Your Guide to Probiotic Skin Care
You’ve probably heard of probiotics and the role they play in keeping your gut healthy. But do you know how to use them to get glowing skin? This is our guide to probiotic skin care.
What are Probiotics?
You may be familiar with the benefits of good bacteria in our bodies, we’ve all seen the Yakult adverts. But what are they and why do we need them? In short, good bacteria or probiotics help to break down food in our gut and maintain a healthy balance.
Just like our gut, our skin also relies on good bacteria to keep it healthy. The mixture of bacteria and yeasts that live naturally on your skin are called your microbiome. They work to protect your body against infections and limit it’s exposure to UV radiation and allergens. Having a healthy microbiome is pretty crucial to having a healthy body, not to mention healthy skin. However, many of us treat our skin as a surface to be scrubbed clean, instead of a living organ (it’s the largest one in your body). Therefore years of constantly washing our skin and hair with chemical laden shower gels and shampoos are stripping away the essential bacterias in our microbiome.
All of this over washing means that your skin’s natural defences are lowered and less likely to be able to fight against outside elements like pollution, UV damage and stress. This can in some cases lead to skin conditions like eczema and inflammation in the form or acne and rosacea. Not to mention dry skin and signs of premature ageing.
What does a healthy Microbiome look like?It should have the perfect pH balance (around 5.5) and also protect our bodies from infection. It should also be naturally soft and comfortable, not dry, itchy, red or inflamed. Sounds good right? Here are some handy tips and products to help you restore your skin’s natural health.
Tips for maintaining a healthy microbiome:
- Don’t shower all the time – bear with us! Constant washing in hot water using chemical and antibiotic soaps strips away essential bacteria from your skin. Why not try a gentler soap and a cooler shower? Only use soaps on areas where you naturally sweat; underarms, feet, groin and scalp. Or simply try to space out your showers so your skin gets a little rest.
- Try a yoghurt face mask – ‘ Natural (plain/unflavoured) yoghurt with live active cultures nourishes skin. It’s antibacterial properties promote clear skin, while it’s natural acids help to dissolve dead skin.’ Wise words from Sophie Thompson of Sister & Co. Skin Food. Why not use yoghurt as a face mask? Apply a few spoons of plain, natural yoghurt to your face, leave for 15 minutes and rinse.
- Get outside and do some gardening! – Let’s face it we don’t get outside like we used to, our bodies however benefit from getting a little dirty. By eating organic foods and coming into contact with soil and earth we are boosting our Soil Based Organism probiotics or SBO’s.
- Take a Soil Based Organism Probiotic – if you’re not very green fingered then the next best thing is to take an SBO probiotic.
- Don’t be afraid of sweat – its totally natural and a prebiotic that feeds probiotics in your skin. Try a natural deodorant instead to allow your skin to breath and sweat naturally.
Probiotic Skin Care Products
Aurelia have taken a slightly different approach to their award winning products. They use non-live probiotics and combine them with a milk peptide to protect and restore your skin from within. Their range is excellent but we especially love the Miracle Cleanser. Use the muslin cloth included to gently remove makeup and impurities from your skin. At the same time the probiotic formula absorbs into your skin, repairing and protecting it. It’s a must for anyone suffering from stressed out skin. It’s effective at removing makeup but we also noticed a reduction in redness and irritation after using it as a nightly cleanser.
We love a multi functional product so we think that this Kale Enzymatic Exfoliator from Nourish London is a winner. Organic kale is rich in antioxidants, which also helps to increase suppleness. As well as probiotics, this product contains phyto active pomegranate enzymes to gently exfoliate your skin. It can be used as a daily cleanser or face mask, perfect for an evening regime or once weekly pick me up. If your skin is sensitive to granular exfoliators then we recommend using it once or twice a week. Leave it on for 2-5 minutes to allow the natural ingredients to do their work. Remove with warm water and a muslin cloth, then pat your face dry.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products.