You’re probably familiar with prebiotics and probiotics—or have heard of them at the least. They’re often linked to gut health and digestion, but what started as a yogurt and kombucha craze has recently made its way to skincare. From cleansers to serums to moisturizers, there’s a whole new arsenal of prebiotic and probiotic-infused products promising to balance the complexion and strengthen the skin’s barrier. But is it worth the hype? We investigate.
For starters, what are prebiotics and probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that keep us balanced and protected, and prebiotics are the food that sustains probiotics—both in our gut and on our skin. Similar to the gut, the skin has its own microbiome with a mix of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and parasites. That’s right, there are more than one trillion bacteria living in and on our skin (!) While it may sound scary, these organisms keep the skin healthy. Enter prebiotics and probiotics.
As with all other types of bacteria, there’s the good kind… and the not-so-good kind. Good bacteria can do everything from boost immunity to fight infections and environmental stressors. And, prebiotics and probiotics are essential to helping this good bacteria thrive—leading to happy, glowing skin.
What do prebiotics and probiotics in skincare really do?
Basically, they create a calm environment so your skin can thrive. Plus, they balance the skin’s microbiome to reduce redness, dryness, and signs of aging. Did we mention they also help strengthen the skin barrier? A healthy skin barrier serves as a protective shield against external stressors, like free radicals, the sun, and pollution. Bonus: prebiotics and probiotics can be especially beneficial in calming certain skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dryness, and more.
If we can prioritize feeding our bodies balancing nutrients, why not treat our skin too? If you’re ready to add prebiotics and probiotics to your rotation, we put together a whole beauty routine packed with prebiotics and probiotics.
- Holifrog Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash
- BeautyStat Universal Pro Bio Moisture Boost Cream
- Peter Thomas Roth Vital E Microbiome Age Defense Eye Cream
- True Botanicals Calm Nutrient Mist
Note: While prebiotic and probiotic-infused skincare can help balance and protect, everyone’s skin is different. As with all other products, test it first and monitor for any adverse reactions.
Illustration by Christina Fung