By Kara Mavros
Let’s play a word association game. Bacteria = bad, right? Well, contrary to what you were endlessly taught growing up, there’s also a good kind of bacteria, and it can be very beneficial to your gut and skin health.
According to Allure, there are hundreds of kinds of bacteria living off of your skin, totaling upwards of one trillion. These tiny organisms are essential for fighting infections, boosting immunity, protecting against environmental damage, and regulating pH levels, among other things. They’re also just as important as the little guys that live in our intestines you’ve probably read so much about on the back of your bottle of kombucha. Probiotics can be found and consumed in fermented food and drinks including kombucha and yogurt, but also in supplements.
So, why should you care? The GI tract and skin are both organs of detoxification. According to The Cut, we also need the good guys in our gut in order to break down food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxins. When there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria, our gut flora isn’t healthy, and a lot of problems can arise including acne and other skin problems, with inflammation as the main cause. The key to clear skin starts from within.
In addition to probiotics found in food and supplements, we’re seeing skin care products packed with good bacteria everywhere, like Andalou Naturals Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream. This is what I use most mornings and nights for a good dose of bacteria and, of course, moisture. I’ve been using this moisturizer for about a month and can confidently say I haven’t had any new breakouts because of this cream. It has a nice scent and I really do think the combination of probiotics and vitamin C are helping correct the uneven skin tone left by scarring.
There are many variations of probiotic moisturizer available, Biossance’s Squalane Probiotic Gel being one of the most buzzworthy right now. Though I don’t personally use this product, I have a friend who does whose skin is incredible. It’s safe to say that when I run out of my Andalou Naturals cream, and the next time I get a raise (the Biossance option runs at a steep $52), I’ll be trying it myself.
Another product that has been award winning and from personal experience–amazing, is Elizabeth Arden’s Bio Cellulose Probiotic Face Mask, ($67 for a pack of 4 sheet masks). It is perfect for warmer months because its a cooling face mask packed with 2x Probiotic complex which is a key ingredient to trigger the skin for improvement while simultaneously soothing and smoothing the skin. It is on the pricey side but it is worth every penny.
Whether you decide on probiotic supplements, fermented foods, or bacteria-ridden skincare, your gut and skin will surely thank you.