Doctors and wellness gurus have been praising probiotic benefits for years, stating that they have the potential to improve gut flora in the digestive tract and boost the immune system. But it’s only recently that the skin care world has embraced probiotics as the key to alleviating conditions such as acne, eczema, rashes or rosacea for healthy, glowing skin. Read on for a deeper look into what probiotics actually are and how you can benefit from incorporating them into your daily diet and beauty regime.
What exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are present in various types of food and readily available in pill or tablet form, but they significantly differ from other supplements by their very nature: probiotics are live, healthy bacteria. These so-called friendly microorganisms are responsible for restoring balance in our bodies by making sure that the bad bacteria are kept under control and prevented from causing illnesses. Apart from that, they are known to successfully fight gut inflammation, help bodies absorb certain types of nutrients and keep the immune system in optimum shape. There are also many probiotic benefits for the skin. Probiotics can improve skin conditions and seem to have the power to prevent wrinkles and increase skin’s hydration, among other things.
What causes bad gut bacteria get out of control?
The body is a finely tuned machine that needs to be properly taken care of in order to function in the best possible way. If we fail to give it what it needs, sooner or later we’ll have to face the consequences of our actions and lifestyle choices. There are many types of offenders that can cause gut bacteria to get out of control: over-consumption of sugar and processed food, antibiotics abuse, steroids, hormones, carbonated drinks, coffee, radiation and chemicals added to the food we eat, and the list goes on. Add to that a hectic daily routine ruled by stress and inadequate sleep that can really take a toll on gut health. This is where we turn to the many probiotic benefits to help keep bad gut bacteria under control. A healthy gut will make you feel and look better, because if you aren’t doing well inside, it’s bound to be seen on the outside, too.
How to get probiotic benefits from food
As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” And it’s absolutely true, as long as we have healthy gut flora that enables us to absorb all those precious nutrients we consume. If you suffer from mild digestion issues, the first option before introducing an oral probiotic would be to add probiotic-rich foods to your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, certain types of cheese, or fermented food like kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut. Don’t forget to include foods rich in dietary fiber that nourish healthy gut bacteria: fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be your constant daily companions if you want to feel and look good from the inside out.
How to choose the best probiotic supplement
There is a wide choice of available probiotic supplements on the market and it can seem difficult to pick the right product. If you’re health conscious and prone to reading labels on food products, the same rule applies to probiotics. Pay attention to what the packaging has to say. Choose the probiotic from a reputable manufacturer and make sure that it contains different strains of bacteria with high potency. It’s always smart to consult your doctor when adding a new pill to your regime, especially if you take other medication on a regular basis.
Five probiotic benefits for your skin
Now that you know how important a healthy gut is to feeling and looking better and the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet, you might be surprised to know that there are also benefits to using topical probiotics on your skin.
1. Probiotics can help you deal with a variety of skin conditions
If you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, rashes, eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, there’s a good chance that your gut flora is altered to some extent. This means that both oral and topical use of probiotics can result in an improved look and healthier skin.
2. Probiotics can reduce visible signs of aging on your skin
It is believed that the topical use of probiotics can help you build collagen to achieve stronger skin structure and add smoothness to your appearance. Also, reduced inflammatory response makes your skin more resistant to negative effects of exposure to sun, which in turn results in fewer wrinkles and fine lines.
3. Probiotics improve the level of hydration of your skin
There is evidence that certain strains of probiotics have a beneficial effect on the skin barrier. The stronger it is, the more water loss is significantly reduced. Consequently, your skin will stay healthy and well hydrated for longer periods of time.
4. Probiotics help prevent breakouts and clarify your skin
A number of studies show that certain types of food increase skin’s oil production, which can result in clogged pores, acne and breakouts. Since acne sufferers often have elevated inflammatory response as well, keeping inflammation at bay with the regular use of probiotics can provide much-needed relief and result in beautiful, clear skin.
5. Probiotics can repair your skin and reduce its sensitivity
Skin disorders come hand in hand with a number of unpleasant symptoms such as burning, itching and painful sensitivity to touch. What’s more, even when those irritated red bumps or patches temporarily heal, it seems almost impossible to get rid of discoloration, marks or even scars in places where active lesions once were. Users have reported diminished scarring and improved smoothness of skin once covered with blemishes after persistent application of topical probiotics.
So are probiotics your skin’s new best friend? There’s only one way to find out.