Probiotics support the microbiota, strengthen the immune system and fight inflammation. From today, we know that probiotics, both taken by mouth and applied topically, are also precious allies for the health and beauty of the skin, helping to combat acne, rosacea, psoriasis, dandruff but also wrinkles and photoaging. This is what emerges from a very recent review published in the journal Pharmaceutics (Habeebuddin et al, Pharmaceutics, 2022).
Even the skin has its own microbiota
Our skin is an ecosystem of bacteria that, in healthy conditions, live in balance with each other, protecting the tissues from external threats and pathogens. The skin, therefore, as well as the gut, is equipped with a real microbiota. Sometimes, however, this microbiota gets out of balance. This can happen due to the use of too aggressive products, some drugs such as antibiotics, for the same treatments to cure some problems such as acne. Here, when the skin's microbiota is no longer in balance, inflammation and itching can appear that can lead to conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, dandruff, wrinkles and photoaging.
The importance of probiotics
Probiotics are live organisms that repopulate the good bacteria of the microbiota. Probiotics can be taken by mouth and in this case they benefit the gut microbiota. Studies have found that a healthy gut microbiota helps fight inflammation, even those that affect the skin. Not only that, if the intestinal microbiota is balanced, this will also counteract autoimmune diseases that affect the skin, among other organs. For example, psoriasis is an autoimmune manifestation. Therefore, probiotics taken by mouth are not only allies for the health of the body and the immune system, but also for the health and beauty of the skin, helping to combat acne, rosacea and psoriasis from the inside.
Probiotics and acne
Probiotics can also be applied topically and can become real cosmetics, capable of strengthening the skin's microbiota and acting in the case of conditions such as acne. The treatments used against acne, in fact, often leave the skin dehydrated and irritated. On the other hand, benefits without side effects can be obtained thanks to cosmetics containing probiotics. For example, studies have observed that the topical application of Streptococcus thermophiles, the same bacterium used for the production of yogurt, allowed in a few weeks to stimulate the production of ceramides, which are lipids present in the skin capable of retaining water in the tissues. Not only that, some ceramides have also been shown to have antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the bacteria responsible for acne.
Probiotics and atopic dermatitis
Studies have also made it possible to observe the benefits of topical application of some probiotics, such as Streptococcus thermophiles, Roseomonas mucosa and Lactobacillus, in the case of atopic dermatitis. In fact, probiotics were able to work by soothing the area, restoring the damaged skin barrier and relieving symptoms.
Probiotics and psoriasis
In the case of psoriasis, oral intake of probiotics has been shown to improve symptoms. At present there is a lack of studies on the efficacy of cosmetics containing probiotics on psoriasis, but it is believed that they may be useful in combating it since preliminary research has made it possible to observe that an improvement in the skin microbiota also leads to an improvement in psoriasis symptoms.
Probiotics, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis
Dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and scalp dermatitis have shown improvements following the oral intake of probiotics, such as Lactobacillus paracasei. The topical application of probiotics, such as Vitreoscilla filiformis, has also made it possible to improve itching, erythema and the formation of dandruff.
Probiotics and wrinkles
Topical probiotics counteract the damage caused by photoaging, reducing oxidative stress and improving the functionality of the skin barrier. Cosmetics based on Nitrosomonas eutropha have made it possible to reduce facial wrinkles and dark skin spots.
Therefore, given these results, the importance of a varied diet that also includes probiotics taken orally appears clear. Probiotics are found in the form of supplements or added to yogurt and drinks. In addition, as evidenced by the article we talked about today, cosmetics containing probiotics are very useful. And if you want to make a cosmetic treatment with probiotics yourself, the recipe is very simple. Get thick yogurt. In a bowl, mix three tablespoons of yogurt, half a teaspoon of honey, a capsule of probiotics and a teaspoon of jojoba oil, for acne-prone skin, or argan oil for mature skin. Apply to face for 15 minutes, then rinse.