne treatment time in half.2
Another study involving 300 patients showed that 80 percent of acne sufferers who were given the probiotic Lactobacilli saw clinical improvement of their skin condition.3
2. Topical Application
Applying probiotics directly to the skin (topical bacteriotherapy) was first discovered in 1912. Since then, scientists have continued to research the ability of probiotic strains to reduce the symptoms of acne.4
Numerous clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of probiotics on the skin. One study showed that the probiotic strain lactobacillus was able to reduce acne lesions, offering both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to the skin.5-7
3. Nutritional Therapy
A balanced microbiome is important to your overall health, and to clear skin. However, it can be tricky to attain. You see, the “bad” bugs love to eat just as much as the “good” bugs do. And you might be shocked to know just what they like the best.
Here are the foods that feed “bad” gut bugs. Aim to eliminate them from your diet as soon as possible for clearer skin: cheap vegetable oils (including canola, corn and soybean oils), pasteurized dairy products, processed grain products, convenience foods that contain refined carbohydrates, processed meats, and foods that contain trans fats.
Here are the foods that probiotic bacteria (the “good” bugs) love: dandelion greens, acacia gum, leeks, jicama, bananas, chicory root, garlic, onions, and asparagus.
Today, dermatologists know more than ever about the gut-brain-skin connection. So much of our health originates in the gut, so it’s not surprising that an imbalance of “bad” bacteria could seriously affect the skin. To enjoy a clearer, fresher complexion, consider adding probiotics to your skincare regimen. Whether it’s a supplement, topical application or nutritional therapy, probiotics may unlock the secret to clear, glowing skin you’ve always longed for.
- Stokes JH, Pillsbury DH. The effect on the skin of emotional and nervous states: theoretical and practical consideration of a gastrointestinal mechanism. Arch Dermatol Syphilol 1930, 22:962-93.
- Volkova LA, Khalif IL. Impact of the impaired intestinal microflora on the course of acne vulgaris. Klin Med (Mosk). 2001;79(6):39-41.
- Siver RH. Lactobacillus for the control of acne. J Med Soc New Jersey. 1961;59:52–53.
- Peyri J. Topical bacteriotherapy of the skin. J Cutaneous Dis. 1912;30:688–89.
- Muizzuddin N, Maher W. Physiological effect of a probiotic on skin. J Cosmet Sci. 2012 Nov-Dec;63(6):385-95.
- Volz T, Biedermann T. Outside-in. Probiotic topical agents. Hautarzt. 2009 Oct;60(10):795-801.
- Simmering R, Breves R. Pre- and probiotic cosmetics. Hautarzt. 2009 Oct;60(10):809-14.