December 4, 2018
Bacteria are good. Good for your health. Good for your gut. Good for your skin. Good for acne!
We have preconceived notions about everything in life, not realizing that we need a little of everything. Isn‚Äôt it? Not everything you think is bad is bad for you ‚Äď some work to your advantage. Probiotics, in very layman terms, are just that. Read on to find out all about probiotics and their relation to acne. And hey, we have some food and product recommendations too.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial for your health. They are also known as good bacteria. They keep your health in check, aid digestion, strengthen your immunity, and enhance your gut health (1).
Probiotics are ideally present in our system, but most of us do not have enough of them for various reasons. You need them because you don‚Äôt want only just bad bacteria or that feed on sugars to aggravate skin conditions or let pathogens enter your body and lead to inflammation (1).
It all starts deep within. That‚Äôs why they say ‚ÄėI have a bad gut feeling about something.‚Äô
Your digestive system consists of 70% of your body‚Äôs immune cells. The gut bacteria help the T cells develop by teaching them the difference between the body‚Äôs tissues and foreign substances. The gut also determines which food particles cross the intestinal lining and reach your body.
When there is an imbalance in the body‚Äôs natural gut bacteria, it can cause the immune cells to go into overdrive, leading to issues like acne, rosacea, eczema, and other skin disorders (1).
This imbalance also compromises your intestinal lining, which causes irritants and toxins to be released into the bloodstream. This, in turn, leads to inflammation, redness, and skin sensitivity.
Probiotics help balance the gut microbiota. They decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, thus reducing acne flare-ups, irritation, and redness.
In a study, 56 patients with acne were made to consume a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage. After 12 weeks, it was found that the appearance of acne had improved significantly (2). This supports the theory that probiotics can have an adjuvant role to play in acne therapy.
Another study showed that the topical application of Lactobacillus paracasei, which are probiotic bacteria, helped reduce inflammation and skin reactivity (3). Other studies showed that various strains of probiotic lactic acid bacteria exhibited antimicrobial activity against P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne (3).
In yet another study, the topical application of an Enterococcus faecalis probiotic lotion for eight weeks was found to reduce inflammatory lesions by more than 50% as compared to a placebo (3).
While studies are still ongoing to understand which method will ultimately benefit the skin ‚Äď oral ingestion or topical application ‚Äď we can safely conclude that probiotics hold great potential in treating acne.
The next obvious question would be, how can you take probiotics to solve your acne problem? Let‚Äôs find out.
You can ingest them orally, consume foods rich in probiotics, and use skin products that have live bacteria. You will start noticing a difference in the way your acne feels or flares up (2). Here are a few points to keep in mind:
Let‚Äôs look at each in detail.
If you are not getting enough of probiotics, eating or drinking probiotic-rich foods can be quite beneficial. These probiotics directly pass through your digestive tract and can be easily absorbed into your system. You can combine this with prebiotics, which are carbs that the bacteria can feed on.
Here are some probiotic-rich foods you can easily add to your diet:
Thanks to the advances and research in the cosmetic industry, they have found ways to incorporate live cultures in a way that sustains the natural supply of bacteria our skin needs. But, the problem arises because not all labels mention this explicitly. Hence, it is always good to read and ask. The topical application of probiotics is an interesting way to keep your skin healthy and prevent breakouts.
Here are the best skin care products with probiotics in them:
While live bacteria help best if ingested through foods, some supplements contain probiotics in their potent form. Look for the following before you buy a product ‚Äď streptococcus, thermophilus, bacillus laterosporus, and lactobacillus acidophilus. Here are our top three choices:
Find a way to include probiotics in your diet naturally ‚Äď such that it helps to build your immunity over a period. A lifestyle overhaul will be a great place to start to fix both internal and external issues. Do you have any more questions on this? Let us know by posting a message the comments section below.