Probiotics have become wildly popular for their ability to improve gut and skin health, among many others. Because of this fame, probiotics are finding its way into skincare products as well.
For some people, the prospect of putting bacteria right directly on the skin might be an issue. However, studies show that these microbes work just as well when they are applied as creams or ointments. So if you are looking to get rid of your acne or dry skin the safe, natural way, then you should consider in a jar (or two) of probiotic cream.
What is in a Probiotic Cream?
According to a Cleveland Clinic feature, probiotic creams are skincare products that contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria produce compounds such as Lactic Acid, which can make the skin less-conducive to harmful germs.
Some creams, on the other hand, may have prebiotics, or non-digestible fiber products that serve as the ‘food’ of probiotics. Such gives the probiotics ‘energy’ to carry on with their skin-beautifying activities.
Live or Dead Microbes?
While it is advisable to have live microbes in your cream, it is hard to stabilize these bacteria in skincare products. Because of that, products with live microbes can only last for a short 6 months. Shelf-life might even be shorter if the cream is exposed to air or light. They also need to be refrigerated to keep the microbes well and ‘alive’.
For these reasons, Dr. Patricia Farris of the Dermatology Times has mentioned that “live cultures are generally not preferred in cosmetics.”
Because of the above-mentioned issues, most manufacturers make use of dead bacteria. They are ‘inactivated’ either by heat, chemicals, or the application of sound. Such an activity changes the cell composition, leading to the release of lysates. These substances contain products such as dead bacteria, cell walls, and other products of metabolism. While they don’t contain live bacteria, their byproducts are just as effective in boosting skin health.
Other products, on the other hand, may have ferments, which can help make the skin more ‘acidic’. Such an environment controls the growth of harmful bacteria, all the while allowing the skin’s resident ‘good’ bacteria to flourish.
Then again, some products use ferment lysates – the combination of both. Ingredients such as Lactococcus Ferment Lysate are said to promote enhanced barrier function and better skin quality. A similar ingredient, Bifidobacteria Ferment Lysate, may help improve the microbiome, leaving the skin healthier and younger-looking.
How Probiotic Creams Work
Dr. Whitney Bowe, author of the book “The Beauty of Dirty Skin”, explains the three ways that make probiotic creams beneficial for the skin:
What Skin Conditions Can Probiotic Creams Be Used For?
Probiotic creams are best for certain skin problems, according to Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal. In her article for the Cleveland Clinic, she stated that those with dry/flaky skin, acne, eczema, and rosacea may benefit the most from such skincare products.
What Science Says about Probiotic Creams
Some probiotic creams have live strains – while some have ‘inactivated’ cells. No matter what the case may be, studies show that probiotic skincare products are beneficial to the skin.
As for dry skin, the probiotic Streptococcus Thermopilus may be beneficial in individuals with dry skin. Research done by Italian scientists has shown that this probiotic may help improve skin hydration. It can also help boost the production of ceramides, which can help lock moisture on the skin.
Probiotic creams may also be effective in controlling acne, as seen in a study by American researchers. Application of lactobacillus extract helped strengthen the skin barrier, which led to the reduction of pimple size and skin redness.
Another skin disorder that may be controlled with probiotic creams is eczema, a skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin. According to a study posted in the NIH Director’s blog, the application of a probiotic cream/lotion made with Staphylococcus bacteria may help improve the skin. In as short as 24 hours, the participants registered lower levels of Staphylococcus aureus, a resident skin bacterium that may cause harm in excessive amounts.
Probiotic creams may also be useful for rosacea, a skin condition that affects the cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose. Rosacea has been linked with the growth of harmful germs, and it is believed that the topical application of probiotics may help control the proliferation of such microbes.
Can you Make Probiotic Cream at Home?
Yes, you can. Not only are you assured of natural and safe ingredients, but you also don't have to spend lots of money! After all, some probiotic creams – especially those that contain live cultures – usually cost a fortune. Save your skin as you save some money with this DIY probiotic cream, care of Beauty Munsta:
Probiotic creams may help improve your skin and defend it from unsightly infections. With studies showing their abilities to control acne, eczema, and rosacea symptoms, probiotic skincare products should be at the top of your shopping list today!