Even if you don’t know what probiotics are or have never knowingly consumed or used them, you’ve likely heard about them. If you’ve seen a yogurt commercial, odds are it mentioned probiotics. If you see someone drinking kombucha, odds are they are doing it because of the probiotics it contains. Over the past decade, in particular, probiotics’ profile has risen dramatically, with their benefits being touted primarily for digestive health. But probiotics have other upsides, including how they can make your skin look and feel better.
What Are Probiotics?
While we usually think of bacteria as bad things to be avoided, there are also “good” kinds of bacteria. These are probiotics -live bacteria and yeasts which can block pathogens and balance the “bad” bacteria in your stomach to improve regularity, help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and reduce bloating, stomach cramps and other issues. Several types of foods are rich in probiotics, including the aforementioned yogurt and kombucha as well as kefir, miso, apple cider vinegar, and fermented soybeans. Additionally, non-prescription probiotic supplements are widely available.
How Do Probiotics Affect the Skin?
But probiotics can also be found in many moisturizers and other topical skin care products. Why? Because these “good” bacteria produce antimicrobial peptides – natural antibiotics that combat bad bacteria. When probiotics are applied topically, they create a physical shield, blocking harmful microbes from causing inflammation or infection; the culprits behind many skin problems and a host of other medical conditions.
Additionally, the beneficial effects that probiotics in food or supplements have on the digestive tract provide indirect but clear benefits to the skin. When the toxins that probiotics attack in the gut enter the bloodstream, they can contribute to inflammation; Probiotics are effective at reducing that inflammation, as well as redness and bumps and can give those with acne, rosacea, and eczema more control over breakouts.
Researchers and doctors continue to learn more about the benefits of probiotics. But the way in which probiotics help reduce skin problems is a reminder that skin health can’t be isolated from overall health and well-being, and how we treat our bodies will directly impact the appearance of our skin.
Dr. Mariano Busso: Your Partner in Skin Health and Wellness
At Dr. Mariano Busso’s Miami-Coconut Grove aesthetic dermatology clinic, we work with patients to help them with diet and lifestyle choices that can give them the glowing, luminous, and youthful skin they want.
Call our Miami offices today at 305-857-0144 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can partner with you for better skin and an increased sense of confidence and well-being.