Practically everyone is familiar with probiotics these days, which are, simply put, a good type of bacteria that provides one numerous health benefits. Because of the vast research on the topic over the years, people have been more accepting of the thought of ingesting bacteria for health reasons. Maybe you or someone you know even takes it on a daily basis. Tracing its roots already says a lot, with with probiotic coming from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting” and biotic, meaning “life.”
“Research has shown that it is possible to modify the intestinal flora and to replace harmful microbes with good bacteria,” shares Dr. Edwin Bien, Wellness and Integrative Medicine Specialist. He shares that aging and unhealthy choices of food causes the production of toxic substances in the large bowel, resulting in autointoxication. This can explain why we need probiotics to re-align the digestive tract’s bacteria to help with digestion, breaking down food and extracting nutrients from them.
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When we think of probiotics, however, we typically think of the ways we can ingest them: yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tablets and powders, for example. But there has also been talk of probiotic skincare popping up in the beauty market.
“There is a health maxim that states, ‘we are what we eat.” Recently, it has been further improved to ‘we are what we absorb,” starts Dr. Bien. “In fact, the skin is accepted as the largest organ of the body, bearing the brunt of whatever we digest and absorb,” he adds. True to what is being said, if more bad bacteria is present, health issues on the skin can arise, including acne, irritation and inflammation. Probiotic skincare targets these problems, helping the body focus on the good bacteria. By helping the skin regain its natural balance and pH, it pretty much has the same effect as consuming probiotics for your gut.
Whether you are facing a specific skin problem such as redness or a dull complexion, a quick Google search will show you that there is most likely a probiotic skincare product for that already in the market. Clinique’s Redness Solution Soothing Cleanser with Probiotic Technology, for example, claims to immediately improve redness by 33%, There is also Too Faced’s Hangover Primer, which includes a probiotic-based ingredient that boosts the skin’s radiance and hydration.
“I am not a dermatologist, but may patients with cases of psoriasis and immune system-related skin problems come to me for a nutritional approach. I give them probiotics to deliver the good bacteria for the skin and ensure that nutrients are absorbed to prevent signs of aging and environmental damage,” Dr. Bien shares. So while you may lather up on the skincare products, a good word of advice would be to remember adding probiotics in your diet as well. This can be as simple as taking a daily supplement or having yogurt as a snack. Your skin will thank you in the long run.
As seen on MEGA Magazine February '18.