Tried & Trusted: Probiotic skincare
It’s no secret that Liz and the entire Wellbeing team are crazy about all things gut-friendly! Whether it’s taking a daily probiotic or tucking into our favourite fermented foods from around the world, we’re always on the lookout for simple ways to take care of our precious gut bacteria.
Research has shown, however, that the thousands of species of bacteria living on the surface of our skin could also do with a little TLC. Whilst bacteria baddies, such as the acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes, have fuelled our obsession with that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling, a diverse flora is essential for the healthy functioning of our largest organ. In fact, whilst this remains a new field, mounting evidence suggests that the ‘good’ bacteria on our skin acts as an indispensable first line of defence against disease causing pathogens (including the pesky P. acnes!), ageing free radicals, UV radiation and pollution, as well as inflammatory conditions such as rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.
Rather than scrambling to treat skin flare-ups as and when they arrive, introducing probiotics into your skincare regime will help to build a more resilient and balanced skin biome that can withstand the pressures of day-to-day life. From blemish to redness-prone skin, the Wellbeing team have rounded up our go-to probiotic wonder products for all skin concerns:
For probiotic newbies, the AO+ Mist (£49.99) from Mother Dirt is a great place to begin repopulating your microbial defences. One of very few ‘live’ probiotic skincare products on the market, this handy spray contains living micro-organisms with active metabolisms! Whilst their patented, ‘peacekeeping’ bacteria was once at home on our skin, it has largely been eradicated by the widespread use of harsh soaps and deodorants. When spritzed on the skin, the bacteria converts the ammonia in our sweat into nitrite and nitric oxide (a gas) which have been proven to improve skin clarity and restore balance to dry, oily and sensitive skins. It’s certainly not the most glamorous edition to our bathroom ‘shelfie’, but it really does pack a probiotic punch.
For reactive, blemish-prone skin, look no further than the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ (£16.00). This cult product from the French pharmacy has had an upgrade, with a prebiotic active added to its already standout blemish fighting line-up of salicylic acid and niacinamide. Affordable and hypoallergenic, it’s a great product to have at your disposal when skin is being troublesome.
For redness-prone, sensitive skin, the Ultra Recovery Booster Serum (£59.00) from celebrity facialist – Sarah Chapman – is an indispensable addition to your skincare arsenal. Packed full of restorative omega fatty acids, peptides and prebiotics, this lightweight serum helps to restore the skin’s barrier function, leaving skin more resilient to irritation and changes in temperature. No more flushing at the drop of a hat!
For city dwellers, pollution can prove a major challenge, encouraging irritation and premature ageing. The Urban Defense Spray (£29.00) from TULA delivers two fortifying probiotic strains alongside anti-inflammatory rose water and hyaluronic acid to help boost skin immunity. Pop this product in your handbag for a probiotic boost within arms reach throughout the day.
For the body, we love Aurelia’s Firm & Replenish Body Serum (£48.00). This elegant, lightweight formula sinks in within seconds, encouraging the body’s natural cell renewal and leaving behind rejuvenated and hydrated skin. Liz also loves the AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum (£35.00) from REN which delivers a winning formula of restorative probiotics and exfoliating lactic acid alongside a zesty citrus scent. To the days of sticky body butters we say good riddance!