Best Probiotic for Hormonal Acne

by NIKKI POPE December 21, 2020 0 Comments

Acne is a skin condition where the hair follicles are blocked with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells. This then leads to a variety of manifestations – from minor blackheads to pus-filled pimples and tender red bumps. 

Types of Acne

Acne can be ‘triggered’ by a lot of things. Non-hormonal acne, for one, can occur due to genetics, cosmetics, lotions, cleansers, even the humidity. 

Hormonal acne, on the other hand, arises from changes in the hormone levels. It commonly occurs in women who are menstruating or undergoing menopause. It occurs in ladies who have increased androgen levels, such as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome. 

Whenever testosterone levels increase – and estrogen levels decrease – the skin ends up producing more sebum. The excess oil congests the skin around the jaw, chin, and mouth. At the same time, these hormones lead to an increased production of pathogens that cause pimples. 

Of the various treatments that help minimize hormonal breakouts, probiotics have slowly taken the center stage. More than just being good for the skin, it’s beneficial for the gut and brain as well. 

What are Probiotics? 

Probiotics are known as the ‘good bacteria’ - live microorganisms that keep your gut (as well as your skin) healthy. They help replace the naturally-occurring good bacteria in your body – the ones you may lose because of an unhealthy diet – or antibiotic intake. At the same time, they help ‘balance’ the good and bad organisms that thrive in your body. 

Probiotics also help strengthen your immune system, as they are more than capable of fighting the pathogens that can wreak havoc on the body. Moreover, probiotics may help curb the inflammation that triggers acne and other skin conditions (i.e. eczema and rosacea). 

How Can Probiotics Help with Hormonal Acne?

Since hormonal acne is triggered by hormonal fluctuations, the best way to minimize them is to balance your hormones. 

Probiotics prove to be the best option for hormonal acne because of these benefits:

Minimizes Inflammation

Probiotics help maintain the balance of the bacteria in the gut – and the skin. It also prevents the consequences of leaky gut. When this occurs, toxins from the digestive tract seep to the bloodstream and settle under the skin, triggering acne and other skin conditions.

Reduces the Growth of Propionibacterium acnes

Probiotics produce anti-bacterial proteins that help curb the growth of P. acnes, the organism behind most breakouts. 

Strengthens the Skin Barrier 

The skin barrier is responsible for keeping harmful pathogens out. Unfortunately, using certain products may strip your skin off of such defense. Probiotics may help restore this moisture barrier – thus keeping your skin hydrated and acne-free. 

Protects the Skin From Environmental Damage

Your exposure to pollution and other environmental factors can trigger acne too. Probiotics, with their protective mechanisms, may help defend your skin from such damaging effects. 

What’s the Best Probiotic for Hormonal Acne? 

Probiotics come in different types:

  • Lactobacillus, the most common strain found in yogurt and other fermented foods  
  • Bifidobacterium, a probiotic found in many dairy products
  • Saccharomyces boulardii, a type of yeast found in many probiotic sources

These types further branch out into sub-species, with some of them faring better against hormonal acne:

L. rhamnosus

  1. rhamnosus is one of the strains that produce the lactase. This enzyme helps break down lactose in the gut. 

This is considered one of the best probiotics for the skin because it can survive the extreme acidic or basic conditions in the body. As such, it can adhere well to the gut, where it exerts its many health benefits. According to a study, supplementation with L. rhamnosus may help improve the appearance of adult acne in just 12 weeks. 

L. plantarum

  1. plantarum offers a bevy of benefits that can help minimize breakouts. According to a study, it can produce substances that help fight pathogens such as P. acnes. It may help promote an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin as well. 
  2. plantarum can also help strengthen the skin barrier, thus reducing skin redness (erythema) and pimple size by at least 5%. 

L. acidophilus 

  1. acidophilus is one of the first probiotics to be used for acne. It was first studied by Dr. Robert Siver in the 1960s. In his research, he gave this probiotic (alongside L. bulgaricus) to 300 patients for 2 months. Results showed that this helped reduce the number of inflammatory lesions in 80% of the group. 

The same results were mirrored in an Italian study. Here 40 patients received a probiotic mix of L. acidophilus and B. bifidum. Expectedly, the probiotics were able to minimize acne lesions better than antibiotic treatment. 

L. paracasei

  1. paracasei has 34 strains in total, with most of them being very beneficial to the skin. According to a study, it may help improve skin immunity, making it more resistant to acne-causing bacteria. Additionally, it may help restore skin barrier function – as well as minimize skin sensitivity. 

B. lactis

  1. lactis is a popular probiotic that may help improve digestion, enhance immune system function, even fight tumors. As with other strains, it may reduce breakouts by minimizing the inflammation that occurs in the body. 

B. longum 

  1. longum is one of the earliest probiotics that occur in the body. According to a study, it may help fight acne by inhibiting the production of Substance P. When in excess, this compound can trigger inflammation – which in turn promotes breakouts. 

How to Get the Best Probiotics To Fight Acne

Now that you know the best probiotic strains for your breakouts, it’s time you got as much as you can in your body.

The first thing you need to do is eat probiotic-rich foods. You can find these helpful critters in fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, to name a few. 

In case you have some sort of intolerance – or beliefs banning you from taking these foods – then your next best option is to take supplements. 

Before you buy one, make sure to read the label to see if it contains the probiotic strains that you need. Also, check the quantity (represented as colony-forming units) and the date of manufacture. 

Once you have purchased your probiotic supplements, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place.

Conclusion

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are good for the gut – and the skin too. With their ability to fight pathogens – and reduce inflammation – probiotics are your best natural bets against acne.