We take our gut health seriously by ensuring our gut bacteria is kept balanced and healthy and taking probiotics when it is not in check. However, we are not as religious about the health of our skin bacteria, which are equally as “alive” and craving our assistance.
The ability for the health of our gut to influence our skin is now well proven in research. An unhealthy digestive system or gut has been correlated to poor skin and conditions such as rosacea, acne and psoriasis. However the science behind the topical application of probiotics on the skin is relatively new and receiving the attention it deserves in the beauty world.
The theory behind topically applying probiotics is that we should work with these bacteria and their complex defence systems, taking advantage of their ability to work magic on our skin. The benefit of topical probiotic application includes reducing inflammation, rebuilding the skin barrier, reducing signs of accelerated ageing and giving our collagen levels a boost to create the smooth glowing complexion we are entitled to!
How do probiotics work on the skin?
The skin is the largest organ in the body and is a bit like a diverse garden or ecosystem, composed of 1.8 m2 folds, creases and niches that support a wide range of microorganisms that make up our skin microbiome. There are both “good” and “bad” bacteria on the skin microbiome. The main function of the “good” microbiome is to serve as a physical barrier, protecting our bodies from potential assault by foreign bacteria or toxic substances.
Think of the good bacteria as the beautiful flowers in the garden, nourishing and protecting the skin whilst the bad bacteria are the weeds, often having the potential to run rampant destroying the delicate balance of the skin. This can happen due to products we are putting on the skin, washing excessively, sun damage or internally we can have genetic variations in our skin which predispose us to damage of the skin barrier.
The good news is that our “good” skin bacteria is so sophisticated it has the ability to initiate an immune response in our skin to initiate an attack on foreign organisms.
If the science is beginning to bore you, just read on, as this is where it gets a little more exciting!
Probiotics can connect with receptors which stimulate genes in the skin related to hydration, barrier repair, collagen synthesis and anti-inflammatory properties. This leaves the skin looking smoother, more hydrated, with less redness and fewer lines and wrinkles.
What can you do to protect your skin microbiome?
By nourishing our skin microbiome we are able to improve the resilience of the skin, reducing redness, boosting collagen production, and reduce the signs of ageing. To look after your skin microbiome:
- Apply probiotics. The topical application of skincare has been shown to be an effective way of restoring your skin barrier, encouraging a healthy skin microbiome. The overall goal is to populate the skin with ‘good’ bacteria that help create the best skin balance. The Edible Beauty Probiotic Radiance Tonic booster is enriched with the live probiotic strain Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Ferment to encourage microbe balance and resistance to acne breakouts, external aggressors and irritation. A burst of protective and hydrating action is provided by intensely nourishing Jojoba Milk and Birch Leaf.
- Avoid activities that may be damaging your skin microbiome. Using products which contain harsh preservatives, fragrances or chemicals needs to be avoided to ensure the skin barrier is kept in tacts. Excessive use of peels, needling, retinol and too much sun exposure can all be promoted as instant way to boost your glow, but in the long term will cause a breakdown of the protective layer of the skin and an imbalance in the skin microbiome.
- Have a look inside. Given they are so intricately linked, it makes sense to nurture your gut microbiome as well as your skin microbiome. By improving your digestive health, and liver function in particular, the skin starts to radiate. The simplest and most effective way to do this is include natural probiotic foods and enjoying a clean diet devoid of processed foods and chemicals.
We live in an exciting time of scientific advancements and sophisticated research on the health of our skin! However, sometimes it is all about keeping things ultra-basic and using the most natural products both on your skin and internally to promote an effortless healthy and radiant glow.