All You Need To Know: Probiotic Skincare
As far as we’re concerned, probiotics can do no wrong - whether it’s our daily bottle of booch, the kimchi we add to pretty much every meal or our daily supplement, we’re clearly of the mindset ‘the more the merrier’. So you can imagine our joy when we started spotting probiotics popping up on skin care products - anything that’s this good on the inside must surely be good on the outside?
But with the price tags some have attached, we wanted to make sure we did our research before buying - with probiotic being such a buzzword of late, you can’t help but wonder if plastering it across anything and everything is just a ploy to charge that little bit more. Cue Anastasia - our in-house naturopath/wonder woman and her ever growing knowledge of all things health. One simple question, ‘Anastasia, what can you tell me about probiotic skincare?’ and her face lit up. Whilst we’re apparently 3 years late on the scene (the reply to my suggestion that it was a ‘new trend’…) they’re definitely something worth getting excited about though.
WHY ARE PROBIOTICS GOOD IN SKINCARE?
It’s a similar situation to how they work in your gut really - bad skin is a byproduct of too much bad bacteria (similar to digestive issues), so using probiotics in skincare helps to increase the good bacteria and combat the bad guys. So the aim of probiotics in skincare is to balance the pH and the environment of the skin, helping in turn to calm inflammation, clear any break outs and bring the pH down to a nice, acidic balance (if products are too alkaline then they won’t keep the top layer of your skin that healthy… but that’s a topic for another day).
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN A PRODUCT?
Whilst many brands are now releasing products clearly advertised as ‘probiotic skincare’, quite a few products have been using the same science for a long time, just without the marketing and messaging. The best place to start is the ingredients list: probiotic products should always include a fermented ingredient, the most popular in skincare currently being ‘Bifida Ferment Lysate’ - a strain of probiotics that studies find the most beneficial when used topically. As research develops more strains will no doubt be used, but for now this is the one we’re seeing the most often.
ANY PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS?
It’s a pretty new trend, and definitely still in the ‘early adopter’ stage, so products aren’t aplenty. But this is a pretty good stage to get involved as it means you only have the guys who have pioneered, innovated and created a product with passion on the shelves, rather than all the nonsense that tends to follow later in a trend.
In terms of probiotic branded products, the ones to watch so far are:
- The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner
- Aurelia’s Probiotic Skincare
- Andalou Naturals Probiotic Renewal Cream
- Biossance Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
Looking more so at the guys that aren’t directly shouting about the probiotic benefits, but still use pro our main recommendation is Dr.Jart+, a Korean brand that can be a little overwhelming if you’re not down with the lingo (a category that we firmly and unashamedly fit into - if it wasn’t for Anastasia, then we’d have absolutely no clue) but are creating incredible technology-led products.
Another trend in itself actually, Korean brands are having a bit of a moment in skincare right now, with Selfridges recently opening a whole section dedicated to Korean skincare. We recommend popping by and trying a few to find the right one for you (the joy of tester pots), but in terms of probiotics, the Ceramidin™ range is our main recommendation.
SHOULD I TRY IT?
As with most things we discuss, there's really no harm in at least trying it - the chances of it doing good instead of bad are always pretty high (we wouldn't talk about it otherwise..). As far as products go, the whole idea of 'skin types' is a bit of a made up marketing ploy, so don't be put off by thinking 'will it work for oily skin' etc etc. We all have sensitive skin to some degree, and brands such as Dr.Jart+ acknowledge this by making well rounded technology based products rather than categorising them into sensitive/dry/combination products. Our advice? Head down to your local beauty or department store and ask for a sample pot - we're pretty sure you'll be heading back for more in no time.