Probiotics are living microorganisms that can change the health status of our intestines just by their presence. They are bacteria that act in "symbiosis" improving the absorption and nutrition of our body, but also generating other positive effects.
The recent interest in the therapeutic effect of these microorganisms on our body is well founded. The most renowned scientists and experts are corroborating the potential of these bacteria on our health status, but also on our skin?1
Wait a second. We know. "What kind of crazy person would use bacteria for healthier skin?" Like all great discoveries, scientists are the first to enter a world that sounds somewhat strange, but which has had resounding results.
Some of today's best hair and skin products come from snail slime, sheep's placenta and other animals' semen. Don't you think that sounded strange at first? It did. However, the major difference is that these bacteria already inhabit our intestines. In fact, there are millions of them in our bodies, which also work to favor us.
Probiotics have been linked to several different benefits that come from effects on the intestinal bacterial flora and the condition of our gut. Let's look at each of these positive changes in our skin and what science has to say about them.
Although there is a lot of background behind acne, one of the most frequent skin disorders in adolescents and women with hormonal problems, the truth is that it has been linked to infection by a microorganism called Propiobacterium acnes and other secondary processes (inflammation, hyperkeratinization, etc.2.
Probiotics have shown a direct effect on P. acnes2, since they are able to increase the production of antibacterial proteins. Although the molecular process is quite complex, the scientists concluded (based on several studies with acne patients) that the probiotics were indeed effective.
In fact, the same antimicrobial effect increased with the inability to allow growth of the intrinsic factors of P. acnes. An effect that these same probiotics can cause on other dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus aures and Streptococcus pyogenes.
Furthermore, it is not limited to a single variation of acne. It would be much “simpler” to treat the milder phases of this disease, such as the first stage called "inflammatory", where there are only superficial changes and no severe lesions on our skin. However, the potential of probiotics is not limited to this.
According to other studies3, Probiotics can also attack more severe forms of acne, such as pustular acne and papular acne. These two phases are more complex and require a much more powerful approach to deal with. Without a doubt, probiotics are an incredible tool for acne.
2. Aging Skin
Another really interesting effect has to do with skin aging, a complex process involving many factors (both genetic and hormonal), which cosmetic science has been struggling with for eons.
Some of the chemical and physical markers that can determine that your skin is aging are increased skin pH, a decreased ability to quench reactive oxygen species, and alterations in the skin's matrix. Yes, it sounds complicated, but it's important that we know about it.
These three factors are the beginning of a sad ending: the skin's metabolism slows down; we start to lose protein and hydration and we make it easier for bacteria to colonize. Therefore, as we get older, we need some factors that act as coadjutants.
Fortunately for us, probiotics not only directly attack each of these three determinant markers, but are also involved in the production of moisturizing and nourishing factors (such as linoleic acid) for our face4.
In addition, probiotics do something special: they are able to protect us from environmental factors that have a harmful impact on our skin5. Some examples are pollution, cigarettes and UV light, perhaps the most dangerous of all. It seems that some probiotics can produce certain types of polysaccharides that help us reduce all the damage caused by these factors. Cool, right?
Another pathology that is well treated by probiotics is eczema, a chronic non-infectious inflammatory disorder characterized by a rash and itching network. For many years the term eczema has also been used in connection with atopic dermatitis, however, not all eczema patients are atopic patients.
The use of probiotics, according to scientists, can influence the intestinal microbiota and regularize it6. Probiotics have been used for years for other inflammatory disorders, so the evidence suggests that these healthy bacteria may help our system.
Many scientists7 claim that the most important mechanism of action is the limitation of the inflammatory cascade (through some of its mediators, such as IL-10). However, it seems that these probiotics can also limit the cellular response and some other secondary responses, which are fundamental in the establishment of Eczema.
Probiotics certainly look like an excellent treatment for our skin and it seems that it can address many different disorders. Therefore, we recommend that you use them constantly if you want to have the best effects.
A great option to consume probiotics is BIO-15 Probiotics, a compound that contains only the best combination of microorganisms specially grouped to have the best benefits and promote the health of your skin from your gut. Remember, the best change comes from within, so be encouraged to use probiotics.
- Ouwehand A.C., Salminen S., Isolauri E. Probiotics: an overview of beneficial effect. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2002;82:279–289. Retrieved from PubMed
- Bowe W.P., Filip J.C., DiRienzo J.M., Volgina A., Margolis D.J. Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes by bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances (BLIS) produced by Streptococcus salivarius. J Drugs Dermatol. 2006;5(9):868–870. Retrieved from PMC
- Pavicic T., Wollenweber U., Farwick M., Korting H.C. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity and efficacy of phytosphingosine: in vtro and in vivo study addressing Acne vulgaris. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2007;29:181–190. DOI: 1111/j.1467-2494.2007.00378.x
- Cinque B., Palumbo P., la Torre C., Melchiorre E., Corridoni D., Miconi G. Probiotics in aging skin. In: Farage M., Miller K., Maibach H., editors. Textbook of aging skin. Springer-Verlag; Berlin: 2010. pp. 811–820. Retrieved from Google Scholar
- Kodali V.P., Sen R. Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities of an exopolysaccharide from a probiotic bacterium. Biotechnol J. 2008;3(2):245–251. Retrieved from PubMed
- Bjorksten B, Sepp E, Julge K, Voor T, Mikelsaar M. Allergy development and the intestinal microflora during the first year of life. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2001;108(4):516‐20. Retrieved from PubMed
- Vitaliti G, Pavone P, Guglielmo F, Spataro G, Falsaperla R. The immunomodulatory effect of probiotics beyond atopy: an update. Journal of Asthma 2014;51(3):320‐32. Retrieved from PubMed