Probiotics have become increasingly known for their digestive benefits, but did you know that recent research suggests that probiotics may be good for your skin too?
What are probitiotics?
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that can help protect your body from harmful bacteria. They are typically found in yogurt & some other dairy products.
Why would probiotics benefit skin?
Our body (& skin) has different types of bacteria living in (& on) it—good, bad, and harmless. Studies seem to indicate that certain skin conditions & problems may be due, at least in part, to an unbalance of or a reaction to these bacteria. Current research is looking at the benefits of probiotics on acne and rosacea specifically.
How could probiotics help acne & rosacea?
Scientists & physicians are looking at how probiotics may help these conditions if they are topically applied or taken orally.
When applied topically, research indicates 3 ways probiotics may help acne & rosacea:
#1: Probiotics form a protective shield for the skin. People with acne and/or rosacea sometimes experience inflammation and bumps due to “bad” bacteria & microorganisms that live on the skin and provoke the body’s immune system response. Topical probiotics form a barrier preventing the body from having an immune system response, thereby reducing inflammation, redness, and other reactions.
#2: Probiotics have antimicrobial properties. Some of the “good” bacteria in probiotics have been shown to kill bad bacteria. Which specific bacteria do this are currently being studied.
#3: Probiotics have a calming effect on skin. They keep the skin cells from reacting to the bad bacteria and sending messages to the immune system.
When taken orally (in supplements or in yogurt), probiotics influence the skin by helping the stomach & digestive tract! Probiotics are typically taken to aid digestion because they help move food through your digestive tract and even out the balance of good vs. bad bacteria (which becomes unbalanced when food is not moving through properly). This can affect skin because a rise in bad bacteria in the gut can cause inflammation on the skin! A few international studies have found that oral probiotics reduced acne lesions, skin oil production and rosacea symptoms.
Should we all go out and get probiotics?
This is a question best left to your doctor as probiotics may not be for everyone. Right now, researchers are looking more into these preliminary results to see which specific strains of probiotics may be the most helpful and to determine an official cause & effect.
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