According to the gut-skin axis, a healthy digestive system is essential for skin health. As such, it is important to balance the bacterial population in your digestive system by consuming probiotics. This group of beneficial bacteria and yeasts is present in fermented food – and supplements as well.
There are many probiotics out there – so much so that a regular person might find it confusing to pick one. If this is your predicament, worry not as this guide can help you choose the best probiotics for your acne.
One of the most famous probiotic strains in the world is Lactobacillus acidophilus, as it goes back to the pioneering studies that link the gut with the skin. It was Dr. Robert Siver who first discovered its effects on acne. Out of the 300 participants, 80% of them who took L. acidophilus orally experienced lesser breakouts.
More than just controlling acne, L. acidophilus comes with other benefits as well. According to the National Eczema Association, a dose of 3-50 billion units may be used as a treatment for eczema, a skin condition characterized by red, itchy, rough, and cracked skin.
Out of all the probiotic strains, L. acidophilus is especially useful for women, as the said bacteria is naturally present in the vaginal canal. According to experts from the Penn State Medical Center, supplementation with L. acidophilus, either orally or via suppository, may help prevent vaginal yeast infection.
Another probiotic that may help with your acne is Lactobacillus plantarum. According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, L. plantarum is a microbe that produces antimicrobial peptides. These substances may control inflammatory lesions and further improve the skin's antimicrobial activities.
The aforementioned study also showed that L. plantarum was effective in improving the skin barrier, lessening skin erythema, and reducing the bad bacteria on the skin. With these effects, L. plantarum helped diminish acne size in most respondents.
Apart from treating acne, L. plantarum may reduce eczema symptoms as well. Because of its beneficial effects on the gut, South Korean scientists have also stated that this probiotic may also be used in the management of Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or Ulcerative Colitis. Dosage is dependent on the condition – for acne and other skin disorders, 1-2 billion colony-forming units (CFU) are recommended.
Surely there are a lot of probiotics that may help with your acne – one of them is Lactobacillus rhamnosus. It does so by normalizing the insulin signaling of certain genes, thereby controlling acne.
Such was proven in a research published in the Journal of Beneficial Microbes. Participants who consumed a liquid supplement containing L. rhamnosus demonstrated acne reduction by as much as 32%.
Apart from its benefits on the skin, L. rhamnosus may help with oral problems as well. According to German dentists, this strain possesses good antimicrobial properties that can help fight cavity-causing organisms.
To enjoy these benefits – and more – the recommended dosage is 10 billion units per day, which can usually be obtained by taking a supplement.
Lactobacillus paracasei is a probiotic that may help inflammation, mainly because of its ability to induce the activity of anti-inflammatory substances in the body. Since acne can occur following systemic inflammation, researchers from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine believe that L. paracasei can help reduce breakouts as well.
The same experts state that L. paracasei may also be helpful in managing the symptoms of digestive disorders, chronic infection, even depression. The recommended dosage varies, starting at 100 million units for skin problems, to as much as 100 billion for digestive disorders.
For skin problems brought about by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or other hormone conditions, Bifidobacterium lactis is the foremost probiotic to consider. That's because it can regulate the secretion of sex hormones such as androgen, as was seen in a study published in the American Society for Microbiology Journal.
The sex hormone androgen plays a role in acne development. It can influence the production of sebum, which can block the pores and lead to acne. Such an event occurs in PCOS, a hormonal condition that leads to irregular or prolonged menstrual periods.
Acne is one of PCOS' hallmark symptoms, primarily because of the increase in androgen levels. To prevent such a case, an initial dose of 100 million units is recommended.
Bifidobacterium longum is one of the first bacterial strains to colonize the intestinal tract upon birth. They control the overgrowth of harmful bacteria by maintaining the acidity of the gut.
So how can B. longum help with acne, you ask? The way it reduces stress is important for the course of treatment. Acne, after all, can manifest following stressful periods in life. To avoid such eruptions, start with a low dose of 100 million units, and progress higher as needed.
Indeed, there are so many probiotics that may treat acne. If you want to make the most out of their benefits, then make sure to get a supplement that has most (or all) of these as ingredients.